Chances are we will be friends for a lifetime
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
On a college campus of 30,000, our meeting was a chance encounter. I was walking to class on the first day of school at Purdue University when I ran into a high school friend, Lynne. We hadn’t seen each other since graduation, so we decided we would get together and hang out, college-style.
Fast forward 20 years.
A lot has changed since college. The logistics of our friendship are not as easy as they once were. Lynne and I live 1,200 miles apart. But all it takes is a phone call or a random text and it feels like I live right around the corner.
Lynne and I can catch up without ever feeling like we’re behind. See how a chance encounter can change a life?
Since the beginning, Lynne and I have been the kind of friends who may seem so different on paper, or by looking at us, that one might wonder how we’ve made it happen for 20 years. She’s tall and blonde with blue eyes and I’m the short, brunette, green-eyed one. Lynne was an environmental science major at Purdue while I focused my energies on journalism and writing for the school newspaper, the Purdue Exponent.
Not that I, and my newspaper friends, didn’t welcome her into our circle with open arms.
I’ll be honest when I admit Lynne spent many more hours studying, especially on the topic of the environment, than I did. The irony is that I work in the renewable energy industry, and I’m sure she could blow me away on understanding the science of it all.
She’s a smart one, that Lynne.
Lynne and I did not become friends so we could study together. Sure, there were times when writing papers and cramming for finals were a big part of our relationship as college roommates. There were different forces at hand that prompted the chance encounter and 20 years of growing up together.
The growing up really didn’t happen until after college.
Our friendship happened for a reason, and it was probably because the universe decided we needed each other. We have what I would describe as a yin and yang friendship. We only exist in relation to each other. It’s there that we find balance and harmony.
Man, that is deep.
When I ran into Lynne on campus that fateful day, she needed a positive change. There were some negative vibes going on her life and she needed to smile. If I was put on this Earth to do anything, it’s to make people, most importantly Lynne, laugh and to help them have some fun. I am truly OK with that destiny.
If I could only make a career out if it, I’d be set.
When I found Lynne, I was completely homesick and needed direction on how to succeed on a big college campus like Purdue. I was a little lost and scared. Lynne was always there as my rock.
She’s the kind of friend I look up to and strive to be like. She might not want to do the “Electric Slide” at a wedding reception or sing karaoke at a dive bar – unless I drag her up there – but that is why I love her. To put it simply, she plays it cool while I come in hot.
The tap dancing lessons as a kid did it.
Lynne and I may seem different in some regards, but it gives our friendship character. And character is my best quality. I like that we’re yin and yang.
It makes life interesting.
Lynne runs marathons. I run when I’m late for a connection at Chicago O’Hare. Lynne is married with two awesome boys and a beautiful home. I, well, fly solo with my dog. Lynne is a talented photographer. I do my best with a camera, depending on the deadline. Lynne has an incredible knack for taking care of others, especially her late mother-in-law as she battled ovarian cancer and her own boys when they are not well. I live out in Colorado sans family and responsibility outside of bills and my dog.
That’s the rock in her.
I guess that makes me the roll.
“April in Glenwood” appears every Wednesday. April E. Clark will always remember the post-college road trip back to Purdue with Lynne, Megan and Misty. Nothing beats a little Culture Club and the open road. April can be reached at email@example.com.
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