When things in life break or bend or end, I impulsively text my childhood best friend. We’ve been friends since we were 4 — almost 21 years. There’s something inherently comforting about receiving a text from someone you’ve known forever, especially in moments of transition and intense, unpredictable emotion.
“All You Wanted” by Michelle Branch started playing as I walked into Hy-Vee the other day. It’s one of those songs that would normally float above me unsuspectingly; I’d notice it for an instant but let it stir into the squeak of shopping carts, the rustling of bags, the hum of conversation during a busy Sunday at the grocery store.
It was exactly what I needed that day: a loving albeit cheesy reminder that some things just stick with you. I hummed along with the song as I debated between frozen egg rolls and lasagna, remembering every word, resisting the urge to belt out that shit from the truly blessed year that was 2001.
So, I texted my childhood best friend; I’ve embraced the fact that sometimes I reach out to her when I need compassion and attention. Permanence is comforting sometimes, renewing in its simple, quiet existence. Too often, what stays the same stirs into the background for me. I acknowledge it for a fleeting moment only to focus on that which changes: moving plans, my next trip, my next tweet, upcoming work projects.
Recently someone I cared about a lot moved away. He isn’t right for me and never really was in the first place, but his departure stung nonetheless. I didn’t know how to process the impermanence of it all, so the familiar, trusty chorus of “All You Wanted” practically blared above the usual Sunday-at-the-store din.
I texted my friend, and she responded within two minutes. Sometimes what stays the same revives me, silencing the negative thoughts on which I tend to dwell. Sometimes, as the lyrics say, “All you wanted was somebody who cared.”