I’m always a little bit careful of what I write here because there are a lot of people who know me in real life who read this blog. I wish I could be one of those bloggers who just pours their guts out into their posts and lays it all out there for the world to see. I’ve even thought about having a separate anonymous blog where I could do that. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And really, there’s very little that I have to keep private. Certainly not enough to populate an entire separate blog.

So, this might get me in trouble with people who know me in real life, but I’m not sure I care anymore.

Almost exactly 13 years ago, I met the girl who became my best friend. I was living in a dorm on campus and was sick of dorm life. I found an ad in our school paper; two girls were renting a three bedroom house off-campus, and they needed a third roommate. I met them and liked them immediately, and decided to move in with them.

Of my two roommates, one of them was a little odd, but the other girl? She and I bonded, like, fast. We lived together for the next 3 years, until I moved to Wisconsin. After that, though, we still stayed in touch all the time. We talked on the phone, emailed, and flew out to visit each other whenever we could.

I don’t even know how to sum up here what she’s meant to me over the past dozen plus years. She was the one who taught me how to flirt with guys. She took me to my first gay dance club. She turned me into someone fun who knew how to throw a good party instead of the awkward wallflower I had always been. But there was more to it than the fun stuff, we also supported each other through a hundred different rough phases in our lives. And our friendship stuck even as we got older and more settled in our lives. I had two bridesmaids at my wedding: my sister was one, she was the other.

Things have been strained between us for the past couple of years. I had a falling out with a mutual friend of ours, which caused her to feel stuck in the middle. Then I went and had a baby, while she was still single, which was hard because we couldn’t relate to where the other person was. (Example: When Catie was 4 months old, she wanted me to go out dancing with her and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to stay out until the wee hours. Meanwhile, Catie was still sleeping in 3-hour stretches and I couldn’t fathom anything I’d rather do less with my exhausted post-partum ass than get dressed up and go out on the town.)

Then she started dating a guy who I didn’t particularly like, and she married him. He’s not a bad person, and I was glad she was happy, I just didn’t “click” with him and it made it hard to hang out with her if he was around. Her wedding was hard for me because the ex-mutual friend was her maid of honor. That hurt my feelings, that she asked this person I hate to be in the wedding and not me. I mean, I’m not huge on wedding-y stuff and I don’t really have any desire to be a bridesmaid, but still. It hurt. I admit it. And then she got mad at me because apparently I was so focused on avoiding my ex-friend that I inadvertently also ignored my friend (the bride). So there were hurt feelings on both sides, and it made things harder.

That was about 6 months ago. I guess I just thought that we were going through a rough phase, but that eventually we’d come out of it. And last week I realized that no, this is just how things are now. I no longer have a best friend. The truth of this fact smacked me in the face last week when she did something huge and life-changing – I won’t get into the details here, it’s not my place to share her business – but it was something that required months of forethought and planning, and something that I could’ve totally related to her about if she had chosen to share it with me. But I knew absolutely nothing about it until after the fact, when she announced it as her Facebook status update. A lot of other people knew in advance – and of course the ex-friend flew out to stay with her for a week during this transition phase, which stings even more – but I hadn’t heard a peep from her about it. I didn’t even know this change was on her radar.

My heart is broken. I keep reading this post by Dawn, and the realization that I used to have the kind of friendship she’s talking about there, but I don’t anymore? That’s a pretty freaking empty feeling right there.

And it’s not to say that I don’t have any friends, because of course I do. I have Dave, I have a fabulous family that’s the best support system anyone could ask for, I have a few semi-close friends in real life, and I have an amazing group of Internet ladies (y’all know who you are) who are brilliant and hilarious and who actually seem to “get” me. But there’s something about that connection with that person who’s known me since I was an awkward 20 year-old junior in college, and who has this intense and complicated history with me. And it’s gone. And it’s making me cry. A lot.

I know I don’t usually get all deep on you here, and I’m sorry for this post being sort of a downer. I promise to get back to telling funny stories about my kid, or talking about flu shots or recipes or whatever-the-hell very soon. I just needed to get this out of my system.