Garage visits and holding on.

With a warm tumbler brimming with coffee in my hand each time, I’ve looked forward to every meetup with my two closest friends. I am never not available when I get the text, “Meetup at (insert location) at 11?” from either of my twin friends.

I’ve always shied away from making friends too quickly. There’s a part of me that wants to keep myself hidden and a part that wants to be deeply known. The former often makes me feel most protected. Perhaps its because I have a subconscious fear of not being all that I want to appear I am (ugh, imposter syndrome). Or, I could just pin it on my introversion. Either way, I’ve noticed certain elements that make my friendship with my twin sisters so special.

Our friendship unfolded in a rhythmic way over several experiences. Since the pandemic began, we’d meet in local parks, overhearing teenage chatter, going on about motherhood and speculating about when our children will feel a sense of normal again. They listened, and I listened. We’ve laughed and sighed, and cried together through our monthly meetups, keeping ourselves hopeful in the ultimate plans we don’t understand.

Through the months, we’d hike through conservation parks, forcing ourselves to forget housework for a few hours, taking in the view from the highest cliffs around us. We’d grab burritos and eat on a patch of grass like we were in high school.

On warmer days, we made it out to Toronto for a beachside picnic with our families. We gathered around, a few feet apart, sharing snacks and stories trying to fill the voids we knew were awaiting as soon as the experience was over.

Autumn invited us to to the trails where we’d walk between lunch, contemplating work-life balance, taking care of elderly parents, and hopes for our children.

Even in frigid weather, we met up on local benches to chat about our favourite books, what we’re missing, watching, baking, and struggling with. With these two special friends, I felt myself willing to share the harder parts of myself and my life. With a full heart, I noticed they were still there.

We’d meet in our garages with mini-space heaters in -12 degrees. The conversations blanketed us with the warmth and connection we so deeply craved. With bubbling excitement for having company, I’d set up a warm tea kettle and my favourite chocolate-covered pretzals, chatting and munching together, wishing for time to stop.

These few hours of friendship every month have sustained so much of my (limited) social life during this pandemic and I can say unequivocally, I would not have developed such deep friendships after so long, had it not been for these past 14 months.

Alhumdulillah, for honest friendship.

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