Thursday, January 10, 2013

Buddy Book

It has been quite a while since I mentioned my journal obsession and, more importantly, the Buddy Book (or Buddy Books, as it were).  However, I am true to my word so here is a glimpse into the Buddy Book.  This is not something I typically share but I figured I can give you a little peek.

To understand the Buddy Book, you need to understand the buddies who own it.  My dear friend, Gina, and I have been friends for about 20 years now.  We met in the sixth grade but she didn't care much for me at that point.  Something about a boy...if you can believe that about sixth graders.  I would say it was the end of seventh grade to the beginning of eighth grade when we truly became friends and stayed the best of friends through high school and on.  We have lived 500 miles apart since we were 19 or 20 years old but have managed to stay extremely close.  She has stuck by me through thick and thin -- graduations, boyfriends, illness, eating disorders, depression, marriage, miscarriages, child rearing, starting an Etsy shop together, dreaming creative dreams together, etc.  She is a true friend and I can't imagine my life without her.

Over the years, we have kept in touch via telephone, snail mail, email, social media, text, etc.  In 2004, Gina had an AMAZING idea!  She sent me a sketchbook for Christmas that she had started for us to keep track of silly, mundane, normal, abnormal, big, little, important, trivial, and all other things that happen to us in our day to day lives.  Things that we might forget to share on our next phone call or email.  Ridiculous things that we thought were funny.  Doodles when we are in a boring meeting or class.  A little piece of our brains and hearts etched creatively into a journal.  Each of us would keep the book for several months and use it as much as we could, then mail it to the other.  It was genius!  The Buddy Book was born.

I always love opening the mailbox and finding the book -- sometimes I know it's coming and sometimes it's a surprise.  Sometimes life gets in the way and the Buddy Book collects dust but it's always there waiting for us to come back to it.  I really like responding to things she wrote like we're having a long drawn out conversation.

At one point we had two Buddy Books in circulation so we would each have one at the same time.  Then we would try to swap at the same time to see what the other had added.  We've journaled deep thoughts and feelings.  We've also added things like this photo below...

Over the last couple of years, the Buddy Book has taken a bit of backseat to life.  However, I know it's not gone forever.  It's still there, waiting for both of us to pick it back up and start again.  Just like our friendship - sometimes we go through periods where we only talk a couple of times in a month, while other times we talk each week (sometimes a couple of times a week) - it takes effort to maintain a close friendship but we ebb and flow just like life does.

Gina is an artist to her soul and she encourages and inspires me to continue on my own creative path.  When we are able to get together in person, I always walk away with a ton of ideas and excitement to try something new.  She is an adventurer and lover of life.  She is witty and kind and thoughtful.  She is my buddy.

I don't know where I would be in life without her.  I know we will be buddies until we are old and gray, laughing about ridiculous inside jokes, eating ice cream, and swapping Buddy Books when the mood strikes.  I am so happy she chose me as her friend.

So, there you have some snippets of the Buddy Book.  What kind of things do you do to keep in touch with friends???

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