I am very fortunate. I have some amazing friends. I wasn't always this fortunate. I used to be such a loner that I didn't make friends easily. A few weeks ago, one of my friends told me, "people come into our lives for a reason, and either a season or a lifetime. I hope you are a lifetime friend." I was so touched. For someone who is rather elusive, that made me feel good. He has a loner spirit in him, so it meant a lot to me. But maybe we connect because I understand where that comes from. It's easier to be alone than to get hurt.
Tonight, I chatted with a friend on facebook. She lived with me for a time, and it nearly ruined our friendship. We were instant friends when we met. But by the time she moved out, there was a lot of awkwardness and frustration between us. We have chatted a few times since, but never anything in depth. Tonight, we chatted and it's like that frustration didn't happen. We picked up the friendship where it should have left off. We have both had a rough month, and we were able to swap stories, share advice, and we remembered what the whole friendship was for to begin with.
I have had another friend since I was 5. She and I rarely see each other. She lives in Texas and so our friendship continues through very random emails. Yet, I consider her a very dear friend. I can tell her anything. We can talk about any subject. And it's as if, each time, we had been talking daily all along. Even though she is married with kids and very involved in her church (can we say opposite me?) we still connect on a very personal level. We have a history.
I also have some male friends who have been with me for about 2 years who could not be more opposite me. Yet, we text daily, we cry with each other, and we allow each other to vent. We play devil's advocate, and yet we don't get too angry. We know each other so well, that we understand the others' intentions. Even in our disgust with each other, we drop it by the next day and move forward as if it didn't happen. My parents have met and love these friends, because they understand that it's more of a sibling relationship than an acquaintance.
And there are the new friends. The coworkers, the people I've finally allowed into my world. They are just as priceless, and they help me get through hard times on the job that others may not understand. But it's more than just a job friend--it's a true friend. I'm skeptical of work friendships, so letting a coworker in is a big step for me. I'm glad I've learned to let a few in.
I have friends in all age ranges. 20's to 50's. All income levels, colors, and sexes. Having such eclectic friends enriches my life.
My dad pointed out the other night that he is so amazed at my friendships. He told me that relying on my friends has been so amazing, because they are always there for me. And he noted how good it is as a father to know that your daughter has people she can rely on, even when others in her life let her down.
The other day, I called my sister. She asked, "What's up?" I started tearing up, and said, "I need my big sister." I hadn't said that in many years. And she was there for me. I learned years ago that my friendship with my sister was a model for any other relationship. We had to make our connection work, for the sake of the greater good. And so, no matter how badly we fought, we knew we loved each other and would eventually make up and be close again. That is how I have to view my friends. If I truly love them, I will let go of the hurts and make it work. I am so glad I've been able to see that. Because I do love my friends, and we have helped each other through break-ups, family feuds, drunken stupors, and life changes.
Thank you to my friends. Young and old. No matter how long we've known each other or how far apart we live. You all make my life more interesting, more fulfilling, and more amazing than it could ever be alone.