I’m grateful for the gift of friendship. There are three particular friendships that I came in contact with this week and I’m so grateful for the blessings they have been in my life, particularly in the past week.
I have three friends (one girl, two guys, one of whom is married to the girl) who I see at least weekly, and I have known all of them for over ten years, but as a group we’ve been close friends for a slightly shorter period. I feel very blessed to have maintained contact with them, and we now live within ten minutes’ drive from each other, which makes our regular get togethers that much easier. Despite the time we’ve known each other, I feel like our friendship has room to grow and we seem to be getting closer over time, probably because we’re still learning new things about one another. The last time I saw them a couple of evenings ago, I asked what they thought our lives would be like in another ten years, and whether we’d still see each other at least weekly, and it was nice to see that we were all hopeful that that would be the case. Oh, and the best part about this group of friends is that I can be myself 100% in front of them. I can be loud and overbearing or weepy and messy. It’s really nice to have people that you know you don’t have to be anything more than who you are when they are around. These folks accept me with all my flaws.
I ran into another friend that I’ve known for over 10 years who also lives less than 10 minutes away from me at the grocery store last weekend. She’s a friend that I don’t see or talk to as often as we would like, yet whenever we meet up, the closeness is the same. This friendship is probably one of my most emotional friendships: it’s not unusual for me to be teary eyed at least once during our one-on-one time; I just can’t explain it.
One of my newer friends (less than five years) really helped me out with a situation I was going through this week. The situation is rather embarrassing as situations involving men often can be, and this friend was the proverbial slap in the face that I needed. (Note to self: an edition of The Men I Never Dated is in order). I hate it when I do something that I would advise my friends not to do in a similar situation, don’t you? So I was jumping the gun on a particular matter and she was able to put things into perspective so clearly that my former feelings of despair, hurt and self-loathing have been replaced with a renewed commitment to staying true to what I’m seeking in my life, and not allowing myself to be distracted by something with no lasting power. I was a bit embarrassed by my conduct but I’m human; stupid things will occasionally happen. It’s nice to have someone around who can both show you the error of your ways yet also make you feel like all is not lost.
As some friendships grow, other friendships in my life are fading. Growing older sometimes means growing apart, especially when your lives become so different from each other. When efforts to maintain a friendship seem to go nowhere, sometimes you have to make the decision to pull the plug, or downgrade the friendship. On the bright side, it leaves you more time for the quality friends in your life that you want to cultivate.