Monday, July 05, 2010

The Nature of Friendship

Growing up I didn't have many friends. I'm not really sure why this was the case - likely a combination of my nerdiness, shyness (something I am not anymore) and maybe clinginess. I wasn't comfortable with who I was growing up and found that I often tried to be something that I wasn't.

During college, I decided to just be who I was and if people didn't like that, so be it. I'd like to say that this transformation happened quickly and that I was suddenly this self-confident, outgoing, popular girl. That's not exactly the case.

I did make friends, and some of those friends I still count as my nearest and dearest. Others were friends for the duration of college and then we drifted apart.

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendships. I am so fortunate to have a handful of great friends- people I can count on to cry with, laugh with, vent to and just be "me" with.

When we picked up and moved 3 years ago, I didn't want to leave my friends. Those friends that I didn't want to leave, I have realized, were probably only in my life for a season. They aren't really in my life as friends anymore. Aquaintances, yes, but friends, no.

I was moving to a place where I knew only 1 person -one of the college friends that have been close to my heart ever since, my Dee. It took me a full year and then some to really make any friends. I met people that I could pass the time with and did enjoy hanging out with, but no one that I knew I could call on if I needed a friend.

We have been in Crossfield for 3 years now and I am sometimes astonished at how this shy, nerdy, clingy girl has somehow morphed into the outgoing, self-confident woman that I am now. A woman that is so fortunate to have a number of people in my life that I know I can call on if I needed something, whether it be a good chat, a cry, a laugh or a cup of sugar.

I have come to really realize that it is rare to have a friend for life. Perhaps we have 1, or if we are uber lucky, a few, that we can call a lifetime friend. But I think that some friends come and go in our lives when the time is right. Some friends are only for a season. That doesn't make them any less valuable or meaningful to my life when they are in it. Lives change. People grow apart. Commonalities change as priorities change. It happens. That's life. Its neither good or bad, it is what it is. I'm going to try to appreciate each of my friends every day that I have them because over time, they might drift away.

Each of my friends fills a different space in my heart- I have those that I don't need to talk to all the time to just pick up where we left off like there was no time gone. I have those that I know I can call at anytime, day or night, to lend a hand. I have friends that I know will always cheer me up if I'm feeling down. Others are always willing to talk out an issue with me and help me see both sides of the story. I have a very special friend that I can share anything and everything with and I never have a fear of her judging or criticizing me. I have new friends that I am looking forward to getting to know more. I have sisters that are among my closest and best friends and even if we weren't bound by blood, I'd still chose them to be my friends.

I know I am lucky to have all these wonderful ladies in my life. I really am blessed. I hope that I have filled one or more of those spaces for one of my friends.

To my friends- I love you and cherish you. Thank you for being the type of person and friend that you are to me. May our season of friendship last many years and create many happy memories.


Karyn said...

You are so right, my dear. Friends come and friends go and a very few stick around for good. If you end up with one good friend, you are blessed. The fact that your sisters are among your closest friends is a huge blessing because family will always be part of your life - even if you aren't friends - even if you don't spend time together....they are always family, always a part of you, always in your heart. If you can also call them friends, you've got it made.

TJ said...

Great Blog Janice. I don't know what it is about your literary expression, but i always find myself holding back a tear when I read your stuff. I must look like an idiot at my kitchen table, sniffling, nodding away. LOL. Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I think sometimes we just need to hear that everyone else feels exactly the same way we do! Keep it up!

Pamela said...

WOW that is amazing!! So true and wrote so beautiful!!

Writer Mom said...

Aww, Jan, what a great post. I couldn't agree more with you about the nature of friendship, and it has taken me many years to be comfortable with the fact that some friendships aren't meant to last forever.

I really, really appreciate what you give to me, and I find our friendship very important to me.

The Tompkins Family said...

Good post! Since moving a couple of months ago, I'm finding that true about past friendships...sometimes we're friends with people not because we have so much in common or we fulfill things for each other but because it's easy, pure and simple. Once the easy factor is gone, nothing much is left! It's hard!

Love you!!!

CanadianMama said...

I am so lucky to call you a friend! And I agree, some friends won't last and others will become stronger for a reason. This was a beautiful post!!

Proud Mom of 3 Amazing Kids said...

Loved this blog!!!!

Jay said...

I think I mentioned this to you before, but I always envied you growing up. You always seemed to be so together, and to be swarmed by friends.
I guess that things always look different from the outside.
I can relate to your struggles, as you know, maybe I will do a post about friendship too! I wouldn't be anywhere without my best friends, and you are one of them.
And luckily for you, you can't ever lose me ;)