That’s What Friends Are For

I’ve been in the position in the last week or so to be thinking a lot about friendship. A lot about friends. Particularly, the friends that I have in my life right now.

As with many things in my current life, when it comes to my friends, I am feeling very blessed lately. Yesterday I had an amazing chat with my very best friend. She lives a few provinces away but we manage to touch base on an almost daily basis. We’ve known each other since we were 18. We’ve been through some pretty crazy shit together, have supported one another through some our darkest times. We’ve had times during our lives when we lost touch for a little while, drifting in and out as life gets busy and we make other things a priority, but we always find our way back. We’ve been particularly close the last couple of years, and lately I’m reminded of how much she means to me. How much I value her opinion and her support. We may not always agree 100% on everything, but in the end, our friendship is the thing that matters most. She’s the kind of friend that everyone should have — a “through thick and thin” friend.

Last night I hung out with my two single momma friends. We’ve only gotten to know each other in the last year and a half or so, so they are relatively new friends, but they are good friends nevertheless. Their friendship came along at a time in my life when it was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. They “get” me. They understand my struggles and even when they don’t, they sure as hell make a pretty good effort. Together we share our common woes, air our dirty laundry, and laugh like crazy. One of the things I love about these friends are they do a fair amount of navel-gazing themselves, so they’re pretty in touch with themselves, their motivations, and their emotions. They’re straight shooters who aren’t afraid to call “bullshit” if they get a whiff of it. They’re the kind of friends that I know I can pretty much tell anything and they’re barely going to bat an eye, and vice versa.

I have other friends in my life that I don’t keep in touch with often. Not for any real reason other than the fact that life just gets in the way, we allow ourselves to become busy with other things. But you can bet that when we do get together, we’re able to just pick up where we left off. Those are some of the best friends to have. Low-maintenance friends, who are friends despite the fact that we may only keep in touch sporadically.

I’ve learned a lot about friendship in the last five years or so. I’ve learned that friends listen without judgment. Friends love you for who and what you are. Friends “get” you. Being a friend  means sometimes keeping your mouth shut even when you really don’t want to. Friends understand their place in your life. Friends want you to be happy, even if your happiness means making decisions that they don’t necessarily agree with.

I love my friends. And I know that they love me. I feel blessed to have the friends that I do in my life; it’s just that much richer for having them in it.

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