Recently a series of events have made me question much about the notion of friendship. At age 40, I thought I understood friendship and all that it entailed, but at age 40 is when you really begin to realize how little you know about so many things and realize that even though many of us are probably already half way through our life span, we still have so much to learn.
I’d often assumed that people whom I’d chosen to be my friends would be people essentially like me. I’ve begun to realize that this is not essentially true. At some point, you might have shared many of the same values, likes and dislikes, but the path that each chose to take in life would alter those people and ultimately the path, ebb and flow of that friendship. Sometimes friendships even need to come to an end based on people being on divergent paths, but loyalty to the feeling of the past keep people tied to each other, when everything that would have severed that relationship is still in place.
I am blessed that I’ve formed some remarkable friendships in my life and each friendship is so very unique and fills very different parts of my life. I have those friends whom I can vent to without them needing to make a judgment call or comment on whether I’m wrong, right or otherwise. They realize that my blowing steam does not mean I’m taking action and that I’m eventually going to come up with the right choice; but that in order to get to that place, I need a safety valve. A few times I’ve made the mistake of venting to the wrong friend and I’ve been given a lecture rather than what I really needed.
And then I have those friends who seem to have a psychic connection with me and whenever I need a shoulder, they just seem to appear out of nowhere with a phone call or a visit and I can simply be me and lean on them for the support that I may need. Then I have my hang out buddies … my girls. Ladies whom are always there to be the women who support you in all your efforts and make a night out on the town with them fun and full of laughs.
But then there is the other side of friendship; the side that accepts the things about your friends that you don’t care for, that don’t do them any justice and make them unattractive – but you still keep that friendship; because despite the issues that they may have, you know them to their core and their core is essentially good. So you are cautious about things you say because you understand that they are fragile and that your level of harsh will never be viewed in the light in which it was offered. You understand that they are human, like you and full of potential even if when they are engaged in the very behavior which has tested the limits of your friendship.
Any of you have friends who live their lives as an oxymoron? They are never on time for any event but hate lack of punctuality in others? Claims to be organized, yet they never know where anything is? They like to tell others that they have life on a string; but you watch as their lives are constantly unraveling? My favorite are those who claim to hold friendship near and dear to their hearts, yet continue to quietly abuse the relationship without even realizing what they are doing.