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Friendships – Do they choose us or do we choose them or…

Friendship is something we all learn about early in our lives. Our first friends are typically our parents, friends children, cousins or if you are so blessed, a sibling. These early relationship form so easily out of the commonality of having parents that like to spend time together and hence your friends are formed. These early friendships might be some of the truest because the work is done through finding our shared likes and dislikes and having tolerance for both. Rarely later in life do you find yourself in the same situation as these early friendships where they are “forced”.

I have many friends and when I look at the landscape of my friends I have learned to accept that they all have/had their place in my life.

Early Friends – I have a handful of friendships, still, that formed in my childhood. These friendships are the truest that I know as we can spend years apart and the minute we come back together it as if we had never been apart. I value these friendships the most as these are the people that truly know me and still love me. They have been the audience of my life, through all of the good and bad, and are still here.

Work Friends – I think that these friendships are much like “early friends” in that we typically don’t choose our coworkers. We seemingly choose who we draw close to during those 40 hours we spend at work together but inevitably we share many varying relationships that ebb and flow with the environment. I have had the blessing of finding some of my best friends in the workplace.

Acquaintances – I have come to appreciate these friendships the most as these are truly those that only serve you when they serve you. Selfish, yes, but admittedly satisfying. These are those that you know but don’t see often. They are friends of friends, they are social media followers and sometimes previous friends that time has drawn away. These are the friendships that frequently surprise me the most as they show up when you least expect it but most need it. These are also the friendships that seem the most forgiving as they are not close enough to judge your good and bad.

Best Friends – These are the ones that create the greatest emotion. They bring about the greatest love and cause the worst hurt. These are friendships that draw us in through connection and just short of intimacy we allow “in” without caution. Much like our intimate relationships we open up our hearts and souls to these friends giving them unfettered access to every part of our true selves and lives.

The reality of this friendship profile is that one friend can be all of these in a lifetime.

I was not blessed to have a sibling and as an only child I found friends that took the place of the sisters and brothers that were missing in my life.

  • My earliest Best Friends were Tommy, Anna and Jennifer. They were my neighbors in my first home in Miami. Those days are still remembered with candor. We would play kickball in the street, using the potholes as our bases. We took ice skating lessons together. We would also know the bitterness of each being the odd-man out in a friendship of three! 🙂 I lost touch with them when we moved to Edgewater but have never forgotten them nor those memories.
  • My longest friends are Kelly and Ginni who I met in school and have always remained close. We shared the gift of friendship, raising our children together and now becoming grandma’s!
  • My closest “friends” are my cousins Shirley and Tanya. This is where I know I was blessed as I have never been a cousin and always the third sister. They know me and love me beyond measure. This is what a blessed friendship is truly made of and earned.

I felt compelled to write this blog because I am seemingly on the “way out” of a friendship that has meant the world to me but is now breaking my heart. I have learned in my 48-years that this is how most friendships mature; they are exhilarating in the beginning, serve a supreme purpose when they are at their pique and then as our lives take us into different directions we are left wondering what went wrong. I have also had the benefit of experience to know that these friendships that drive miles between us are never really “gone” as the best ones will show-up right when you need them.

If you are reading this today and have been or are a friend of mine, I say THANK YOU for loving me. Thank you for teaching me, thank you for being a part of my story. I know that as I grow wiser in my life it is because of the many friendships that have enriched my heart and soul. For every friendship regardless of time or situation has a place in the story that is our lives. For those that have played a leading or supporting role I am blessed and for those that continue to be a part of my story; stick around, it is sure to be a FUN ride.

Life as I see it – L.

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