This week's Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen @ Second Blooming is on friends. Such an open topic - I could pick a friend and right about that person, but honestly, I don't know how I'd pick someone and then I'd feeling guilty about not picking someone over the other, and God knows I don't need more guilt...just thinking about this right now stresses me out...so yeah, I needed to find another angle with this. Think, think, think....
So it got me thinking about the concept of friendship...what it means to me now, what it meant to me back in the day, and what I want out of a friendship. It's funny how much the concept of a "friend" changes. When I was a kid, a friend meant someone to play with outside, to have slumber parties, someone to hang out with at recess. I don't really remember the quality of these friendships. We didn't "talk" or have some sort of deep connection. You played with them. It was who was fun and who let you share their toys and didn't call you names. That was a friend.
In middle school and into high school, a friend almost became a status symbol. You were cool if you were friends with the popular girls. You had to have a lot of friends; it was important to be liked. This isn't to say friendships didn't have quality and you didn't have those special friends who were extremely close. But you also had those groups of friends, cliques where you just were one of many. It wasn't until I approached my later years in high school where those true friendships developed and were fostered. Sure, I had those friends who were still just friends on the surface, but then I had those few, select friends I spent all my time with, those friends I passed notes to in between classes, the ones who I called every night to talk about this boy or what happened at school, the ones who I had inside jokes with that to this day make me giggle when I hear a certain word and am brought back.
Into college, the concept of friends changed even more - you had your friends you knew on a purely social basis, those you saw at parties or at the bar, and then you had your core group of friends. Or at least I did. These were the people who saw me through some truly tough times but also are people with whom I share my fondest memories. These are the friends who hold back your hair after a particularly rough night of partying and don't hold anything you say in your drunken stupor against you, the friends who will pick you up after a rough break-up and stay up all night with you, not saying a word but just be there. And you're right there for them without a question, no matter what the time, no matter what the situation.
As an adult, my concept of friendship has changed even more. It's not how many friends you have but how good of a friend you have. Quality over quantity. Who they are may change as your life changes - breakups, job changes, moves, marriages, children. Some of the stay and some are only in your life for a brief period of time but for a purpose. You grow with these people, they become not just friends of yours but friends of your family.
Out of all of these friendships, what I have found are the best kind, the truly special ones, are the ones that started back in elementary school or high school or even college and have grown, changed and developed through the years. These friendships are the people I don't see on a daily basis or even yearly basis, but they are the people when I do see or speak with, it's like we never stopped. I am so blessed to have so many of these. I have no doubt that these special people will always be a part of who I am and a part of my life, and I can only hope I will stay a part of theirs.
Now I'm not talking about one big friendship that has developed as I have gotten older - to me, it's an obvious one, but as an adult, I find that my best friend, the one person I turn to is my husband It's that constant friendship that's always there, it's not just a part of my life, it is my life. It's who I am and who I want to be. This friendship is one of unconditional love and a connection I never could have imagined.
Out of all of this, the most important friendship? Is the one with myself. It's really funny if you think about it - as a kid and teenager, all I cared about were my friends, the other people with whom I associated, but as I got older, I also became my own friend. That may sound cheesy, but it's true. That relationship you have with yourself is one that makes those other friendships grow. If you can't be a friend to yourself, then can you truly be a friend to someone else?
So that, my blog friends, is friendship to me - and not only do I value all of the dear friendships I have in my real life, but I also treasure the ones I have developed here. And with that, I will end my ramblings on friendships. Stop by Gretchen's blog and see what others have to say on the subject!
Thanks for stopping by, friends!