WTF? (where’s the friendship)?
Friends – can’t live with them, can’t live without them. There are so many different variations of friends. Long time friends, new friends, long distance friends, next door neighbour friends, arms length friends, friends of friends, family that are friends, friends that are like family, friends with benefits – lots of different kinds of friends. I would hazard to suggest we probably have just as many different experiences with friendships as there are different definitions of friendships. I certainly have. We all have right? We can all name a time where we have been lifted up by a friend, supported in a way or at a time where the palpable friendship was so moving – it was burned into our memory of what “real” friendship is like. Conversely we have all had the opposite experience haven’t we? A situation where we have been so let down by a friend the let down caused disillusionment for friendships as a whole? More than that, the definition of friend is changing too isn’t it? I have an old friend with whom I am not really close with anymore who has more than 3000 Facebook friends in his mission to have the most Facebook friends on the net. Heck, Tila Tequila became (in)famous because she had the most MySpace friends in the world. For my money, I like the few and fierce approach. A few very close and fiercely active friendships. The types where you may not see one another all of the time but when you do you walk away feeling so good – regardless of the conversation. Could be a surface thing, could be deep and challenging – but always good.
Yesterday was great day. On the heels of a friendship disappointment, I travelled back to my hometown for the day and got to see 4 good friends. They are all different friendships with differing levels of time and experiences but all are good friendships. The first has become a friend through a business relationship but when we get together we laugh and laugh. That’s not something which comes easily to me so to have a friend like this is so cool. It’s never super deep but it’s good that way. The next friend I saw is one of my medical practitioners (he was a friend first). He and his wife and my wife and I are all close individually and together. We have great conversations. Deep and shallow. We have such an understanding. We share common loves and dislikes, young children, spiritual understandings, just so much. We don’t see each other every week but when we do see one another it’s great. I was at my best man’s house next. He wasn’t there but his wife and kids were. I love this family so much. I’ve actually been friends with them longer than any other active and engaged friendship I have. They are an example to me of how to grow but not change. How to be who you are happily and yet grow more deeply into who you were made to be. Even the 20 minutes I was there was so awesome. Finally we stopped for supper at a relatively newer friend’s home. We always love being with them. They are generous, open, warm, inviting, understanding, caring, and genuine. We have told them pretty much everything there is to know about us and they don’t flinch. They do the same with us. The wives get together and are close and us husbands get together and talk too. He and I talk more on the Blackberry’s but it’s our communication and it works for us. What is so cool to me is when friendship truly works. My hope is my family can be even half the friends these families/friends have been to us.
We’ve all had friendships where we’ve been let down. I think it’s a fact of life. Friendships suck sometimes. Jody Watley sang, “friends will let you down/friends won’t be around/when you need them the most – where are your friends?” and she was right. However, coming home from my hometown yesterday I was reminded of the best part of friendships. Good friendships, real friendships are the flavor of life. A light in the darkness of our lives. Yesterday I was encouraged to be the friend I want to have by the friendships I have been blessed to be a part of.