I know a lot of people. Over the many years of my life, I have met probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Even now, I can probably say I know close to a hundred people that I see regularly: acquaintances, co-workers (current and former), customers, people who work at the stores where I shop. But out of all of these individuals, I can count on one hand the number who I consider my friends.
When I was a kid, my mom told me that those kids I thought were my friends then, weren’t, and that true friends are very rare and hard to find. Through the years, I have learned that this is one thing she taught me that turned out to be true. So true, in fact, that even know, while I do still have some occasional communication with a very few of the kids I knew then, I don’t count them among my closest friends. In fact, in all my years, I can only count three people among my nearest and dearest. My husband is one of them.
All of my true friends I have known for over 20 years, one of them for over 30! One of the facets of true friendship which I have discovered with each of my friends isn’t that you never fight, or have disagreements. I’ve had disagreements with all three of my “besties”. Sometimes serious enough to where we haven’t talked in months, or sometimes over a year. But with real friends, you recognize that life happens, disagreements occur, you get through it and move on.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend with my longest friend. She and I have that kind of “storybook” friendship. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools, we were babysat by the same girl and later, we babysat the same kids. Her parents were chewed out by my parents, we shared similar interests (music), had the same haircuts at the same time (still do!), etc. I think maybe the only real difference is that I had my kid young, and she waited until she was older. We’ve been through tough times together, and we’ve been through good times together.
Meeting up with her that weekend was, for both of us, like a trip back in time, only this time it was the adult version. It was late night conversations, exploring places we wanted to go (like the restaurant where we took the picture for today’s post), and just hanging out. It was us again, without the stress and tension of our daily lives. It was the perfect kind of weekend for the two of us. It was the kind of weekend that showed us just how valuable our friendship is. How valuable all of our friendships are.
We live in a world where our societies tell us how to be, who we have to be or who we should be. True friends, like all of my besties, are valuable, not just because of what we do with them. They are valuable because these are the people we can let our guard down and be real with. We know with our true friends we can be honest and real, and no matter what happens, they are still going to be with us. Always.
To our true friends everywhere. We don’t say it often enough. We love you. All of you.