Ten Things {On Friendship}

For the last few years I’ve thought a lot about friendship.  To be honest, they’ve been kind of rough times, friend-wise.  I tend to be a little compulsive too, so it’s not surprising that my mind’s been stuck on this subject for a while.  So here are some of my conclusions.

  • Childhood friends – I never made friends easily as a kid.  I was shy, introverted, quiet.  I preferred the company of books over people most of the time.  Still, I always had at least one close friend at any given time that I could do normal kid stuff with.  You know, play, confide in, make stupid decisions with, etc.  None of my childhood friends stuck, though.  I’ve always been a little jealous of people who have friends they’ve known their whole life, but it’s not something I can really relate to.  And I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Kids grow up and become totally different people, so I think it’s probably more natural to grow apart than to stick together.  Still, if you have a friend you’ve grown up with, I think you’re lucky.  Cherish those friendships.  Not everybody has them.
  • Friends for seasons – Sometimes I think God directs people into our life for specific seasons.  They’re important and maybe they help you through something or you have similar circumstances for a while – and then they move on.  This is a hard one for me, sometimes.  I’ve had to accept that just because I’m close to someone for a while, doesn’t mean we’ll be close forever, and to be grateful for the time we did have.
  • Sometimes friends are inherited.  My mom has this amazing, funny, awesome friend that I’ve known all of my life.  As I’ve grown older she’s kind of become my friend by default.  I love her so much, partly because she’s stuck by my mom (who deserves all the friends in the whole world) for all these years, and party just because I don’t know how anyone would NOT love her.  I know I could go to her for advice and receive wisdom and guidance and I love her for that, too.

    I stole this photo from her Facebook.  I hope she doesn't sue me.

    I stole this photo from her Facebook. I hope she doesn’t sue me. ;)

  • Friends who aren’t really friends at all – I’ve had my fair share of “friends” who just want something from me or are just fair-weather friends that leave when life isn’t perfect.  Maybe they really were friends at one point but something happened along the line that ruin the friendship.  Sometimes you just have to cut those people loose instead of hanging on. I’ve had a few who try to creep back into my life just to hurt me all over again.  And seriously, the only thing I can think of to do about those people is to just not let them in.  There are plenty of good people out there; there’s no point in wasting your time and energy on those who will just drag you down and try to stuff their bitterness inside you.  It’s not a happy road to travel down.
  • Mentor friends – some friends teach you stuff.  Maybe they’re older, maybe they’re not.  I’ve had a few.  Some have only been in my life for a season and some are still around.  Here is a photo of my favorite mentor friend.  I stole it from her Facebook page, too, because I’m too lazy to go dig out all my 50-lb photo albums right now.  I hope she forgives me for being a thief.   10173522_770431002989754_2993359036575429769_n
  • Friends of necessity – Okay, these are probably mostly extended family members.  So. I had this sister-in-law that I’d never gotten along with before she married my brother.  But after they got married I realized there was no point in continuing to have a bad relationship with her so I started hanging out with her.  And then I moved in with her.  Seriously, I probably wouldn’t recommend that, but it worked out for us at the time. ;)  And guess what – she became one of my closest friends.  So maybe that friend of necessity will surprise you after all.  :)
  • Sadly, some friends will just break your heart for no good reason.  I’ve had a few of these, too, and they’ve been the hardest to let go.  I’ve (finallllllllly) had to decide that if I know I didn’t do anything to cause a rift and they’ve still decided to cut me out of their life, well, the only thing to do is let them go.  There’s not much else to do, ya know?  It’ll still hurt, but not forever.  I try really hard to remember the good times with them and leave it at that.
  • Online friends – the cool thing about friends that you only know online is that usually you’re brought together by a common interest.  I have a few friends I’ve met through blogging that I just love.  I’ll probably never meet them in real life, but it’s nice to have someone to talk to about the things that interest me and have them GET IT.  :)
  • Family friends – the very best kind of friend, if you ask me.  I adore my siblings.  I love my parents and my in-laws and my sibling-in-laws.  My brothers and sisters were my first and truest friends.  I value them above all other friendships.
  • Faithful friends – And then, every once in a great while you’ll actually find someone who just sticks.  They don’t run when things get rough, they stay for different seasons, they stick around when you both grow and change.  I may not have hordes of people who fall into that faithful friend category, but the ones that do – well, I treasure them.  It makes them just that much more special.

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