I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships lately. Maybe it’s because an old friend of mine has been haunting my dreams even though we haven’t spoken in almost 7 years. Maybe it’s because I just went on a road trip with two women I met online to see another woman we met online – because we created an amazing friendship through the internet somehow and love hanging out with each other. Maybe it’s because I have friends that are becoming more present again or because my bestie calls me multiple times a week to chat. Whatever the reason might be, it’s been burning my brain.
I truly believe there are three types of friendships that happen in life. Friendships that happen for a reason, friendships that happen for a season and friendships that last a lifetime. Now sometimes these friendships can be an AMAZING mix of these three as well. And sometimes, you won’t realize exactly what type of friendship it was or is until many years down the road. I have had a lot of friendships that were for a reason, lasted for a season and somehow re-sparked and will hopefully last a lifetime.
I’ve noticed that among women, it can be difficult to form and keep friendships. I’ve seen negativity between people that are supposed to be great friends. I’ve also seen women come together as a village to help someone in their darkest times – after a miscarriage, while leaving an abusive relationship, after losing a child, when things were so bad financially they didn’t know where there next meal was coming from. People are fickle creatures… and with the way we are continuously evolving it’s hard to maintain friendships in the same way forever. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could be like children again? “Do you want to be my friend?” “Sure!” And off they go into the sunset.
I had a childhood best friend. We spent 12 years together, inseparable for most of it, with inside jokes that I still replay to this day. There was even a short point where we weren’t in each other’s lives and then we were brought back together and were amazing again. At the time, I truly, with every ounce of my being, believed that friendship was going to last a lifetime. It turns out that it was a friendship that was for a reason. She was there for me through a lot of dark times. A lot of things that other people in my life will never know affected me or how it did. I know I caused a lot of drama with some of the issues I went through and she stuck by me through it for a long time. I will eternally be grateful that for 12 years, we were best friends and she and her family made my life a little more tolerable. I’m not sure why she’s been playing a leading role in my dreams lately, but maybe my subconscious knows I’m struggling a bit and remembers how she was always there before.
I have friends that I met online that were there for a season. They helped me through a stage of motherhood that I couldn’t have survived without them. How blessed am I that they were there through all of that? I count myself very lucky. And even if we don’t talk anymore, they are there still, as friends on Facebook, and I would do anything in my power to help them if they ever needed it.
I also will openly admit that I am TERRIBLE at the friendship thing. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that I am a genuinely good person with a big heart. I would give you the shirt off of my back if it meant that you wouldn’t suffer. But when it comes to the maintaining friendships thing – I SUCK. I am super self involved in my every day life. I have my kids and other people’s kids and I am constantly on the go. That doesn’t mean that I won’t take the time to talk to you. Or make sure to call back and see if everything is OK. I just am not good at initiating.
Now, there have been plenty of people that have fallen into the two categories of reason and season obviously. My life is still thriving so how am I to truly know who my lifetime friends will be? I’ve had stages in my life where some of my best friends weren’t there – my bestie now, who I truly believe will be a lifetime friend, and I had a falling out for a few months when I was having a hard time being good to myself, let alone anyone else. We all go through seasons in life where things aren’t the same. Where we change, the people around us change, something happens to drive us apart, but if we’re lucky something in life drives us back together. I’ve definitely had that happen with multiple people in my life.
I have my first friends – siblings and cousins.
I have my acquired friends – my MIL (I know you’re jealous) and others that are somehow related.
I have my friends that have fallen into the reason and season categories – the women I have known the longest and that have been there for me the most.
I have my internet friends who have become my real life friends – these women have also been there for me through a TON. There are MANY that are missing from my photos here but they are loved no less.
Now some of these people are just stuck with me for life because of family ties. Others I want to be stuck with and they want to be stuck with me. Even though I struggle with being a good friend all of the time, I love those that consider me their friend and being the person I am, they will always be a friend of mine. I don’t know how any of my friendships will work out – besides those that are with family members – but I’m hoping that the older I get, the more lifetime friendships I develop. Less of the season friendships.