Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Easy Friendships

Sometimes, friendships develop and flourish with such ease and seamlessness that it's downright frightening. Over the last month, I have come to understand, sometimes, people are just destined to be friends. Their lives, by some unseen force, are interlaced and they soon discover they are unable to imagine their lives without their friendly counterpart.

I have a lot of friends. I do not say this to boast or to put anyone under the impression that I might win a popularity contest anytime soon. I say this because it is fact.

I have a lot of friends. This single, declarative thought led my overactive mind to another stunning moment of clarity:

Sometimes, friendships are just easy. I have friends that I won't see for months and when we do finally make time in our busy lives to see one another, it feels as if only a single second has passed since our last get together. These gatherings are all too brief, followed by hugs that are too tight and everyone saying in unison, "We need to do this more often."

We don't say these things simply to fill the air with empty promises. We say them because we mean them. We miss eachother, but we have come to the understanding that while our lives change and evolve...Our friendships with one another stay the same. They are rooted in a history of sleepovers and giggling late into the night, first kisses and the passing of notes folded into the tiniest of squares. These friendships are what we will base every new friendship on for the rest of our lives. They are important...and easy.

I, like every other person in the world, has the "occasion" or "activity" or "hobby" friend. This friendship is developed because the two of you share one thing in common, and it is almost always something that no one else in the world likes. I am part of a bizarre friendship that is rooted in our mutual love for cake. We talk once or twice a week. Our conversations normally begin with, "So, I was eating this amazing cake...", but they quickly move onto more important topics. We give each other advice, make each other laugh, or make eachother cake. Regardless of how shallow the basis for our friendships seems...we care about one another. This, is also an easy friendship.

I have internet friends that make me smile on my darkest of days. Some of them I have never met, but I cannot begin to imagine my day to day life without them. Most of them are remarkable human beings who have a wonderful grasp on the English language, and how to use proper punctuation.
Some of the most important people in my life are people I've met through a mutual friend. Friends of friends, who now know more about my bowel movements than my doctor does. (You're welcome.)
All of these friendships....Easy, Peasey, Japanesey.

Easy because they are effortless in their nature, not because they are under valued by either person.

Over the last year, I have become friends with a woman, and to be honest....I cannot even begin to tell you why this classy lady wants to be friends with me.

I talk about poop, alot. I have no filter between my brain and my mouth, and I use the "f" word at least fifty times a day.

She is a wonderful person. I value her friendship, her calm nature and her caring spirit more than I could ever tell her, but I still occasionally scratch my head and think, "Why would she want to be friends with me?" This friendship; Effortless. Smooth as silk. (Even though I don't understand her want to be my friend...I value it. Truly)

Like many of you, I have a best friend. He knows who he is.

 See how easy that is? Without even mentioning his name, he will read this and think to himself, "Awwww...she wrote about me in her blog. I need to send her some chocolate in the mail, and go down to Ardmore and visit for a weekend or maybe a week or a month."  This friendship? The easiest of all. We love eachother. We know it. There isn't another soul alive who would listen to all of the things I've put this man through over the telephone...He's sort of stuck with me.

So, while I've realized that many of my friendships are easy ones. Some aren't. Some friendships are hard. They require gentle handling, and careful attention. They require phone calls and visits. These friendships are ones that have been cracked and repaired on more than one occasion, and sometimes they do not survive the tension.

Like a wire hanger that has been bent back and forth too many times;the last time you try to put it back in it's original shape, it breaks.

These friendships...these are hard. They aren't effortless or easy, but they are still important.

A person can get used to these effortless friendships that require little maintenance and upkeep. In turn, they often neglect the ones that require more work.

I am guilty of this. I get accustomed to the gentle pace and forget about the flip side to the friendship coin.

Pam Brown once wrote, "A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely."

I guess the big discovery of the month, for me, is while some friendships are hard...they don't have to be.

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