It’s been said a thousand times in a thousand different ways, but truly there are few things in life as rewarding and comfortable as friendships that have withstood the test of time. I am so blessed to have two such friends, amazing women who I have had the privilege to know for close to 30 years. And even though we all live in different parts of the country, we make a conscious choice to stay close, to maintain our friendship through yearly visits, lots of emails and cell phone texts with pictures. Some days, I know exactly what my friend in Alabama had for lunch as she’ll shoot me a yummy text picture just to say hello.
While it’s true siblings might know us for the entire arc of a lifetime – and I am fortunate to have 3 wonderful sisters – there is something to be said for the friends we choose to bring into our worlds, or the ones who choose us. I once read an adage that said, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” and this stuck with me. We all have had friends who come and go but those we choose to keep, to invest our energy in because we love them and cherish the relationship, are really a special thing – especially in our world of constant shift and change. It does take effort to keep friendships close but that effort is a joy, not a burden.
We have seen alot together, my two favorite girlfriends and I. We met waiting tables at a rowdy restaurant bar, helped each other graduate college, commiserated over boyfriend break ups or other small tragedies of youth. We have witness one another’s marriage, and helped each other through illness, divorce and the losses of loved ones. It is one of life’s best gifts, I think, to meet other souls who are in line with yours, to know people who you feel are like family. For us, even if we’ve not seen each other in a year, it feels as if no time has passed. We can sit down, pour a glass of wine and talk about anything…and everything.
Sometimes it’s pure nostalgia as we recount events from our shared past. Many conversations are about the silly or foolish things we experienced – like driving to Florida for a long weekend only to be met by a hurricane that kept us indoors, or getting off work with a pocket full of tips only to head to a neighboring bar, hit the dance floor til it closed, tip other wait staff outrageously, and finally head home with mere change in our pockets. Life in my early 20s was chaotic and unpredictable, but it was also a whole lot of fun. That fun and those memories are due in part to my dear friends who helped me celebrate life. But we also talk philosophically, sharing our ideas on politics, religion and other “big life” issues.
We three made a pact several years ago to do our best to plan a girls’ weekend at least once per year. So far we have been doing it 6 years and each adventure brings us closer. We’ve met on the west coast, in Colorado, in Memphis and in the deep south. There’s never a dull moment and I find my conversations with my old friends to be rich and illuminating. There’s something to be said for knowing a person a long time; there’s no need for pretense or false manners. There is always lots of laughter and thoughtful conversations on life and love and the things that fulfill us.
Ours is a friendship of a lifetime, I think. In retrospect, these women came in to my life for a reason and a lifetime as we have allowed ourselves to grow as individuals and to honor the friendship we have and the years we’ve shared. I am lucky to add to more “sisters” to my family and know I can look forward to growing old(er) with my dear friends by my side.