I love my friends.
New and old, I never tire of developing the kinds of connections with people that can’t be replaced by even the best movie, or idle laptop time, or whatever. Lately I have been thinking about this more and more and I have been neglecting this blog because I have continually made the excuse that ” I have nothing to say” (which is false). In truth, I had a lot to say, and even the time to write it. But I haven’t been “feeling like it”. You know how you get when a friend calls you up to get together, and they pick a date and time, and the closer it gets to that date, the less you want to go? Not for any reason other than “I don’t feel like it”. Well that was me in regards to this blog.
I wrote a lot last year because I was going through a lot, and had a lot to say. Mommyhood was weighing on me, workerhood was weighing on me, and it was too much to process. I like to think I take things in stride, but that was a type of stress that I don’t ever want to have again. So in a sense, this blog was a stress reliever, a way to get out frustrations that I couldn’t process in real life.
But lately, I have had the space, time and emotional clearance to get together with friends on a regular basis instead of write in solitude. So the other day I met up with one of my best friends. It was one of those cathartic, emotionally charged conversations where she pulls stuff out of me and by the end of it, we were both talking about how we will always “have each others back”. I don’t quite know how it got there, but with best friends all topics are fair game and I usually don’t shy away from exposing myself to people I am really close to.
Which got me to thinking. More and more, I’m coming to understand that I develop a love with friends that I don’t necessarily have with loved ones. Not better or worse, just different. Think about it. People always say that friends are deliberate, family isn’t. It’s true that with family, you can’t pick getting out of being a part of someones family. You could technically “divorce” your parents and become “estranged” from relatives but you don’t choose to love them, it just happens because they are your caretakers. I think about my role as “mom” to my son and daughter and am constantly reminded that my love for them is displayed in the way that I nurture them and the acts of service that I do for them which is why they in turn love me back. Unless you want to turn uber spiritual on me however, this isn’t my son or daughter picking me out of a line-up of possible parents. This isn’t going out on several playdates to see if we “match”.
With good friends, you get to know them, the love for them develops over time. It’s a slow simmer, an acceptance of the complete person whereby, no matter what they do good or bad, your place in their world as their friend never changes. It can and does end sometimes and it’s always heartbreaking to see, but when it lasts, it can also contribute to the best part of you.