A few months ago, I was informed that today is Friendship Day and have thought about writing a post about friendship for some time. But I waited for this day to write a post with 1000 words in it describing the kind of friends we have and what makes them the best. Lots of us have friends…the only difference is our level of intimacy with them. For example, we can work side by side someone and never go out to lunch with them or expand any social gatherings outside the office. Others, we will call when we receive the worst news because we just need someone to be there. And they are.
It has been said that, “People come into our lives for a season, a reason, or a lifetime.” Wouldn’t it be nice to know how long people are going to stay in your life before you invest your time, energy and love? You know, where they come with their own “expiration date” so that you know that whatever amount of time you have with someone is “agreed upon” right from the beginning? When you a buy a car, you know how long the warranty is before you drive it off the lot. But friendship doesn’t work that way.
Some friends weave into and out of our lives because of circumstances and life changes. In my life, a friend and I had grown apart and became distant with one another. It was nothing either of us wanted, but we had both come to accept that we could never go back to the kind of friends we once were. It saddened us both as we grieved for the loss of each other and I questioned whether any of it was real to begin with and so with a reluctant heart, I finally let go. But that connection could not be broken just because we thought it did not exist anymore. Too many moments reminded us of what made that friendship so special and we fought like hell to be close again, to forgive, and to move forward. But through it all, we never stopped loving each other and we began to understand that “some stories need to be rewritten in a different colored ink.“
The roles we each play!
Each person in my life had a role to play in addition to their longevity as well. Some friends are our workout buddies, making us accountable for our fitness and weight loss goals. We may not like these friends very much (think Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser), but in the end we know the “tough love” will make us better. There are the friends who love to never grew out of their “dress up” phase — these are the shoppers. They love outfits, fashion, and lipstick. These are the friends we need when we an’t decide what to wear on a hot date or just to make a great first impression. We have the moms we sit with at our kids’ events — whether it be basketball, dance, or track. They will cheer for your kid just as much as you cheer for them and if you spend any amount of time together for any season, you are around each other more than you think. Maybe you have the friends you have known since 2nd grade and you have watched each other grow up, get married and have families, and experience all of life’s other great (and not so great) moments. How about the friends who change our lives completely? The ones we are drawn to for some magical reason…where a chance meeting defies all logic and explanation. Even some of our blood relatives become more than just that…they become our friends too. Our dorm roommate in college…our neighbor across the street…the kid who was on my baseball team in 5th grade…the acquaintance who happened to be able to help you when you fell. We ALL play a part in each other’s lives.
A” friend” is described in the dictionary as, “A person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty…a supporter, an ally.”
So what does the BEST kind of friend look like??
We all look for different things in a friend and find different things too. As usual, I try to be everything to everyone. But I can’t be. In case you missed it, I am not the best shopping friend. I gladly step away and let someone else take their turn at running to the malls, knowing the latest brands, or spending hours in dressing rooms. But, if you give me a ball and glove, I can play any position on the baseball field. But knowing I have a certain set of skills, I believe we all seek the same things in a friend.
The BEST kind of friend will:
- Remember your birthday – not because they send you a card or give you a gift, but because the fact that they remembered is enough.
- Know your middle name – not because they say it regularly, but will if they need to get your attention.
- Be brutally honest – not because they like to call you, but because you need to hear it.
- Laugh when you laugh – not because they are laughing at you, but because you find humor in the same things.
- Forgive you – not because you are flawless, but because you will make mistakes too.
- Believe in you – not because they have anything to gain, but because they see your heart and soul.
- Ask about your life – not because they are being nosy, but because they genuinely care.
- Keep you informed of important happenings – not because they can necessarily do anything, but because you want to share.
- Be excited for your success – not because they are envious, but because they want you to be happy.
- Accept you completely – not because they want to change you, but because they don’t judge you.
- Speak kindly of you – not because there is something in it for them, but because you needed to be protected
- Love you unconditionally – not because they have to, but because they choose to.
Ultimately, the BEST kind of friend will love you for YOU and urge you to be even more than you ever thought possible. He or she will never let go of you because you have captured a piece of their heart and they will never be able to forget you. Their time in your life may be short or it may last forever, but never forget that not only what kind of friend they are to you, but take special attention of the kind of friend you are to them. The best kinds of friends have secrets that no one else knows…they have special ways to communicate…they are better because they are in each others’ lives. These friends allow you to put down the walls, to stop pretending, and you are truly YOU when you are with them. I don’t have time for anything else but the real thing. The BEST kinds of friends bring out the best in you, making you your BEST self.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©