Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughtful About . . . Friends

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Have you ever paused to take account of your friends? Tried to categorize them? Mentally nudged a particular person from one category to the next? How do you rate them/think of them/judge them? Do you have friends like the ones we see in novels, that gal pal who's always there to shed light on our darkest moments?

Yesterday I spent the day with one of my oldest friends. As our little girls ran around and played, Amber and I chatted about things like growth and development and homeschooling (things that come up often when you put two young mothers together, lol), our families, our husbands, our goals. And throughout this came a few memories--like the roller skating circuses we used to have in my basement, some of the old jokes that would have us laughing for hours. We yet again fielded questions of "Are you two sisters?" and answered, as we always did, with, "Yep," even though we share no blood.

Amber is one of those "always" friends in my mind. Her family was in missions for most of her childhood, so while I was home living my normal life in my normal family, she was off in exotic locales being homeschooled while they ministered to gypsies and the underprivileged. Because of that, we only saw each other a few times a year and never talked on the phone. But when we got together--watch out! We had a ton of fun to make up for! In highschool Amber moved back to our area and attended my school, and our moms would be like, "Why don't you call each other? Get together?" And we'd look at each other and be like, "Oh, I guess we could . . ." but it wasn't the way we worked. Still, we always knew that we were "always" friends. You know?

I have other friends I used to be closer to, but who have drifted apart. A few of those I've had to nudge from the "best" category down to the "passing" category, some all the way into "used-to-be." A few from back in the day I consider "low maintenance," because we can go months at a time without talking and then just pick back up. Those are handy in this busy world.

I have my "highschool" friends. I feared falling into having "college" friends, but those remain "constant" even now. I have those friends I made in Annapolis, but I refuse to call them "Annapolis" friends. We might not see each other often, but they deserve the "constant" title too.

Then I started making "writing" friends. I have a ton of these now, and I'm thankful for each and every one. But the ones that moved from mere "writing" friends to critique partners are the dearest to me, because they've become real, true, genuine friends, above and beyond writing. Some of those writing friends, who were also just internet friends, I now talk to more than my local friends, more than my own mother in some cases (though I talk to my mom a lot!)

At which point I have to mention Stephanie. We started emailing about writing, but we were also both pregnant at the time, so we'd chat about that too. As the months passed and turned into years, our emails increased and we told each other every passing thought, it seemed, so that we realized simultaneously that this "writing" friend, this "internet" friend had become a "best." When we met for the second time in September, we joked that we wouldn't know how to talk without computers between us, but that was no problem. Together with Mary and Carole, our other awesome friends who round out our critique group, we had a fabulous time.

I'm sure I have a point to all this, but I think it's mostly a reflection of the roles friends play in my life, and how grateful I am for each and every one. It seems like each one has a special place, ministers to me in her own way. And after spending the day with Amber, I just wanted to give a nod to friends old and new. No matter where we met or how much time goes by between chats, you're all so dear to me. Thanks!

4 comments:

  1. Good post, Roseanna. I categorize my friends, too. Always feel nostalgic about the passing ones though . . . Well, at least MOST of them. :)

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  2. I was so focused on reading the post that it kinda startled me when my own name popped up :) Thanks, girl.

    I think one of the biggest challenges for me as an adult has been learning to cope with changing friendships. Learning that not every friend was meant to be an "always" friend, and the disappointment when some who I thought would be constant let me down.

    Excellent post. And glad you and Amber had a good time together!

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  3. I've moved a lot in my life, and I've been making and moving away from friends since I was...well, a reallyyy little kid. I found them all on Facebook, and you know what? With my old best friend from grade 1, well, it's just NOT the same. It's like, she's higher up on some ladder or something than me. My best friend after her? Well, I kind of, uh, blocked her on MSN. Maybe it's the wrong thing to do, but, well sometimes we have to move on... I don't know. BUT, I had a friend through both these frienships, one I never gave much time to, but she was always there for me -- and I added her on Facebook and MSN, and she was all, "Hey Emily!" and we were remembering stuff we used to do for hours. She even started typing out the lyrics for a song we recoreded when we 9 years old... I'd totally forgotten about it! :D

    I really enjoyed reading about you and your friends, I hope my friends come with me.:)

    Luv,Emii

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  4. Always great to reconnect with those old friends, Emii! And great to see you over here. ;-)

    Stephanie, it's always shocking to see my name appear on someone else's stuff too, LOL. But I couldn't not mention YOU when talking friends, could I?? You might disown me!

    And hi-ya, Carole! I felt bad not talking more about you and Mary, LOL, but it was already going long . . . I'll dedicate a blog to my fabulous critter sometime. =)

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