For whatever reason, the meaning of “friendship” has been on my mind lately – how strange it is that I can reconnect with someone after 15 years as though we never lost a moment, where at the same time a close friendship that lasted many years can slowly fizzle out. I am fortunate to have more examples of the former rather than the latter, although it never ceases to amaze me that I am no longer in touch with people whose weddings I was in … while I consider some of my closest friends today people I knew “back in the day”, and for one reason or another went more than 10 years without speaking to (thank you, social networking).
What I have found as I get older is that those true friends are the people who you can not only trust completely, but also be completely honest with — the good, the bad and the ugly. While I am an open person for the most part (I have very few secrets!), the brutal honestly is only shared with a few. I know that with these individuals, there is no judgement. They are there to listen to me and provide what I need — an ear, a shoulder, another glass of wine — as I am there for them. No sugar-coating or hiding any personal issues or faults. Just the truth.
Back in my 20s, all I wanted was more “friends” (acquaintances really). After all, wasn’t it a tragedy to not have multiple options for a Friday or Saturday night to choose from??? The circle had to constantly expand! This was before the wonders of Facebook and mobile phones, where making all kinds of connections was as easy as a click of a button.
Now, I’m exactly the opposite. Let me be surrounded by those few people whom I know, love and trust as opposed to dozens who would disappear at a time of need. If anything, I am looking to shrink the circle so I am spending my limited social time with people who I truly care about. Some of these people I met recently, while others I’ve known since childhood. Maybe this is part of “growing up and maturing” (better late than never, right?). I don’t need more people to hang out with. I want to spend time with people I connect with.
Friends, thank you. You know who you are.