Yep, that's me. On my 13th birthday, French braids (because that was so in at the time) and braces. What could be better? Well...spending it with some...eh...equally as 'nerdy as me' friends. Friendships were so easy back then. They started because you happen to be wearing the same color shoes or both liked Little House on the Prairie or couldn't stand Pam Speck on the playground because she was such a bully. The deal was sealed with an exchange of bubblegum from our pocket and a promise to always be friends...NO MATTER WHAT.
And some have stood the test of time...and for that I am grateful.
But being older, good solid friendships are slim pickings. We are busy, have kids, jobs, or like me, we never like to ...eh...leave home. Our priorities change and we may be looking for a little more depth than what an exchange of fruit stripe gum might have once given us. There is no more balloons stuffed in the tops of our pj's to get a giggle. No more late night movie watching and then toilet papering the neighbor's house.afterwards. No more passing notes to your besties during homeroom. Nope...life just isn't that simple anymore.
I recently met up with some old friends from high school...swapping our late night girly giggling for reminiscing about the 'good old days' over drinks and appetizers. You know...adult stuff. There were shots, late night pizza and too strong of beer poured down the toilet (thanks Jenny), and confessions of who had a crush on who thirty years ago.
Ah...friendships...that's me, by the way...second from the left.
I have been gifted in my life, with some really great ones. Ones that nourish and heal. Ones that make me laugh until I have tears in my eyes and my gut hurts. Ones that make me long for more time with them because they are just that awesome. I have also been gifted in my life, with some crappy ones. Ones that start off under the guise of nourishing, but fall off into the realms of judgment, manipulation or drama. To me, they are both valuable, but in much different ways.
What's with all of the sentimental memories, you ask? Well, I recently broke up with a friend who I greatly misjudged. I had only known her for about a year, but the break up hurt just the same. In part because she chose to rewrite our friendship in a way that suited something she was after...which was monetary. A wolf in sheep's clothing, so to speak. Despite the ugliness that this friend showed, I see the gift it left behind. Despite the drama and twisted thinking, I am grateful to have known her.
Why? How? What?!?
Stay with me...we all have our past experience that make us who we are. Some are gifted a great start in life. We value others, are respectful of each other's needs and are capable of healthy attachments and relationships. Others have had a more bumpy ride and although appearances can be deceiving, there is always light in darkness. I am just choosing to see the light.
There are some friendships that are worth fighting for. There are some friendships that come into your life to teach you a lesson, and then they are gone. There are some friendships that test your boundaries. All are good, but not all are worthy to keep in your life. When you come across the good ones, well they are worth the journey.
They are worth the whole pack of gum.