I was so ashamed of everything in my life that I moved myself about 100 miles away from everyone I knew. I cut off all ties with people. I stopped talking to everyone.
I didn’t have a job. My kids didn’t know anyone. I had nothing to do. And it was snowing all the time, at least in my memories.
But then something happened.
A couple of people moved into town and brought a Scrabble set with them every morning to the cafe. We all started to get there at six-in-the-morning so we could play Scrabble. Soon there were two games going.
We all became friends. Sometimes if two of us were hanging out in the afternoon we’d take walks. We’d eat lunch. We had more coffee.
We talked to each other about our problems. Even in the worst, most embarrassing, horrifying moments, we would share what was going on.
I can’t believe the things I shared. The things she shared. He shared. They shared. Horrific things.
A friend listens. A friend is curious.
A friend doesn’t judge.
A friend offers suggestions but doesn’t force their solutions.
I’m not ashamed to ask for help from a friend. I’m pretty much ashamed to ask for help from anyone else.
Sometimes I meet a new person and BAM! Magic! We don’t need to be friends for 40 years. We can’t stop talking. Our chemistry is friends.
Sometimes I really like people but I can also sense, “I can never really be friends with them”. Eventually they drift away. That’s ok also.
When I see a friend, sometimes I can’t wait to talk and update and…but I already know. When I feel that rush in my chest its my body’s way of saying, “There’s a friend!”
I miss my friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. But I have some friends where we pick right up even if we haven’t seen each other in years.
And I have other friends I know I will never see again. That’s ok. I love the fact that we were once friends.
Friends don’t expect a lot from me and I don’t expect a lot from them. Then…guess what? Our expectations are always exceeded. 100%!
Friends introduce me to other friends they think I will like. I do the same. I think my friends will like each other.
Friends share ideas with me and I share ideas with them. I have idea sex with friends and we grow idea families together. Our little babies. We watch the babies grow. It takes a village to grow ideas.
Friends make me laugh and I make them laugh right back. And when one of us cries, the other tries to listen. Sometimes we laugh even though neither of us made sense.
We don’t dwell on our non-friends. They don’t exist.
You don’t wait once a year for a big friendship party. For me, it’s important to have friendship “celebrations” as much as possible. Little ones. Maybe every day. A river of friendship instead of a rare lightning storm.
Friends help me get better at things. Friends point out when they think I’m wrong but know I probably won’t listen.
Friends help me make decisions that give me more freedom in life. Freedom to have more time to be friends!
Too many people wonder “What’s my goal!”
Too many times I’ve said, “I can’t be happy without X or Y!”
Too many times there are awards and slights and goals and ideals and dreams. All of those disappear. My memories of friendship never disappear.
For the past ten years I’ve had more friends each year that the year before. I’m celebrating that today. And maybe I will tomorrow also.
Sometimes I miss friends I haven’t seen in a long time.
Don’t worry. Even if we never see each other again… we saw each other once.