It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Spin Cycle, so I thought I’d jump back in today, particularly since the theme is Friends or Friendship, and I didn’t want to disappoint my Spin Cycle hostess friend. Plus it’s an easy one to jump into since I posted about Friendship when my blog was in infancy and had no readers, so what better time to dust off an old post than now? Of course it’s also the perfect time to reflect on the past 3-1/2 years and add more insight, too.
Originally posted October 26, 2008:
Friendships truly are a fleeting thing. Some people have friends they’ve known since grade school… my sister-in-law is a prime example of that, I’ve always
envied admired her friendship ties and strive to adopt her persona of establishing deep, meaningful friendships.
I had a large circle of friends when I lived in Seattle (I grew up there) and when I moved to Small Town America, I made the assumption that (new) friendships would be an easy thing to cultivate… but because it is Small Town America, there seems to be less opportunity to make solid friendships – as they already have their circle of friends from grade school, and are not so ‘open’ to adding anyone ‘new’ to their current circle of friends.
The mindset here seems to be almost ‘resentment’ towards people coming from a ‘big city’, possibly a bit of being by the perceived ‘big city’ thinking. My ‘solid’ friendships from out West were damaged by my move almost 3000 miles away. Mostly because I didn’t tell them (except for 3 or 4 very close friends) in advance I was moving, as I was ‘escaping’ from my abusive ex-husband.
I kept them in the dark about my move, because they all really liked him (he always showed his absolute best side to them at all times), and I knew there would be conversations between them and him and wanted to stay safe. So I suppose in that case I sacrificed my friendships for my life. I’ve been away from those friends for 11 years, now, and while there are still the occasional email messages and a nice visit last year, the ‘closeness’ has unfortunately gone by the wayside.
‘Friendship’ tends to fall into a few different categories: 1) “Fair -Weather Friend”: A friend who supports others only when it is easy and convenient to do so. 2) “True Friend”: A friend who supports their own friends through emotional difficulties. This term also denotes a large degree of altruism, in that the ‘true friend’ often sacrifices something of his or her own (usually their time and resources) in order to help the friend in need. 3) “Best Friend”: A friend to whom one feels closest.
I consider myself lucky…sure, I’ve had my fair share of ‘Fair-Weather Friends’, unfortunately, but who hasn’t? But I have a wonderful person in my life I consider my ‘Best Friend’ – she’s the one that regardless of the vast miles that separate us, I can count on no matter what.
Peggy in Nevada is one of those precious Best Friends. We were inseparable for more than 10 years until we both moved to different states. She’s been a welcome ‘constant’ in my life in spite of the distance in miles, and we rarely get the opportunity to speak on the phone (mostly because I am so not a ‘phone person’), so email is truly a blessing to keep our friendship flame alive.
She’s much better than me at keeping in touch… sure, I make sure I don’t forget her birthday, we talk on birthdays and Christmas, but my dearest Peggy – I will make a concerted effort to keep the lines of communication open from my end more often, because you are important to me, and I truly appreciate you as a friend, and someone I would be very sad to not have in my life. Thank you for being you, and for being my Best Friend.
And that takes care of the recycled part. Now for a fresh perspective 3-1/2 years later…
I was trying to find a picture of my friend Peggy and I, but unfortunately all my good pictures from back then are stashed in a box buried either in the attic or shed – one of these days I really need to dig that out, because there are some pretty funny pictures contained within I know you’d enjoy seeing.
I did find this picture of the two of us that will have to suffice (sorry about the dark/grainy mode, it was taken in low light with a cheap camera):
Yes, I had braces back in 1993 (and was much skinnier before the baby weight arrived 9 years later – and still remains 9 years after that), and yes, she was standing up for me at my Vegas wedding to the abusive ex mentioned above (naturally I cut him out of the picture).
She was there for me at the beginning, and she was there for me at the end. She’s been there for me through all the ups and downs life has thrown at both of us, and she truly is person I have always been able to count on. I can’t wait to see her when we drive out West in a few weeks – she has some long overdue hugs coming.
When I originally wrote the post, I was green as all get-out in the blogging world. Over the subsequent years it’s been amazing how many ‘virtual’ friends I have had the honor of making through the connections we have on our respective blogs. People who don’t blog can’t seem to comprehend the idea that these people, whom we’ve never met, can actually be considered friends.
All these ‘virtual’ people have become significant friends over the years, and sure, just like reality friends, there have been a few that turned out to be ‘Fair Weather Friends’ and have subsequently slunk back to their corner of the virtual world never to be heard from again.
But for every one Fair Weather Friend, there have been 10 genuine friends to take their place. They have been there through the blog slumps, the writing blocks, the nonsensical writings du jour – and have been supremely supportive through thick and thin.
They have been shoulders to cry on, pats on the back and cheerleaders through and through. At some point they stop just being ‘virtual friends’, but simply become ‘friends’. Connections have been made, and when an opportunity arises to actually meet face-to-face, it will seem as though we’ve been friends all our lives.
For each one of you reading these words today, thank you so much for all the good times, for all the encouragement, for all the awesome comments and emails, and for letting me simply be me. You are all loved and appreciated. Thank you for being my friends.
This Friendly Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by the lovely Gretchen at Second Blooming, who I’m honored to count amongst my friends. Check out what the other Spinners are being friendly about – you might make some amazing new friends.