There is a song that my daughter learned while in preschool that was new to me. It goes like this:
“Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.” (Joseph Parry is attributed to this in some places on the internet)
My daughter makes friends quite easily. It’s a quality in her that I truly love and admire because it’s something that doesn’t come as easily to me. Many people think that because I appear to be extroverted, making friends is a breeze. Well, it’s not. It is hard for me to make friends. I can make acquaintances with somewhat ease, but even then, I feel like I am pulling teeth. I feel shy, not confident, and very uncertain of myself.
The friends that I have made, thus far, I find myself clinging to them tightly because I do not want to lose them. My longest close friend is probably my best friend and roommate from college. I still keep in touch with some high school friends (and one elementary school friend!) via social media. My friends in my daily life are ones that I had not expected or went out seeking. Some of them have become my closest friends because of my church and my marriage. Some of them I met online through social media and then met in real life. Three of them, in particular, were complete strangers to me until I met them in July at the annual BlogHer conference. I don’t think my friendship with them was securely cemented until we all danced together like junior high school girls to Rev Run on the last night.
I love my friends that I have had for decades – they know me inside and out. They know the good stuff, the bad stuff, and the really really bad stuff, yet they still support me 1000%. They are the ones who traveled down to watch my first Listen To Your Mother show in Providence – with all their families in tow. They are the ones who have forgiven me for missing their wedding because I didn’t know how to be a good friend when things were tough. They are the ones that love me despite all my flaws, foot-in-the-mouth comments, and all my stories of my crazy family.
I love my friends that I have found through my Ohana (family group) at church. Some of them are so young and just starting out in their lives, but they embrace me and want to spend time with me. They listen to my old lady advice and appear to take it to heart. They accept the mess that is my home and never mention that the bathroom needs to be cleaned.
I love my friends I discovered in my neighborhood through work, preschool, and kindergarten. They invite my child over for playdates and to birthday parties. They email me when it is time to sign up for soccer or ballet. They say hello so joyfully when I run into them on the street, the ice cream store, the playground, or at school.
Lately, though, I have been loving my friends that I have found through social media, my blogger groups, and Listen To Your Mother. They like my Facebook updates and shares. They engage with me on a daily basis. They are my support when I’m feeling pretty down and encourage me to get through the day. They truly shine a light in darkness. They read my blog posts, comment, share, tweet about it, and make me a better writer all at the same time. They go and eat kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches with me even when they are on crutches and had to take the T in on those crutches – on a rainy day. Some of them, I have never met in person. Others I have had the great fortune of meeting them in real life. Regardless, they are always there for me – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I have been looking back and wondering how I made all these friends. I am so grateful and thankful for each and every one of them. If there is one thing that I can give back to them, it is this: once my friend, always my friend for life. Even if we haven’t talked to each other for 20-30 years. Even if we had a falling out at some point. Even if we live on opposite sides of the world. My friends – you are my silver and gold always.
***Lucky for you, some of my friends wrote about friendship today too! Here are the links to them (links to be updated shortly!):***