Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Friends. Since the time we are old enough to be aware of others, we are searching for friends. When we are a little older, friends can seem like they are more important than family. Sometimes, we are driven to find the 'right' friends, even if they are not always 'right' for us. We go through transitions. As life continues to evolve, so do our friendships. Friends we thought would be friends forever, sometimes get forgotten and names are hard to recall, while with others, the bond is so deep neither that time, life circumstance, or distance changes anything and time together only reinforces the fact that we are- to borrow a line from Anne of Green Gables, "kindred spirits."
When I started making friends, the only criteria was that they were in the same place as me: at the park, the same campground as my family, in my class at school.
Later, my criteria changed as I noticed who was popular. It didn't matter so much that we had anything in common- only that I was 'liked' by others and the wonderful sameness that teenagers want to be- just like the other kids- normal.- whatever that is. As a result- not all of my good friends were good friends, and it took me a while to figure that out. As I grew older and got married, my friends became the moms in the playground and as I experienced different things in life, I made friends who shared the same experiences. As we find people who like us, we also experience people who do not. When I was a young mother, one person wrote me a letter to tell me exactly that, with detailed reasons I was so objectionable. I realized that I needed to accept that as wonderful as I was, not everyone would like me - and isn't that fair? I don't like everyone I meet- so why hold others to a standard I don't live by. We will all take our own path to find 'our people.'
There are many kinds of friends. There are friends that know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have a few friends that I have known since birth. As life took us in all sorts of directions, our communications are unfortunately infrequent. But when we talk, the feeling of being with someone in which you don't have to explain yourself or your life is soul anchoring. When you talk about things that are happening in your lives now- they can listen in a way that defines true understanding. They know you, know where you come from, how you have changed your strengths and weaknesses. Tied by the childhood games you would play, scraped knees, shared experiences, the fights you had that in a day tore your friendship apart, and put it back together even stronger- this history serves as an unbreakable bond.