Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Surprise! There's a Basketball Reference in Here!

When I was a kid, I typically had one best friend and when we got in fights (which we always did...we were kids) I didn't have any friends. I clung to that one friend as if my life depended on it. I felt like if that friend abandoned me I'd never make any new ones.

In college, I expanded my circle slightly. Instead of having one friend, I had a group of three friends, with outer circles of aquaintances. I say outer circles because there were rings of people, mostly defined by how close I was with them...or how well they knew me. When I got in a fight with one of the two friends, or one of them got in a fight (which we always did...we were college-aged girls) we battled for supremacy over the other, trying to get the uninvolved friend to side with us. By my junior year I was tired of this game and started to select friends based off what we had in common. Some overlapped, some didn't. I might regularly go on walks with one friend, drink with others, and do crafts with yet another.

And now, in adulthood, I feel like I have it down. I have several very close friends that I don't necessarily have a lot in common with, but they fit my criteria. 1. They must be someone I aspire to be more like, 2. They must be someone that can both grow from my experience, and help me grow. These close friends all serve a function. My closest friends (which include my boyfriend), are my confidantes, my cheerleaders, and people that make my heart hurt when they hurt. I feel like when the world is closing in, they hold it at bay until I can collect myself...and vice versa.

Some of these treasures live in St. Louis, others in other states or countries. The far away friends tend to be fewer, but they're the type of people that when we do talk...no time has passed, we pick up where we left off. No apologies, just gratitude that we're back in touch.

I really appreciate friends that are honest, intelligent, funny, hot (just kidding, but some of them are pretty darn hot), have goals, and do not steal from me (that may seem like a given, but you'd be surprised). I have friends from work, I have sewing friends, girlfriends (my favorites), crafty friends, workout friends, and friends that will sit on my couch with me and do our nails and facials.

I no longer keep people in my life that bring me pain, or that I'm friends with out of pity. I simply don't have time or energy for artificial relationships based on expectations. Are you wondering why I have friends on my brain?

While there are many people that are important to me, sometimes they have to be cut from the team. They aren't making it anymore, their team spirit is waning, or in drastic circumstances....they've tragically dribbled the ball down the court in the wrong direction (and subsequently scored for the other team and threw the championship of the world!).

When this happens, it hurts me very deeply. The few people that I do really let get to know me are very precious. I extend to them trust, openness, and everything else that I can. When the friendship ends, a piece of me goes with it. And that's ok. I'm entitled to feeling loss, emptiness, and maybe even an occasional cry.

But the glorious thing about having other friends is that the hole left behind is slowly filled in. The hole isn't gone, but a little scar is left behind to remember the laughing, fighting, collaborating, commiserating, and comforting. That person was important for a time that they were meant for. When that time is over we both move on...and now one of the benchwarmers gets to move up and be a starter! (ok, so that was super snotty, I just really wanted to use another basketball reference...mostly because I'm not at all into sports. All my friends are starters to me!).


Blogger Robin said...

You are my kind of gal - you expect a lot from your friends. It's rewarding when it works out, isn't it? By the way, freckles do rock! :-)

1:33 PM  

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