Friday, August 20, 2010

Friendship: One of Life's Curiosities (for me)

Whenever I meet people, I tend to get a feeling about them. A feeling like, "we are going to be friends". Or, "Mmm...we will probably never get very close, but it's nice to meet them".

Sometimes these... premonitions work out. Other times, they don't. Perhaps I am too easygoing and the other person is too easygoing and then because neither of us try very hard, a friendship just never develops. Then, with the people that I meet that I think it will never work out, it does! Why? I guess because we both try, we make time to do things together. Then we laugh and have fun and realize that we actually get along quite well.

I'll be honest, I haven't mastered this whole friendship thing. I recall in high school there would be these gaggle of girls, 7-10 of them that were absolutely best friends. I've never been that good at being a friend. I tried to fit in, but I just didn't fit with the group. I guess I'm a work in progress when it comes to friendship. I'm not there yet- but I am so much closer than I was when I was in high school.

It's just a mystery that I marvel at. I bring it up because this year I have had a friendship deepen by a devastating loss. This friend, let's call her NC, was a person I thought I would never really be close to. She was too young, too well put together, too bubbly, too happy, too open... just living life too fast I guess I don't know. I mean sure, NC and I have a lot in common. Both being dancers, both without kids, both in this funny little San Marcos area, both of us like to sing. We had out problems as teenagers, we've overcome similar addictions.

We have every reason not to try to be friends, or to be in conflict with each other. But life this summer has brought us together. We've worked with the Young Women together, sang in church together, had Sunday lunches together, game nights together. Still these things are just things that don't necessarily make a friendship last.

But this week she needed help. I reached out and she reached back. I've had friends at similar stages where I've tried to help but the other person does not reach back. The friendship dwindles to acquaintance and we end up just smiling at each other as we pass by. But this time it's been different!

Friendship is such a mystery to me. It doesn't always work out, even when I think it should. And then when I think it won't it does. While I don't understand it, I am grateful for it.

If there was a theme for my summer, I think it would be Friendship. I'm still learning a lot about it, but this summer has been a magnified lesson in what friendship is, and how to cultivate it.

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