Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thoughts on friendship

I'm so bad with words. I'm not even sure where to begin. So, forgive me, and bear with me.

I don't make friends very easily. Its not that I don't want friends, I just have a hard time figuring out what to talk about. Silly as that sounds, it makes it hard to break down the invisible barriers that make me believe that "you" are the perfect Mom or have the cleanest house or are the best crafter or whatever my preconceived notions may be. Until I can see that someone is just as imperfect as I am, its hard to truly open up and trust that they won't reject something about me.

So, in my life I've typically had one good friend at any particular time. When I was very young, I was best friends with Tina. She was awesome. We had sleepovers, talked about EVERYTHING and went to KMart to buy slurpies and makeup. I even remember pooling our money together to buy some stuff called "hairlong" or something of the sort, so we could grow out our hair together. We talked everyday on the phone, sometimes for hours. Still not sure what we talked about.

When I went off to college, I had a hard time adjusting to being away from home. Everything seemed really hard up until I spent one night talking with Merrilee until 5am. We totally bonded over our frustration at the time, and were best friends from that time forward. We spent loads of time together, shopped together, scrapbooked together, even sang in church together. Somehow, with a friend, life away from home was easier. Merrilee and I were at each others weddings and for the birth of our first children. We were there for each other.

Here in Chicago, it was another "venting" session that bonded Teri and me. Our kids are close in age, so we decided to let them have a playdate. Since the kids didn't know each other really well yet, I decided to stay and chat while they played. Hours later, the beginnings of a really great friendship were founded. Once again, I had found someone I could totally be myself with. She knew that I sometimes yell at my kids, that my house is rarely clean, and that I get frustrated over little things much too often. And she liked me anyway. More than that, she was willing to go out of her way to help me when I needed it. She made me a better person, because then I wanted to go out of my way to help her too.

Now before you go judging and saying, "wow, she needs more friends", let me put in this disclaimer that this is BY FAR not all of my friends. :) I've had and still have a lot of people I would call very close friends. My point is that, I've been pondering friendship and what is has meant in my life. Here's the best part... I haven't talked to Tina in months. maybe even close to a year, but I know that I can call her and we would talk for hours just like no time had past. (hmm... I think I'll do that.) Merrilee and I sort of lost touch for a little while. I knew I could call her, but there was a time when we didn't for various reasons. What is cool now is that we've reconnected. We don't talk every day like we did in college, but we keep up with each other on our blogs, facebook, with email, and occasional phone calls. I've emailed her when I needed to vent, and she called when she couldn't take any more during a hard time. The foundation of the friendship makes us there for each other regardless of how often we see each other.

Ok, so all this is fine and dandy... right? but why the long blog? Well, Teri moved. When she found out late last year that she was going to move, I sort of mentally put a tally mark on the list of bad things that have happened to me lately. I was lucky enough to enjoy her company for a few more months before she made the big move and during that time, I made this grand realization. Sure I'll miss her (ok understatement, but you get it...), but really, having her as a friend has been such a huge blessing that even her moving away can't take that away. We are still the best of friends, and distance doesn't change that. I love you to pieces Teri, and I miss you already...


"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget."

9 comments:

Corrine said...

totally know what you are talking about! great blogpost.

Danette said...

Teri is absolutely great. I'm sorry you are missing your friend... but that point of view is absolutely right. Friends are a blessing no matter what.

Brenda said...

I feel the same way, only it's usually me that ends up moving away. Sorry you are missing your friend, but isn't technology wonderful? I've reconnected with friends I haven't talked to in years.

Teri said...

Well Cheryl, I wasn't going to comment, since it was sort of about me. :) And I couldn't say it any better...just about you.

I miss you tons!!! And thanks for loving me. You are an incredible friend yourself.

Liz Smith said...

great post, cheryl! guess you'll have to start taking girls only vacations out to utah. ;)

Celeste Christensen said...

That was very sweet!

Heather said...

I totally understand your explanation, and I am the same way. Sorry your friend left though. I know it's hard!

Julie said...

I think many people can relate to how you feel, including myself. I've had different "best" friends for the different seasons of my life. They've all been a blessing to me and I treasure my friendship with each of them.

Mom G said...

I feel the same way about your mom! We can just pick up where we left off even if it has been months since we talked or got together. We have been friends for 37 years now. What a blessing to have a close friend!