Monday, March 12, 2012

Thoughts on friendship…

This is a typical post for me but it is one that has been churning in my mind for a while but it’s taken several attempts and drafts to get out exactly what I wanted to say.
As I have gotten older, friendships have ebbed and flowed. There are the friends I’ve been friends with for years and years and years, who know me as well as I know myself, and fortunately several of those friendships are still in tact. There are some that I was friends with for years and for various reasons, the friendships have ended. There are new friends where we are learning about each other and the friendships we will share for however long, months or a lifetime. Many of our new friendships have been cultivated by our church and school (which is a part of our church), and the involvement we have there. There are some wonderful friends we’ve come across there and I’m so thankful for that. There are the friends where you can go months without seeing each other or even talking very much but when you see each other again, you pick right back up without missing a beat. I have friends who I have met and instantly it feels like we’ve known each other forever. And other types: acquaintance friendships, social media friendships, etc.
I’m so very thankful for the friends I do have. Friends can be such positive influences in our lives. And I have some AWESOME friends. I know there are some who I can call/text and ask for prayer and they will do so immediately. And then they will check in to see how I’m doing. And they encourage me to be a better person and friend just by their actions. And I feel so blessed to have those kind of friends in my life. I want MORE of these type of people in my life!!! But what gets me is how unhealthy friendships can be so full of hurt. For many years I was a meek friend. I think I was scared of ruffling feathers in the fear of someone not being my friend anymore. As I’ve grown up and matured, I’ve come to realize those friendships aren’t the real ones. The real ones are the ones where I can 100% be me, and fess up if there are things that bug me, or if I have been hurt and that isn’t a deal breaker. There’s no point being friends if you can’t be you. I’ve gotten to the point where it’s become important to move on from those friendships that cause more hurt than good.
It’s definitely sad when a friendship ends, but I do believe that as people’s lives change, so do the bonds that bind you. I have tried to take the ending of such friendships and the lessons that have come with the end. I’ve been sad that some friendships have ended…. and relieved about others.
I guess all this to say I’m at a crossroads I feel like. It’s definitely been necessary to weed out the friendships that cause negativity in my life, for whatever reason. Not all friendships have ended because of bad things, just because we outgrew out each other. But I am so thankful for the new ones that have formed. One thing I don’t take lightly is friendship. I’m a fiercely loyal friend and if you need me, I’m there! I am not perfect, nor would ever claim to be, but I do try to be the type of friend that I want people to be to me.
I think another aspect of how friendship has changed is social media. Things like blogs, facebook, twitter, etc can be so great yet so hard. Some of my very closest friends are girls I’ve met through my blog and have bonded with on twitter. Weird? Maybe it used to be, but not anymore. But here’s the thing: social media can make you feel very alone too. I love me some twitter. Really. So I decided to give it up for Lent. And know what? While I do miss it, I do NOT miss the people on it who make me feel insignificant. Once I’m back to it (if I’m back to it), I’m doing a major clean up to take away the people that make me feel bad about myself. I think everyone, myself included, are quick to forget how much words can affect people. Or actions. Someone I followed on twitter was going through some really tough things and I felt for her. So much in fact, that I wanted to do something to help her. So I sent her a (fairly generous) gift in the mail that I hoped would alleviate some burdens. I didn’t expect anything in return. I WANTED to do it. But right before my twitter break, I found out she had changed her twitter name and chose to no longer follow me. Seeing that she was following some couple hundred people made me realize it wasn’t an accident. Ouch. Not like I expected us to be best friends but I had obviously invested in her life and was quite disappointed to see that. But, live and learn, I guess. I wouldn’t change what I did but I was saddened to see that. The nice thing about hiding behind a phone or computer is that we can be who we want to be, and sadly I don’t think everyone is the same as they are in real life.
I’m not really sure if I have a point to this post. I think it’s just something that’s been on my mind. Be you. Be the real you. And treat others like you would like to be treated. If you mess up, apologize. Real, true friends can be so hard to find, so be thankful for the ones you have. And be the kind of friend a friend would like to have. I think it’s as simple as that.
“I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. I know I’m who I am today because I knew you. Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” – For Good, Wicked

14 comments:

  1. Love this post. This is something that I have struggled with my whole life!

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  2. You are so right about this!!! Great post! :)

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  3. I see your point in this;) I've struggled with the same things for years and am loyal even to people who have t always been nice to me. I've weeded out "friends" over the last year or so especially. My closest friends for the most part are people I go to church with. I love my blog friends-and am glad for so many of them who I've developed real friendships with, to my husbands dismay, ha;) I stayed off of twitter forever but finally gave back in. Not sure why people can't just be real...

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  4. Great post! Some of these things are things I've come to realize recently myself.

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  5. i think this is a struggle we will always have, as women especially. it is hard to stay true when you are so worried by what others may think. I try to remind myself that i blog, tweet, facebook, etc for ME. not for who reads it. somedays i forget that, and the sugar-coating is applied. just know that i think you are FABULOUS. friendships are about the good, the bad, and everything in between. love you, friend.

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  6. Great post! I think everyone can probably relate. And that "Wicked" quote...LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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  7. This is a great post. And I'm glad you posted it! Love you, friend!

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  8. I think you have spoken for so many people. Wish I could cut and paste this to my FB page.

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  9. As you know already, I think your a great and strong person! I have been on and off Twitter for a long time now and I understand what you are saying 100%. I also think I know who you are talking about :/ I want you to know if you want to talk, please email me! Beautiful post!

    KM

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  10. Excellent post friend!! I can totally identify. Love all the sweet pictures in the post below too...Reed is SO handsome and growing like crazy!

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  11. I love this post. I know you and I talk about this topic all the time anyway, but you wrote it out beautifully. I tell Stephen all the time, you're one of the most fiercely loyal people I know. Thank YOU for being such a good friend and
    sister : ) I consider myself lucky to know you!

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  12. I completely agree with you, as an adult, it is sometimes more difficult to meet friends, and you are right, friendships can be difficult... and you have to be yourself, and even if you continually are loyal, sometimes, you have to "detox" your "friendships." This post was very well written... I can identify with you, it can be so difficult!

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  13. This is the most perfect post ever written on this topic. You said everything that I feel and have felt for a very long time.

    But one thing I am thankful in social media is the great friends that I have met. That I can trust and talk too about so many topics (this one including haha)

    I hope you guys are doing wonderful! Reed is SO big and handsome. Ah, I wish we could get these boys together to play!

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