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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

To Those I Cherish The Most- My Friends

" Friendship is not something that is learned in school, and if you have not learned it- You have learned Nothing At All. "
I love and respect all of my friendships.  They add to my life in a meaningful and purposeful way. The awesome part of it is that each one brings to me great value. It is in the form of love, laughter, intellect, challenge, truth, awareness, forgiveness and it goes on.
Each relationship has come to me as a gift and I treat my friends as such, at least I know that I put great effort in doing so.
The other day I made a new friend. I have known her as an acquaintance for years, our children go to school together. We were always friendly but never  sat down and had any depth of conversation. That was until Wednesday late afternoon.  I walked into a nail salon I had never visited. I wanted to get a quick polish change and be on my way. 
What transpired actually caught me off guard. I was certainly happy to say hello to this person but when she we started sharing her views and her interests –  it was friendship at first sight.
Did you ever meet someone who you immediately clicked with?
She and I are born in the same month, we have the same approach to parenting and enjoying life.We are both happy and gregarious, and we don’t sleep very much.  It was as if I were having a conversation with myself, we simply view life through the same pair of glasses. It was lovely and fun, and I know I will have a great friendship with her that will last the test of time. 
 My grandmother always said  you have to be a friend to have a friend. I have taken that advice and put it into practice-  Friendships, really great friendships take effort.
Great friends are happy for you when you are successful. They cry when you are shedding tears. They help you, they teach you and they are not jealous of you. 
They do not share your despair behind your back and they stick up for you should they hear negative words being said about you. They love you as if you are related by blood.
I have learned over time who my true friends are. It always strikes a sad chord in me when I think of those who have disappointed me. It could be from lack of continuity, lack of true support, lack of genuine happiness when my life is flowing beautifully.
 Oh, sure they will act concerned with the questioning and the appearance of sympathy alas…. it is never followed up with anything constructive. They are basically noisy people looking for gossip, in search of your flaws as they don’t want to concentrate on their own.
They are the ones that always answer in the affirmative about their own lives, they never have a problem, an issue, an annoying husband or other grievances that most “normal” people have. I have been friends with these people and now recognize a particular personality trait that is fluid. None of them ever have a thing to complain about, ever.
They live in Pleasantville in a world of perfection and happiness. There are zero flaws in their world.
Im extremely happy and outgoing and while I typically have an air of optimism looming around me, I am real. I will tell you about the challenge of being divorced and of raising children solo. The disappointment of the fairy tale not ending as I had assumed it would. The difficulty of watching a parent succumb to cancer, of having to say goodbye to my Father.
 The challenge of being a part of the sandwich generation with no family around and having to be present and fully giving of all of myself for those around me. 
I have a great life but it is not without certain challenges.
Fortunately I see challenges and difficulty as part of the natural flow of life. Without these difficulties we would remain stagnant and our spirit would not arise to a richer level. I have lived, I have hurt and I have let go. I truly understand that no one has a great life every single day.
 I can’t be friends with someone who has the perfect life simply because they aren’t being real or true to themselves. I don’t need to hear complaints but if you know someone for over three years and they have never had a bad day- something is simply unnatural.
So my dear friends, who I love and cherish- I thank you for being part of my life. I thank you for your smiles, your tears, your challenges and the connection that I will continue to nurture. You have enriched my life greatly. xo

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