I always, always thought, even after I graduated high school, that I would never have friends like that ever again in my whole life. Maybe a bit dramatic, looking back on it, but how could I? How could I have friends like the ones I had my first slumber party with? That I had Christmas Concerts, church, and dances with? Who got in trouble right along with me for drinking at parties or staying out too late? How could anyone relate with me on that same deep, 13 year long level? And I honestly just thought that it would never happen and I just had to figure out a way to accept it.
Fast forward to college, and yes, I made some friends. I only really talk to 2 of them anymore. Oh, and those high school friends? I must say that I actually do talk to a lot of them still. And that I think about them a lot. And that I truly love them. We can go months without talking and pick up right where we left off. And those relationships are very important to me.
Enter, my sisters. They have always been my friends. Darci, and I don't think this is a secret to anyone, and it's not meant to hurt my other sisters, has been my best friend forever. We've had disagreements, of course. But she has really been my best friend and she's a friend I know that will be there for me no matter what, no matter when, no matter how. She's the first person I want to call when I am mad, sad, happy, or have big news. She knew about both of my pregnancies before my husband even did. She helped me through a loss of a pregnancy. She is my little sister, but in a lot of ways I feel like it's opposite. Like I need her guidance on many issues in my life.
Enter, friends in my early 20's. A lot of them were honestly great, but we just drifted apart. I had marriage and babies before most of them and we just reached different stages in our lives and that's okay. If it weren't for facebook, I probably wouldn't really know too much about how they are doing now. Of course there's one that stuck :) And we don't talk all of the time since she moved back to Sioux City to restart her life. But I love that girl for life.
My late 20's (wow, that's scary) have been amazing, especially as far as friendships go. In the last year I have met some of my truly, truly best friends. One in particular that I feel like I've known all of my life. We did this little thing called "Mom Prom" together last year, maybe you've heard me mention it before... :)
All of these friendships are treasured to me. And they all taught me something, good or bad, about myself and what a friend truly is. And to me, a friend never makes you choose sides. A friend is always there for you, right or wrong, but should be the one to tell you when you are wrong. And if you are a friend, you should accept that you are not always going to be right. A friend sympathizes with you when you are having troubles, if even hers are "worse." A friend should show up just because, not just when things are really bad or really good. A friend would bring over your favorite (or HER favorite!) bottle of wine just to chat. A friend shows interest in your life and invests in your children. And you do the same for her.
Unfortunately, I've learned what to avoid in a friend as well. Avoid friends who have "one up" you all of the time, ones that you can't trust, because just like a marriage, you have to be able to trust your friends. Avoid friends who suck the positive energy out of you. Avoid the friends who demand you be their only. Avoid friends who change their story. Avoid friends who have a sense of entitlement.Avoid friends who take advantage of your or exploit your weaknesses. Hold your friendship close and never just give out to everyone. It should be a chosen process. Think of the 5 people you are closest to. They speak volumes about what kind of person you are. Choose friends who are like you (but still different!) and that deserve to be that close to you.
Guess who told me that? One of my great girlfriends :)