Changing Places and Roles

I've been thinking a lot about friendships. Are they more or less important as we grow older? Do they mean the same thing to others? Do they mean the same to me? Are friendships worth the effort? Are friendships important as we grow families and careers?

I feel pretty lucky to have some amazing friends in my life. Some of them I have known for almost 30 years. Some of them shared growing up and teenage troubles with me. Some of them I have only known since college. Some of them I have only known since I started my career. Some of them I have only known for less than a year. Are they all important to me? YES. Am I important to them? I hope so...but I'm not so sure anymore. Bear with me...

I understand that friendships change over time. I also understand that some friendships take a wrong turn somewhere and can not withstand difficulties. I have lost a few friends from change in geography. I have lost only a few friendships for stupid reasons (some of which I still don't understand). But it still isn't easy to lose a friend.

Losing a friend, or losing contact with a friend hurts. It hurts a lot. It amazes me how *little* some people value a friendship. Sometimes there are trite issues that split people apart. But what I find is this: people don't put effort into friendships.

A good friendship doesn't come easy. A friendship needs to be nurtured. If both people don't actually put in the effort to BE friends - then the friendship won't work. I've seen this so many times...and it hurts. I tend to always be the one that makes the effort - because I care about my friends. I think I care too much. I don't like losing friends. Friendships are needed. Friendships make you a better person.

When was the last time you nurtured a friendship?


Nina said...

Love this post.

Here's another thought: at some points in our lives, personal responsibilities overwhelm our capacity to put the kind of effort into friendships that we would like to. And during those times, only the strongest friendships may survive.

I know for the last 5 years I have struggled to keep my head above water with birthing and raising 2 kids, job, hubby, etc.

Distance is also a problem- the geographic sprawl of our region does not help things- I have foregone going out on a snowy night to see friends when it required a forty minute drive on little sleep.

I hope for easier times ahead and more capacity in the future.

But of one thing I am sure- friendships DO matter!

--D. said...

You'll always be my "hip friend" =)

One reason is that friendships are free, they don't cost us money so we take them for granted. Think about it, its the things that cost of us money that people end up putting more value on, which is opposite of how it should be. Here's a favorite quote of mine:

Everything that's really worthwhile in life came to us free — our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends. All these priceless possessions are free. But the things that cost us money are actually very cheap and can be replaced at any time."-Earl Nightingale

Anonymous said...

I love this message. It is never to late to make a connection. It is all about relationships with people. Thanks for putting into words many thoughts and feelings

The Bonfiglio Family said...

You are a wonderful friend and I cherish our relationship. Thank you for always being there for me, whether its for a laugh, lunch or a good conversation.

Thank you for being you and for reminding me what it means to be a good friend on a daily basis.