Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Friends - One is Silver, The Other Gold..."

Ah, nostalgia. I believe I'm beginning to understand the real meaning behind the phrase “it is better to have loved, and lost, than to never have loved at all...”

To me, this statement doesn't encompass just those romantic loves we've experienced in our lifetimes, it also holds true in other friendships and relationships. We've all met people who have chosen to remain “closed off” from making close connections with others. Perhaps it is because of some past hurt or (worse) a traumatic event in their lives - they remain adverse to opening their hearts and themselves to not only love, but the infinite possibilities of friendship.

Perhaps people in those lonely situations don't really understand what they're missing...for they rob themselves of so many opportunities. From an early age, our friendships help in the molding and formation of our ultimate personalities.

In forming friendships we travel through various stages – needs - if you will. It's almost like buying and collecting shoes. (Girls, I'm sure you'll get the analogy!) We can buy a lot of shoes in our lifetimes. Some of those shoes are collected for “specific” purposes – you might have a pair for running or exercise, several more just for “dress”, a couple for bad weather days, those you wear just for work, and old ones for working in the yard and getting dirty.....(you get the idea!)

Our friendships are similar – and each of them are important to us for many reasons. Like our shoes, it's not unusual to grow away from certain friendships. Doesn't necessarily mean it was a “bad” relationship. We grow, we change – we are meant to constantly evolve. People we met and became close to in college may not continue to have the same interests we do after leaving school...those we meet while our children are babies, toddlers, then school-age, follow different directions as their children grow and change...individuals we've worked with might leave for other opportunities...and neighbors move. Like an endless cycle of ocean tides, friendships will eternally pass in and out of our lives. Sometimes leaving small, unseen impressions upon our heart, other times leaving profound imprints that permanently – and forever – change us.

Even though I have been extremely blessed with many, many friends throughout my life, I still occasionally experience moments of loneliness. We all do. Why, I don't know. It's at those vulnerable times that I let nostalgia take over my thoughts, and I let myself float back in time to happy days spent with best friends. You know the ones I'm speaking of....like the favorite pair of comfortable, old slippers or flip-flops, those are the friends that no matter what age you are, no matter what stage of life you're in, no matter where you live, or how long it's been since you've seen each other, they still fit. You "get" each other, and you know that when meeting again, you could carry on just like you'd never left or lost touch.

Years ago, I would have let that nostalgia just take over my heart, ending in nothing but a pity party, dreaming of “days-gone-by.” With age, I've discovered that those memories and most special friends bring warm smiles and healing laughter to my soul. I know I was blessed to have even had them in my life at all.

The dearest and closest friend I ever had (other than my husband!), I moved away from when I got married 26 years ago. Though miles apart, I still consider her the best friend I ever had – for she not only shared the best (and certainly the craziest!) of times with me...she knew my faults, my gifts, my quirks, my fears, my endlessly rosy look upon the world....she understood me. She just – got me, and I got her. We could tell each other anything, and felt comfortable enough in each other's presence that we could be or act like anything we wanted to. Instinctively, we knew when each other needed support, or needed constructive criticism. More importantly, I could screw up – she could screw up – yet we continued to forgive each other's failings, and could always move on.

Because we are separated by so many miles – she's in the great white north, I'm in the deep south – we've (unfortunately) only been able to visit each other a few times. (Funny how time, money and distance can keep you apart!) Yet I know that if I picked up the phone today and called her, or showed up on her doorstep, our friendship would pick up right where it “left off.” Though each of us has matured and moved in different directions, (and I just described our friendship in the “past-tense”) this old shoe remains as comfortable, as “stylish,” as fresh as the day we found it!

While thoughts of her and our experiences together are sometimes bittersweet (for I do miss her terribly at times)... I regret nothing, and wouldn't change a thing. I realize that our friendship really taught me how to be a good friend. Forming new friendships, acquaintances, and pals since then, I've discovered that each is unique and special in their own right. Some have lasted for years, some for short periods of time, some briefer still. But I count them all as friends.

“No man is a failure, as long as he has friends.” (Clarence in "It's A Wonderful Life") Just knowing that you are loved – and understanding how special it is to share that connection, even if only briefly – is a gift.

I dedicate this posting to ALL my friends....the old ones, the new ones...the ones I don't see very often, the ones on-line, the ones I see all the time! Some of us have a “history,” some of us share similar interests or hobbies, some of us worship together, and some of us may still be getting to know one another. When feeling down, or sorry for myself – I don't have to search for my dose of positivity too hard. God has Blessed me with each of you, and you all have played a part in who I am and continue to be...I'm so very proud to call you all my friends!

To “Keets:” words are never enough. You are a part of who I was yesterday, today, and yes – even tomorrow! Guess that's how the term “soul sister” came into being! I'll love you forever - remember I've always got your back...

I'd like to close with (probably) my favorite childhood song - I first learned it as a Brownie (at about the age of six) in the U.S. Girl Scouts, and we sang this "round" near campfires throughout my years as a Girl Scout:

“Make new friends, but keep the old...one is Silver and the other Gold.”
Girl Scouts U.S.A. - campfire song

Pretty much says it all, don't ya think?

Pay it forward – spread a smile!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following me. It led me to this wonderful blog of yours! A couple of years back, I reconnected with a best friend I hadn't seen in at least 25 years. We picked up right where we left off. So I guess she's my silver and gold!


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