I am a natural loner. Yet I have a small group of close friends whose company, guidance and interaction I cannot live without.
Mr MF is one of them, but today I want to leave him out of it because he is a force of nature that warrants his own post sometime. I want to talk about the closeness of the relationship I have with my female friends.
I cherish the low-maintenance nature of a good friend. This is someone who I might not speak with for weeks or even years yet can still start-up where we left off. A good friend is someone who knows your secrets, who values your faults as much as your strengths no matter what. With good friends you can tell each other straight without either getting offended, without even thinking about if they would get offended.
I love the predictability of knowing that there is no pretence and no ‘work’ to do with my friends to know what they’re really thinking or that there is any hidden agenda. A good friendship should be easy. It should also be something you trust and respect implicitly.
Anais Nin put it beautifully when she said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – www.psychologytoday.com
My small group of close friends each bring me something different to offer whether that is intellectual stimulation, a shared history or similar sense of humour. What they have in common is that each has been my friend for at least ten years; some more than 20; but little else links them together as they are all very different people.
During this time we have traversed our education, bad-relationships, marriage, tragedy, death, children, contentment and anxiety – life’s ups and downs. Throughout my life’s chapters my friends have been a constant source of support; without question and without fail each has steadfastly held me close and helped cement a solid bond. I have been able to maintain those bonds even from afar, since I haven’t always lived close to them, and now I live in an isolated town.
This maintenance has been possible due to another thing my friends have in common – they are all people who know themselves well enough to know that it doesn’t matter where on the planet your friend is; it’s their commitment that matters.
As I get older I place even more value on my friendships. A friend is someone you can take turns with easing the domestic pressure; to help with the kids, someone who will help you clean the house, someone who knows how you like your washing done, someone who gets along with your family, likes your husband and someone who just knows when you need a bottle of wine and a chat. All those things are sorely missed when you’re not in the same location; that’s when phone conversations help, but they are not the same as seeing a dear friend in person.
Good friends are something to treasure. I can only hope I can offer as much to my friends in return. When was the last time you told a friend how much you love and respect them?