Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Ties That Bind

   "I can never think of promoting my convenience at the expense of a friend's interest and inclination."
                                                                   George Washington

   There's something to be said for friendship.  But first, what is it?  The dictionary defines a friend as "a person who is attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard;  a person who gives assistance; a patron; a supporter; a person who is on good terms with another; someone who is not hostile".  Even though these are all true they don't seem to do the term justice.  A friend, or should I say a true friend, is someone you can rely on in times of need.  This can be as basic a need as, "Hey, can I borrow some milk?" Or, it can be something a bit more crucial, like, "I really need someone to just sit with me tonight because I'm upset."  In either scenario a true friend would say "okay".

   Friends come in all varieties, and just because you like the same music, the same books,  and the same movies, does not always mean you're going to be friends.  Most of my closest friends have been people that were not like me.  (After all, who wants to hang out with themselves all day?)  I don't know why this is, but the ties that bind us are not always the ones we'd expect.  Sometimes the ones you become attached to are not even the ones you sought out.

   Friendship-making (like dating) a can be an intimidating and scary chore.  Like dating, when forming a new friendship you test it by doing things together, talking about your interests, and seeing if there's a connection.  If there is you have to tend to it.  If left unattended, even the strongest connections can wither away to nothing.

   Being a military wife has taught me to a new depth how important friendships are.  Before we moved to our new duty station, I was completely alone.  I had family around, but no one that knew what it was like being in my shoes.  When I moved to a base, I finally began making connections with people around me who were in the same boat.  Honestly, I don't know where I'd be with a deployed husband, a two-year-old, and no job to preoccupy my time if I had no one to turn to.  Or better yet, I know exactly where I'd be.  Angry.  Frustrated.  Hurt.  Depressed.  Alone.

   I'm not one who does well when left alone for too long without a task to perform.  I completely understand why women used to go to "sewing circles" or get involved in choirs at church and such.  I need interaction with other adults, as I'm sure most people do.  And for this reason I treasure my friendships a lot more now, and the loss of a friend, a good friend, cuts me in such a way that I never truly heal.

  I've lost many good friends along the way, and although the wonders of Facebook keep us in contact, that sense of closeness that has been lost.  And for some, I don't think it will ever return.  It's such a bittersweet truth that some people are in your life for a season where others are in for a lifetime.  It's natural, healthy even, to grow apart and change, but it's too bittersweet for my taste.

   I'm sorry for being so morose and pensive tonight, especially after being so fun and whimsical in my last post, but recent events have made me open my eyes to how much I truly value those people I am privileged to call my "friends".

"Thus nature has no love for solitude, and always leans, as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship."- Cicero


  1. I think this applies quite well:

    "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
    — Marilyn Monroe

  2. "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."

    My favorite friendship quote... :-) I'm glad you have such great friends, even if you had to lose a few to find the good ones!

  3. I like yours too Alysha, it reminds me of Anne of Green Gables with her idea of "kindred spirits".

  4. It's been too long since I've read Anne of Green Gables... I actually have several friendship quotes that I like, but that's my favorite. The rest are on the "My Jaime" page on my website. :-p