Another week, so much to be thankful for… Including Friends.
“Friends”. The word is so weird to me actually. I mean it is used so loosely. Depending on the person, it can mean so little or it can mean so much. I remember being in kindegarten telling my mom all about my dear friend, Macie Kennedy.We were classmates, went to the same center afterschool, and she was awesome. Pretty, a killer smile, and back then we were obsessed with Paula Abdul. In fact, Macie was Paula, and I was Janet (that’s Ms. Jackson if your nasty).
Then there was those Kelly boys. You couldn’t tell me anything. Nick was my bestest friend in the world, and so was his brother Andrew. We would always act out as if we were the Save by the Bell cast. I had so many great friends at the time. I mean being in 4th grade, I thought it was cool. There was Summer, too who was pretty awesome, sometimes bossy.
Then I met Valencia my first day of middle school. No joke, I remember running home to my mom saying, “Mom! I met my first black friend!” Not that race mattered, but for me it was nice to have a friend who happened to share my heritage (and school). “V” was edgier, cooler, and I looked up to her. She had the coolest parents in the world, and finally, I had someone to go on long bike rides with in the neighborhood. It was also during my middle school year I became close to Tiffanie and Muffin. I always had a relationship with Tiffanie because we were great friends (our moms went to church together), but in Middle School we really became close.
The Band Room with V, 6th Grade (Please disregard the socks)
Me, Tiff, and Muffin across the bridge I believe. We liked to hang out there although our parents always told us we couldn’t. We did occasionally. (Sorry mom)
I could go on and on and tell you about my episodes and the word “friend” or “best friend”. It was in college I met Amitria and her twin, Anitria. I love those girls, and I always look back and smile at the connection of my bestie Mitra and her husband, who when we were in college was one of my best friends too!There’s my Kelz from Grad School, J Cole, and so many more! I can’t even begin to tell you all the great friends I’ve made in this life so far. Some I consider friends, Some I consider “besties”. I’ve always had best friends, great friends, ok friends, etc, but I believe as you grow older, some friendships prove to grow stronger, others, dwindle away, and then some, well they go in “we have an unspoken understanding” mode.
So I know your thinking, Okay I get it, so whats with these so called “Friendship rules”. Well, recently I was having a discussion with one of my girls, and I was telling her how when I moved here, I didn’t realize how blessed I was with the friends I already had, and that my husband was urging me to find friends when I moved to Arkansas. Surely that would be easy right? Notsomuch.
I’m a loving person, I love to meet people (or so I thought), but making friends as a grown up for me is quite awkward. I lucked out and made a good friend when I accepted my first job here, but I was still quite lonely. I was missing my circle of friends back home (even those I didn’t see all the time). Arkansas felt like a very lonely place. I tried to make plans with people, but it sometimes felt forced, or it felt like I was hanging with my husband’s friends.Grant it, i’m grateful for the fun times, but it felt weird. So in my process to make friends, keep friends, etc.. I’ve decided to come up with the Friendship rules. I think many women can relate, and maybe even reconsider some of their friendships after reading this.
1. Always Be Yourself- Don’t become a skydiver or wine drinking gal over night if it’s not your thing. A real friend should accept you for who you are anyways. This especially goes out to my younger girls that are reading this!
2. Try and put yourself out there, but don’t be stupid- My husband was right. You have to go places, to meet new people. Try and make plans with new friends, but if they cancel all the time, then maybe you should make a different friend! Don’t let go of this one, just don’t try and make plans with a friend that will be canceled anywho.
3. Drop the Drama- There comes a point in time in your life when you realize you are grown. You don’t have time to play games (unless it’s Taboo or Phase 10), or be friends with someone who you constantly have to be drawn into drama with. You know, you go to a club, there’s that girl (she’s your friend) that’s gettin crunk and loud about to find in the club. I mean, when I see posts about things like this on Facebook, I want to ask the people that post this stuff, “how old are you?” or “do you know how stupid and childish you look?”
4.Find Friends in your Interests- Okay so it sounds weird, but I’m basically saying that if you like something, and someone else likes something, doesn’t it just make sense to like it together? Some of the greatest friends I have made, have been in Zumba. I found myself wanting to go to the gym and actually work out, due to some of my friends. I even have Stef with an “f” to thank for introducing me to some new workouts (that totally kick my butt.)
5. Understand that friends Shift, modes change, Relationships change- Some of my friends, or girls, I’ve never skipped a beat with. We still text everyday, talk, pray for one another, etc. We are constantly in the automatic driving mode. Then you have friends that for some reason, you dont talk to as often, or maybe you find that things are just different and there is no way to even explain it. It just happens. Don’t spend so much time (like I did in high school) trying to figure out what happened, why it happened. Sometimes you will find out that it just does. No need to put the car in reverse, just accept and move on. I’m not saying they have to be removed as a friend(maybe?), I’m saying accept the shift.
6. Some friends don’t shift, life just happens/changes- I have friends that I may not talk to everyday, because I have come to accept that they are busy, they have accepted that I have a lot going on as well. We love each other and keep in touch with one another probably through social media,text, etc…. However, there is this “unspoken (sometimes spoken) understanding. I love how Mitra and Tiara often texts or leave messages saying, I know I don’t talk to you often but your still one of my best friends and I love you. Love you too girls.
7. Stop with the Friendship/Bestie Time Requirements- At the end of the day, you can find that one of your very best friends you’ve only known for a year(maybe even less). It’s all in the level the friendships take- How you treat them, How they treat you. The quality time you spend together, yada yada.
8.Be Open- You may make a friend, when you least expect it! I made a great friend at a New Year’s Even Party once because we had so much in common.
9. Understand the Give and Take- Friendship is give and take. I’ve tried to make friends with some people who require so much out of me. I’m calling all the time, I’m leaving messages, inviting them places, sending you messages on Facebook, opening that door, only to find them constantly closing the door. Friendship requires TWO people. Working Together. It sounds like a given or basic for you, but you would be shocked how so many people forget this MAJOR Rule of Friendship. I don’t have time to make friends with someone who isn’t willing to do what it takes to make it work.
10. Remember You’re Grown (if you are)- At the end of the day, if you are like me, you have responsibilities, a family, and so much on your plate. It’s nice to have friends, besties, but it should ADD to your life, not take away from it.
That’s it friends. It’s really rather simple, there are just some things to remember. I’m so grateful for my besties/girlies (is there an age limit to this word?), long time friends, church friends, family friends, co worker friends, and my friends out in this virtual world (this means you.)
Until Next Time, Much Love,
P.S. Go make friends and be merry! Don’t stress! Oh and enjoy some pictures of some of my besties, girlies, friends.. Whichever term you prefer :)
(Almost 20 years of friendship here.)
Me and Kelz
Some of my AR girls!