It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the interesting things about moving is that you end up in a new place, not knowing anyone, and must proceed not only to learn your new community but to create a new social circle, those people we call friends. It’s an interesting and sometimes difficult process, because each group is a little different and each time you join a group of friends, you have to figure out your place among them and learn the personalities and preferences of the people in the group.
I’m lucky to number a lot of really amazing people in my friends. I can’t even begin to describe them all, because I’d be sure to leave someone out who deserves to be on the list. The very best of friends are those who know you deeply, understand your quirks, and love you anyway. They’re the ones we joke would help us hide the bodies if we ever really lost our cool. And they’re there, in good times and bad, watching your back and keeping you sane.
Some of us come from interesting family backgrounds, and our relationships with our parents and siblings aren’t what you call straightforward. Mine is certainly that way; I love my family but it’s a relationship can be a bit challenging and is not always as supportive as I need. That’s where my friends come in. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who care about and support me in so many ways. I am also lucky to number in this group a lot of people that I still feel close to, even if I don’t see them every day or even every year.
A really true friend will still get the joke five years later even if we didn’t see each other in between, and when we talk, it’s as if no time has passed.
In our modern electronic age, people often wonder if our relationships are becoming more superficial – after all, what does it mean to be Facebook ‘friends’ with people? Is it the same as a real, in-person friendship? I would say no, but the ability to keep in touch with my true friends through electronic means definitely keeps us closer and talking more often, which is a good thing. People that might otherwise fade into my past are there on a daily basis, keeping me informed on how they are doing, and letting me help them celebrate the great things in their lives or pray for them when life gets hard.
So, here’s to friends, old and new, serious and stupid. And to the joy and love that they bring to our lives, and even to the electronic means that keeps us together.