Are You My Friend? If So - I LOVE You

I have some really great friends!
Sometimes I think I need MORE friends. And CLOSER friends.

But today I was thinking about how much I love the friends I have. It's hard to make new friends, and sometimes really hard to maintain friendships, over distance and time (or both). Being slightly nomadic should have made me try extra hard to treasure the friends I meet, but I don't think I really have. One of my closest friends at work was let go and is leaving our office at the end of March. I have been thinking a lot about how it will be to go there without her every day, and it's gray. It's like a cloud over my head. We'll get together and go play bingo, and maybe have games night or volunteer together - but it won't be the same and I'm going to miss her terribly! I don't know that I understood how much I valued her friendship before this happened. I thought I did....but I'm so sad inside about her not working with me! What if we lose touch over time???

I met some wonderful folks in high school. And then lost touch with almost all of them within five years.
Then I had a few years, from 18-22, where I was married and had a baby and busy being all self-absorbed with my own life. I have no idea where everyone went after high school, but we didn't keep in touch. To be fair- it was harder back in the days before internet and when calling long distance required planning ahead on how to pay for that fat phone bill or getting a calling card. Side note-do they even sell calling cards anymore??

I went to college from ages 22-25 and met some really great friends there. There were a few girls who I hung out with frequently who just disappeared after graduation. I can't even remember their last names to look them on Facebook! Horrible. And one friend I had all through college, loved her, and we stayed in touch a bit, but then she made a comment about me losing weight so I could be in her wedding and I really took it hard (I wasn't even as overweight as I am now at that time!). I only really know where four of my college friends are at this point. We don't talk very much at all, but we should!

After college, I moved to Oregon for a couple years and one of the friends I made at that time is still in my life a wee bit. We met up this morning for a lovely walk, and though it's the first time I've seen him in about 9 months, it doesn't feel like it. We text a little bit and stay in touch here and there, but he's a friend I know I could call at any time and he would be there for me.

Then we moved to Korea for a little over a year. I met some friends teaching there from Canada and New Zealand. We're FBOF (facebook official friends), but don't really talk. I'm glad to know they are happy and doing well, but I suspect we may never meet again.

And now I'm pretty well-planted here, back in Oregon, and have a few different circles of friendships. And I love them all.

I feel like it's really easy to take our friendships for granted. I know when I nearly died last year, a number of friends were there for me - meeting me at my house after I left the hospital, calling/texting me frequently, bringing meals-overall taking care of my well-being. My friend from high school lives in Africa and had flowers sent to me! It's the hard times in life when you can really learn to appreciate your friendships!

2012 is now designated the year of the friend. Call your friends often. Share with them. Laugh with them. Treasure them.

4 comments:

  1. Courtney said...:

    Hi [waving], FRIEND! :)
    Ok, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the friend that asked you to lose weight to be in my wedding... [shaking head], nope that doesn't sound like me. But, I suspect I am one of the four college friends that you "know where [we] are" and we don't talk much, but we should... Do I have it right?

    We should get together! I think of you often and pinged you awhile back to see if you wanted to do a girls weekend after Andrew left for school... Let me know...would be fun!

    Hope you're doing well. :)

    Glad we're friends,
    C

  1. Screw Lucy said...:

    I have had the same close girlfriends for 17 and 27 years. It's a fantastic blessing.

  1. Natalie said...:

    I love having you for a friend! :)

  1. Vidya Sury said...:

    Hugs, Kaylen! I've moved around a lot and am lucky enough to be in touch with school mates (I am a child of the 60's so you know am talking about decades!). We keep in touch. But like you, I too feel terrible about those I used to get on with very well, and now, don't even know their second names to look them up on Facebook or somewhere. Sigh. I guess we must appreciate the ones we have.

    Didn't know 2012 is year of the friend. Lovely.

    I could identify with so much of what you wrote!

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