Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Listicle: Quotes and Reflections on Friends by Andrea

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.
Hubert H. Humphrey

This list is dedicated to all my friends.  I love you and need you more than words could ever express. If you are reading this and you consider me a friend, know these words are for you.  Thank you for your patient love, generous encouragement and boundless support.  You make me better, and I more than love you.

  1. A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you just the way you are.  -Unknown

I have a friend (or two or 12) who knows pretty much all there is to know about me.  When both pleasant and unpleasant memories surface, and I make some connection to who I am or what I do today, I typically share these with my friend, Not So Easily Shocked.  With this friend, I can process my past, present and possibilities.  They say ‘Confession is good for the soul’- by baring my deepest secrets and fears I am freed from the shallow graves of shame and guilt.  

  1. There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better. -Unknown

The very first time I spent any significant time with Laughs As Easily as Breathing, we talked into the wee hours of the morning and by talked I mean laughed.  We sat in my car for almost six hours, and each segment of conversation was flavored with hearty, uproarious laughter.  Passersby surely thought we were naughty teens making out in my minivan, the way the vehicle rocked and the windows fogged from our raucous laughter. No matter how serious the topics we must discuss, the tragedies of our lives to share, comedy will reign in the end.  One quality I appreciate most in all of my friends is their willingness to let their hair down and laugh!

  1. Hard times will always reveal true friends. -Not Known

Through each decade of my life, I have had to endure challenging circumstances that could have taken me out of life!  For instance, when I found myself pregnant, afraid and ashamed at 16 years old, He and She Who Understands, stood by me without judgment or surprise.  If either thought any less of me, I never knew nor felt it.  Life throws lots of lemons my way, my truest friends join me on the porch for a tall, homemade glass of lemonade.

  1. As we grow up, we realize it is less important to have lots of friends, and more important to have real ones. -Ziad K. Abdelnour

As a true extrovert, I have always had lots and lots of friends. I have counted it a blessing to be able to move from group to group in personal, academic and professional settings and feel included.  Though I view this as a strength and blessing, as I have grown up, I find myself desiring to spend my free time mostly with a few people I know well and who know me- friends I thoroughly enjoy such as She Who Makes Me Think,  She Who Makes Me Laugh, She Who Loves to Talk, She Who Loves to Listen, She Who Is Positive, She Who is Wise, She Who Lets Me Be.
  1. True friends are the ones who have nice things to say about you behind your back.  -Unknown

It is so encouraging to meet someone for the first time through a mutual friend or colleague and that person say “I am so glad to meet you! I’ve heard nothing but good things about you from So and So!”  One of my nearest and dearest friends was introduced to me by another friend who thought we would make a good “friend connection.”  Following the initial awkward meet-your-new-best-friend introduction and wonderings about ‘how will we break it to her if we don’t hit it off’, it was plain to see that She Who Knew Us Well had orchestrated a connection. I’m happy to proclaim decades later, I love her as much as I did after our first blind friend date!    

  1. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. -Author Unknown
My brothers and sister have no children.  I have nieces and nephews by marriage,
and as grateful as I am for them, distance and time have kept us away from them for most of their growing years.  This makes my bonus niece and nephews that much more precious to me. I delight in their visits, hugs, notes and stories as much as I did with my own children. We earned the names Auntie and Uncle within two weeks of meeting, an easy transition because their mom became my sister just as quickly.  Sometimes, it boggles my mind how close we’ve all become within a short period of time. Surely, we were just separated at birth.  We are definitely brothers from another mother and sisters from another mister.  And this relationship we have with so many of our friends!

  1. Best friends make the good times better and the hard times easier.

I went through a bit of a rough patch, once.  I was feeling very challenged by circumstances of life that were completely out of my control.  I sank into depression, having a hard time just doing routine, everyday things.  My friends rallied around me in ways I’ll never be able to repay.  My sister-friends, Truthteller, The Encourager and Faithfulness held my head, heart and hands with the gentleness and love of a mother.  To paraphrase words credited to Albert Einstein ‘my friends showed me everyday they know the song in my heart and were able to sing it back to me when I had forgotten the words.’  

  1. 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.  Anais Nin

She Who Makes Me Think has opened up worlds of art, literature, writing, faith and service, hobbies and more which has, in turn, helped me to find more of myself.  And the blessing of it all is that I have multiple of these friends!  I love intellectual and spiritual pursuits so to be surrounded by women more intelligent, wise and lived than I could ever be, pushes me more toward excellence daily.  I write. I teach. I speak. I dream. I try. I serve. I love. I am MORE because of them.

  1. Our time together is just never quite enough. -Owl City

As young girls, well into our teens, one of my first cousins and I would play and hang out together ALL DAY long.  Then we’d ask our mothers if we could spend the night with each other.  They couldn’t believe after so much time together we’d want more..  Now as an adult, I have friends that I could and have spent hours upon hours of my day(s) with and ‘t were it not for husbands, children and other grown-up responsibilities would have sat even longer over cups of coffee, plates of hors d'oeuvres or perusing shops, museums and the like.

  1. Sometimes talking to your best friend is all the therapy you need.  -Unknown

We talk on most Tuesdays.  Standing appointment around 4:30 pm CST.  Sometimes, I get to be the therapist.  Sometimes She counsels me.  We are both lightened and enlightened by each conversation.  The only cost is an open-mind, undivided attention and a clear cellular connection!  Getting advice, talking through wonderings, hopes and concerns with my confidantes and counseling friends has saved me thousands of dollars through the years. I'm crazy and my best friends know and love this about me. They keep me steady and focused on the right thing. Mostly just by listening well.

  1. If you live to be 100, I hope to live to be 100 minus 1 day so I never have to live without you. -Winnie the Pooh

I am one of the blessed few people on Earth who has been fortunate enough to have as one of my best friends the matriarch of a tribe of over 100 people.  As a small child, I prayed Pooh’s words in my own way.  I couldn’t and still cannot imagine a day without She Who Gives Life. Blessed I am to have innumerable women in my life that I cannot bear the thought of living without.

  1. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  -Jim Rohn

Anything worthwhile in me, I owe in large part to my friends.  If there are things in me that I need to change, well, I owe in large part to my friends.  All the things I love about myself, I see in my friends.  All the things I want to overcome in myself, it’s because I see what I can be in the examples of my friends.  My family is included here because they truly have been my first friends- my mommy, grandparents and siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, my husband and children.  If I average out to be half of who they are, then I’ll be better than I could ever have been without them.

1 comment:

  1. I always wanted to have a sister. But through friends I have filled that void in a much transforming way. Thanks for listing all the ways we touch each other's lives through friendship.