I'm fortunate that I have many friends who I can count on in any situation. There are the friends from my hometown, who even though I haven't actually hung out with them in person in many many years they know the me that I was in 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade. And I know that if I'm visitng my parents I could call them up and we could get together and reminisce about working at Clover together or riding our bikes to the "old Laneco" or working on the canal boat together or driving around town late at night and hanging out at Taco Bell.. It's been years (decades, even) but we could still enjoy spending time with each other.
Then there are my high school friends. I went to a boarding school and so my high school friends are scattered about the world a bit, some as far as Africa. But if I post on Facebook about something that happened way back when, or looking for advice about something happening currently, one of them is likely to respond. And although years and location may seperate us, I have no doubt that if I ended up in their city I could look them up and we could have a grand old time...
I'm more in touch with my closest college friends, at least by phone and constant emailing. Again, we're all scattered around the country, up and down the east coast, with one of us in Europe. But we email and chat weekly, comparing stories, offering advice, and lending a shoulder when needed.
There are the people I met while living in Boston- fabulous roommates who I've stayed close with even though time and distance have seperated us....
Tonight I was fortunate to have a Girls' Night Out withmy local friends. These are women who I met through Paul actually- he used to work with one of them and she introduced me to the others. There are 5 of us in our little troup, with 9 kids between us, and we talked tonight about the fact that we're friends only because we want to be- there is no other reason for it. We're not friends because our kids were friends first and so we were forced into amicable relationships. We're not friends because our husbands work together and so we're at the same work events. We're not even friends because we have so much in common. In fact, other than having children and living in the same general area we're pretty different. I'd say we all have the same basic values but personality-wise, and strength-wise, we balance each other out.. We are friends because we truly want to be.
I came across this quote recently, that "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” - CS Lewis.
And I definitely think it's true- I have several friends who I wouldn't necessarily be friends with if we didn't have something in common, whether it's where we're from, how we were raised, what we believe in, infertility (or fertility), work, or otherwise... But most of my friends are people I'm friends with more because of our differances than our similiarities- they're the people that I learn from, who can see things from an alternative position, who can offer a different point of view. They're the women who can offer advice that's not just based on their own experience, but on their feelings or their instinct. They're friends who have no problem telling me if I'm just being stupid or if I have a valid point of view.
Paul and I are an example of opposites attract- we bring out in one another the traits we don't personally excel in- optimism, patience, etc. And my friends do the same for me- they understand me, they "get" me, they support me, and they're there no matter what- no questions asked, no favor too big, no question too silly. They balance me and help me find my way in a world that's so full of doubt and questions and concerns.... They are THERE. And to me, whether a friend really gets where I'm coming from, or can understand my point of view, the thing that matters most is that they are there no matter what.
And so I want to say thank you to my friends- all of you. Whether you're the friend I text daily for advice, the friend I see once a year, the friend who sends cards in the mail when I'm having a rough few weeks, or the friend who knows just what to say, or what not to say; I hope that I, or someone else, can be the person who is there for you, no matter what. I'll do my best.