Remember when you were a kid and all it really took to make a friend was to walk up to someone on the playground and say, “want to play?” Then, BINGO – you were best buds. That is pretty much how my best friend and I met -we were four years old, I was playing with my Barbie and Debby rode up on her bike and asked if she could play. Flash forward, we are still BFFs -MANY years later (no need to give ages away!).
For most of us, making and keeping friendships can get a bit sticky as the years pass, and as adults, it can be even harder to make friends. We’ve all been burned at some point and our guard is up. Many times, we feel the other person wants something from us (want to buy my makeup? Insurance policy? Bank with us?) and the deeper connection with other people can get lost.
Add to the mix a spouse, a job, perhaps kids (or in my case, pets) that take the attention. Friendships can take a backseat to those responsibilities, and it’s easy for the friendship to wane. However, as I’ve become older, I find that I NEED my friendships more than I ever did. Life becomes more complicated as we face loss, breakups, firings, and moves.
As much as I love living in Europe, I miss my friends back home very much. I’ve been very fortunate to have a strong circle of lifelong friends, and when I got the opportunity to visit home last summer, I felt so rejuvenated spending time with my “sister” Debby, my dearest friend Terry from college, and several friends from high school who I haven’t seen in years. These are the people who saw me through the Duran Duran obsession, supported my artistic side, held my hair when I had a little too much to drink, raised eyebrows over fashion choices, let me cry over first loves, and stood with me at my wedding. These are the people who helped to shape who I am now.
Today, I can say since we moved to Germany I’ve added a few people to my life who I feel will still be good friends when we’re sixty-something. The unfortunate thing is, one has gone back to the States and the others are soon to follow. Such is military life! But it is a small world, and I have hope we will cross paths again soon, if only for a visit.
This year I resolve to keep in closer contact with my friends. They are so much more than that word, “friend.” They are my extended family, a part of my blood. I love them all!