What does friendship mean to me?
*warning – I am using no filter, so there may be a few naughty words in the following
I’ve done a lot of thinking lately, we’re talking some deep heavy thinking. I think this thinking has been brought on due to the fact that a few of my long time, close to my heart friends are in personal battles….battles for their lives.
I don’t get close to people very easily or often. I don’t open my heart up much. I don’t let people see the ugly scars or the even uglier wounds. When I do, it’s because I am trusting that person. I have found I was very wrong to trust some of these people, a few others it was a blessing to let them in. Those people that I mentioned above, the ones fighting for their lives, they are among those people that I consider a blessing. They are in the select handful who have seen the very ugliest in me. They know these parts, they love them…they love them because they love me. They know the shit I’ve done and that I’ve gone through. They’ve seen me make totally fucked up mistakes, they’ve seen me succeed and fail. They’ve been with me through some of my darkest days and have been a beacon of light for me to go to to escape the darkness. They know me inside and out.
Through the years Ive lost touch with these people. I’ve been riding a crazy roller coaster which has been fun and yet terrifying at times. Though I lost touch with these people, I knew they were there. I knew I could pick up the phone or just show up on their doorstep and I’d be welcomed with loving open arms and we’d carry on as if we just saw each other yesterday. I’ve carried these people with me, always. Other people I met along the way heard your names because you are such an ingrained part of me, that I couldn’t help mention you or share the wonderfulness of you with them. I carried you with me always…how could I not,? You are a part of the fabric that makes me who I am.
I’ve had many friends though the years. Though they were only friends of conditions or convenience…not solid built friendships. If I wasn’t doing what they thought was “right” I had backs turned on me. If it was not convenient for them, they did not have time for me. I’ve been told I was too loud, too quiet, too emotional, too sensitive, too nosy, too obnoxious, too protective, not understanding enough, too Christian, not Christian enough, too opinionated, too relaxed, not relaxed enough, party too much, don’t party enough, too open, too liberal, too conservative, made bad choices, am just plain annoying…..you name it, I was told. They were all conditions, that if I didn’t change to fit into who they believed I should be, then I either wasn’t good enough or not worth their time and they slowly faded from my life. I’ve been very hurt because I opened myself up to these people and started to let them in, I trusted them and that was a mistake. Though lessons are learned by mistakes. Those friends, I call those my reasons or my seasons. Important yes, steps in my journey of life, of course. It’s my lifetimes that have NEVER done this to me. I was always just right, just Kristen, just who I am supposed to be and I’ve been loved by my lifetimes, by my people.
I found myself closing up but trying to find connections in a “safe” way…by reaching out and connecting with people that I networked with. I have found great connections and people I would gladly call my friend, even if we’ve never actually met in person. For the most part though, it was all fluff and bullshit….more of the conditions or convenience. Stupid me let it hurt too. I’ve allowed others to hurt me. But that is me, it is in my nature to give people a chance, to want to trust, to want to give of myself.
We all have reasons, seasons and lifetimes.
Reasons – I think they are there to teach us something, Something about ourselves or something about the world around us, just something we need at that time. Reasons are important, they are brief, can be painful or joyful but you always take something of that reason with you.
Seasons – I believe seasons are reasons with a deeper meaning , The lessons take longer to learn. They meet a need you have or that another has. I think they are there for us to also be the “teacher” to help someone else. I always have believed that by giving and teaching, you also get and learn. Seasons come and go without notice, but are a part of you forever.
Lifetimes – They are the best and the worst of reasons and seasons all rolled up and amplified. They are what you hold on to, they are what builds you, what stabilizes you. They are what you are made of. They are with you for life. There is nothing fleeting about lifetimes, they do not come and go, they are not brief. They are there for the long haul and we are to cherish them. Lifetimes are the people who love you just as you are. You can go years and years not seeing or talking, then when you do, you pick up right where you left off like no time has passed. Even if they last time you spoke to one another was in anger, all that is forgotten. Lifetimes don’t just accept your faults, they love them because they are a part of what makes you you.
I have neglected my lifetimes, I’ve shut myself off from the outside and curled up inside my private world. I am no longer neglecting my lifetimes. Some of lifetimes are far away and I may never actually get to see them face to face again….but I will do everything I can to let you know how much I love you and cherish our friendship. I will enjoy you the best way that I can with distance between us. It’s after all only miles, miles can be overcome with love. You lifetimes who are closer, get ready to start seeing my face because I am wanting to see more yours. You are the people who helped shape my life. We’ve gone through shit together, been stupid together, even gotten incredibly pissed off at each other…but none of that ever got in the way of the love and bond we have. I know that no matter what, you are there for me…..and I know that you know I am there for you. No conditions, not at time of convenience. Lifetimes.
……and that is what friendship means to me.