Did you ever notice how you have certain friends where you can pick up right where you left off, no matter how much time has passed?
I’ve been thinking about this. What IS it that makes these friends so different? Why can rekindling some dormant friendships sometimes be tremendously awkward and awful, and yet others light right back up with little effort?
I have never been particularly good at maintaining friendships. If we are magically and conveniently together often, I can be an AMAZING friend! If you’re my work partner or teammate, I’m constantly thinking of you and looking out for you. If you’re my roommate, I’m always going to be kind and polite and give you my full attention and happily order whatever takeout your heart desires because I’m not picky. If you’re my partner on a school project, or a mom working on a committee or volunteer project with me…I’ve got your back and I do my part with a smile. If you’re my husband, well…we’ve been together twenty three years, so I can’t be THAT lousy. ?
I’m always just into what I’m into. Head down in my todo list and working on what’s going on right NOW. I’ve always hated talking on the phone. My schedule is always planned within an inch of my life, so I rarely “drop by” or “hang out” with anyone, ever. It’s not in my nature. I get overly focused on work or school or a new baby or whatever project is big at a given moment, and anyone or anything not in the picture tends to get flopped to the wayside. Not just slightly neglected, but completely IGNORED until I come up for air. This is not exactly an attractive quality in a friend. I try really, really hard to still be there for the big stuff, but it’s hard to know what’s big when you’re not even hearing about the little along the way….because, as a classic introvert, the LAST THING I want to do after a long day or week is connect with ANYONE…not on the phone, not on zoom, not on text…nothing. I am content to stay in my little bubble at home and recharge. Once you get me out of it, I’m always glad I came and often the life of the party, but getting me to commit or get dressed is a whole ‘nother story.
But some people give me a pass for all my flaws, and I am grateful for it. (I hope y’all know who you are.) And when we DO finally meet or talk, we don’t just scratch the surface…we get right back into it, and it feels so, so good. I think they know the secret of friendship…one I’ve heard over and over again but find hard to practice: in order to have good friends, just BE a good friend. Put out what you wish to receive. Maybe they are admittedly as imperfect and in need of grace as I am, and that’s what makes it so easy for us.
Being a better friend is something that’s on my list. Not on my generic todo list, per se…but on my “someday soon” habit list, because I recognize its not just a box-check here or there but real consistency and effort that friendship needs to work. I *want* and *need* to have more deep, meaningful, lasting friendships.
But until then, thank you for your grace and understanding.
(Seester pictured because she’s my BFF in the universe and stuck with me no matter how much I often suck.)