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Friendships are a tricky thing, aren’t they? As a child we could make friends in two minutes, but just as our lives have become more complex, so are our relationships as we grow and mature into adulthood. Friends we swore allegiance to in high school are sometimes just a faint and and fond memory while some friendships from grade school are still going strong.

It’s been a joyful and sometimes painful journey through my friendships, as I am sure many of you can attest to. Some relationships are like a cactus plant — a little watering goes a long way. And then there are others more like flowers — needing plenty of water, pruning and TLC to be maintained. I have some friends I can go months without talking to and we can pick right back up where we were. Then there are others that if not tended to, weeds begin to flourish and choke the life out of the bond shared. It’s never really a “one size fits all” for relationships.

Not every friendship is meant to be for a lifetime. Those “seasonal” relationships meet a need that’s sometimes temporary for both parties. For me there have been quite a few “seasonal” friendships. Some seasons are longer than others, but definitely fulfill a purpose for both people. It’s not always clear when the season passes, but even in the not knowing, there is certainly a life lesson to be learned. Each connection we share with others is as unique as a thumbprint. It’s custom-made. And sometimes, like shoes, they sometimes have to be discarded. Either because of lack of support, it’s no longer a good fit, or the style is not truly timeless. It outwore its functionality because it simply did not stay in touch with the environment surrounding it.

Many markers for a relationship happen with life’s milestones or transitions: a move, illness, marriage, a baby, divorce, etc. Sometimes that can be the death knell for friends, but it doesn’t always mean a relationship is over. Many times it just means the tone and tenor of the friendship has changed. And like a band with a new song, it takes some adjustments from the “players” to work in harmony together again. Work is necessary for all types of relationships to succeed. I met my friend Crystal almost six years ago. We have been there for each other through many life moments — joyous and painful. We’ve laughed, cried, praised, and danced through it all. I thank God for her and all the friends I have ever been blessed with. Not sure what the future holds for any of us, but I am grateful for them all and what we have taught each other.

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Me (left) and my girl Crystal (right)

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