Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friendly Encounters

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read an article that outlined the different types of friends a mom should have. It listed building relationships with a variety of friends that range from being single or married, to young, same age, and older. I remember reading it and thought, easy enough. I need a single friend for when I want to party downtown. I need a stay-at-home mom for when my kids get sick, she'll be my backup babysitter. I need a working mom for aspiration or someone to relate to if I am working. I need a younger person to teach me of the new gadgets. I need an older person to teach me about life. Then, I had children. I thought, boy, was the article out of contact with reality or what? Or maybe, it was describing the ideal life of a mom. Either way, mines is an odd mixture of crazy people, but exactly what I need for this moment in my life.

For me and mine, I am content with the amount of social relationships I do have. I rarely go out with friends nor do I spend hours on end talking to or about them. I rarely talk about my friends, actually. Except for now, because I feel like I owe an ode to those who I can call or text late at night about random things that eventually end up being free counseling sessions for hours. I feel lucky to have people I can truly call my soul-humans.

Looking back, I have always kept my circle tight. I think there's a special type of people to not just get or accept me, but truly love me. As I got older, I realized that friendship does not take work at all. I noticed that relationships that I had to put a lot of effort on, were not the relationships I ended up keeping for long term.To me, relationships are like mirrors. I say friendship is effortless because when I bend over backwards for a friend, it's not forced nor rehearsed. It's an automatic reaction. When I sense a resentment or jealousy coming from the person I am genuinely happy for, I can feel it throughout my 4'11" body and I go on defense mode. I let the relationship go and I move forward. I don't believe in dragging relationships along for the ride if they don't want to be there.

I realized that some people come into your life only for a moment to slap you silly and show you different paths that are ahead. I've had the best and worst people come in and out of my life so quick, I feel like a revolving door. Some, I was excited to never see again, some, I shed tears for. I've had people who loosely used the word "friend", but talked behind my back for fun or pity. I have friends who will be frank with me out of love and not turn to the next person and replay the event. I've had people who stole my ideas and used it to compete with me unknowingly. I don't use the word "frienemy" because if you are in my life, it is either you are a friend or you are an acquaintance. I don't keep my enemies on my soul-train. So it's either you support me from the sideline as an acquaintance or you are on this crazy ride with me holding the barf bag. 

To say friends are not important is a lie. Friends are important. Whether or not they are young, old, single, or with children, my soul-humans are important to me. They come as innocent as the uninvited person to your party or as awkward as meeting them at a playgroup you didn't really want to take your child to. Some of the best humans I know actually came to my life this way. Many years ago, an older lady approached me while I was changing in the locker room after swimming with my family. She wanted to introduce me to her daughter. This daughter of hers remains as one of the best humans I have in my life now. So these friendly encounters should not be strictly followed according to quotas: oh I already have enough married friends or I need a stay-at-home friend who can babysit. Your soul will connect and attach itself to those who are meant to stay for the long haul, past the babysitting stage. 

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