"Never shall I forget the days I spent with you. Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours." - Ludwig van Beethoven
Relationships are hard, complicated, messy. I've never been good at relationships...especially friendships. I used to work with a lady who grew up on a farm. She would always say "Humans are the strangest critters I've ever met." I couldn't agree more. When I would hear a preacher talk about how humans are God's greatest creation I wanted to say "Really?? Have you met any??"
I've often joked that I could be the crazy dog lady (because, really...who wants that many cats??) who lives 100 miles from the nearest person and be perfectly content. It's safer there. No vulnerability, no fear of rejection, no condemnation. Putting myself out there hasn't always worked out so well for me, so for a long time I just haven't. I'm pleasant, I'm friendly, I try to help out when I can...but I didn't open myself up to people. No one saw the real me...frankly, I've kept her hidden away so long I wasn't so sure what she was like either. That is starting to change though.
There are now a handful of people in my life who I am honored to call friends, and humbled they would consider me one. People who care what is going on with me, who want to know what I wrestle with, who want to do life with me through the laughter and tears. I am so incredibly grateful for each and everyone one of them. It's still hard. We hurt each others feelings, we get frustrated and annoyed. The difference with them is we love each other enough to talk it out...to call each other out on our crap. To link arms together and be glad we fit. All this stuff I've avoided (the pain and heartache) is just as much a part of the blessing as the laughter. I've grown through these friendships. At the age of 34 I'm finally I'm learning how to be a friend...I'm learning how to be myself....and (gulp) I'm learning how to be real and vulnerable. It's frightening, but the value of these relationships is worth more than anything.