Fact: I’m a huge Sex in the City fan. Carrie Bradshaw will always have a place in my heart. There is an episode in particular that I watched, probably for the 100th time as I packed up our home to leave Washington and move to Oklahoma. As the episode ends, Carrie leaves you with another one of her fabulous words of wisdom that I have held onto for well over a decade.
“Maybe mistakes are what make our fate… without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart… and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away”
Now, think back on the last ten years and all of the friends you made. This probably includes 90% of your Facebook Friends. Now, think back on the last five years, and the friends you make it a point to spend time with, text and talk with outside of social media. Who does that leave you with? For me, I’m left with about six people and I’m happy to admit that three of the six have been a constant presence in my life for more than ten years.
I’m a firm believer that people are going to come into our lives for a reason. Likewise, they are going to leave your life for a reason. I have developed friendships that had great beginnings but ultimately ended for various reasons. It was me, or it was them, or it was a group friendship with weird dynamics. Sides are taken and then the ultimate divide occurs and the next thing you know you aren’t Facebook friends anymore and god forbid you see each other in public.
I’ve learned a lot from the ones that have left. When people hurt you and then leave, the words from my grandma and Bambi instantly come back… “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Which for us adults, is code for, don’t be a shitty person. If all I got out of those short friendships was a reminder on how not to be an asshole to people, then I owe them a hand shake and a thank you.
Now, let’s go back to those few friends you have that stuck around through the good, the bad, and the ugly, and think about what makes them different from the ones that didn’t make the cut. Could it be that they are just more forgiving when you say something bitchy because you’re PMS-ing? Are they more understanding when you can’t make it to their birthday dinner? Or is it something as simple and genuine as not needing to talk to them once a week, or even once a month because you know that although you might have missed a few things, theres nothing a phone call can’t fix?
One of my best friends stayed with me for almost three days straight while my grandmother (who raised me from age 2, and was basically my mother) was put on hospice and passed. She sat next to me on the floor and let me fall asleep on her knee. She stood behind me as my grandmother took her last breath.
One of my best friends living in Florida at the time, without asking, got in her car and drove 18 hours to be with me as I buried my grandmother. She has also been the reason we have managed to uphold a “Friendsgiving” tradition for eight years.
One of my best friends, has a love for my children as if she carried and delivered them both herself. She’s a mother herself, and one that I admire and hope to come close to in comparison.
One of my best friends, has blessed me with her ability to (almost) never tell me no when we ask her and her family to join us in something. I’ll never know how she does it, but she she’s there for it all. She gives “never missing a beat” an entirely new meaning.
There may never be a bold faced explanation on why these friendships have lasted and others haven’t, regardless of the transparency in reasoning they are here. And they are here to stay. If I had to make a good guess on it though… it’s because people suck sometimes and this is the universe’s way of saying “hey, sorry you had to experience that asshole, so here are some really awesome people.”
I guess… thanks, universe and karma and the friendship gods above. You’ve given me some really special people to make up for those really shitty people.