Friendships

Maybe it’s the weather, that the energy around us is slowing, plants and trees are going dormant, birds are migrating to warmer climates, animals are going into hibernation.  Maybe it’s that the holiday season is quickly approaching and I am thinking about all the people who matter to me.  Maybe it’s that I’m about to hit another monumental number in my years on this planet and it has me looking back on where I’ve been, the journey I’ve taken so far and the path ahead.  Regardless of what the cause is, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately.

It seems that everyone’s lives have gotten so busy, my own included.  There are days, even weeks that pass by that I feel like I’m hanging on by just the tips of my fingers, praying the ride doesn’t go any faster and that my hands don’t get clammy because I don’t think I’ll be able to maintain my grip.  When times are like this, I tend to think about my friends.  I think about how I wish I could talk to them more, see them more, be a better friend.  But at the same time, I know I can only do so much right now and hopefully they know that even though I don’t talk to them as often as I would like, that they still matter to me just as much as the last time I saw them.

I’ve been thinking about what makes a friend a true friend, and what is it that makes someone, well, just not be?

Some of us were born with a keen sense of understanding others.  Sometimes it feels like a blessing, other times a curse.  That sense of understanding or intuition not only allows us to be compassionate and understanding of other people, but also gives us the ability to “see through” others for lack of a better way to put it.  It’s like having a secret decoder in your pocket at all times.  What’s really cool about it is that you can quickly get a sense of what is “going on” with other people and whether a person will be a good fit in your life or… “not so much”.

We’ve all met at least one person in life who only became friends with you because they felt they could “get something” from you.  You get a sense the first time you talk to them that they only have one reason for becoming your friend and guess what?  You’re not it.  I’ve had co-workers and even supervisors who pretended to become “friends” in order to get my input, share my ideas and help on projects, then turn around and take credit for all of it to make themselves look better. Ironically, our friendships faded when the projects were done, but obviously these people weren’t really friends.  And thankfully these people typically aren’t around for the long haul either.  They’re temporary.  They’ll get what they want and move on.  Eventually you’ll be “Un-Friended” on Facebook and the “Link” on LinkedIn will be broken. The good thing is, having that sense or intuition about people can be a true advantage.  It helps you find genuine people and helps you see the people who aren’t so genuine for who they really are. It also makes it kind of entertaining when you see through the others because without them knowing, they showed you their cards at the beginning of the game and you get to sit back and see how they play them.  Once the game is over they’ll cash in their chips, head to another table and never look back.   Thankfully, I’ve only run into a few of these people in my life and only just often enough to remind me how grateful I am for my true friends.

There’s a quote I often think of by Eleanor Roosevelt – “Many people will walk in an out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”   There are so many people who I’ve run across, bumped into, met in passing in my life that I haven’t even been able to remember their names.  There are people who I’ve met, who I would have liked to have gotten to know better but never really gotten the opportunity.  There are the people who I worked with, and become friends with, but once one or the other of us moved on, we’ve lost touch with one another because the only thing we had in common was work.  And then there are the friends that regardless of how often we talk, how long we talk, how infrequently we get together, I know they will always be there.  Those… are my beloved friends.  Those… are the people who have left footprints in my heart.  Those… are the people for whom I will be eternally grateful.

To my true friends,

I love you, appreciate you and you will always have a place in my heart.

Kate

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4 Comments to “Friendships”

  1. What a heavy topic, lightly said.

    Me, I cope by reverting to Ye Olde, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you learn which, you’ll know exactly what to do.”

    I was glad to read along and relaize that someone else had been there too, huh.

  2. Well said Kate! I have thought about you often throughout the years and wished I had done a better job of keeping in touch.

    I tried a post on friendship, but it did not turn out nearly as good as yours!

  3. One of the things my grandma used to tell us before she past was “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”. I too have had people that have come into my life for a short period and cash in their chips. They have bad intentions and or judge too soon. You are not one of those people. That’s why I will ALWAYS have your back!

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