i met her at a non-profit event.
thinking i was simply attending the friday night soiree, somehow in a blur, i ended up behind the buffet line, feeding hungry twenty-somethings and keeping them entertained with my sarcastic humor and wit (and humility as well). aside from the person with whom i came, i didn’t know a soul.
welp, here’s to making friends!, i thought.
thankfully i was paired with a gregarious petite brunette who kept me company as we served up plates of caesar salad and blocks of costco cheese (what every good buffet boasts, obviously). she giggled as i made snide remarks under my breath and somehow over the course of the next three hours, i found myself wondering if it would be too forward to ask her to be my friend. that kind of business seems normal in grade school but somehow we’re perceived a little creepy when we attempt to do it 20 odd years later. luckily she beat me to the punch by friending me on facebook a few days later. it was from there that we began a budding friendship -exchanged facebook messages begat the exchanging of phone numbers and eventually our first one-on-one dinner date. this kind of sounds like how a romantic courtship starts, doesn’t it? well, sometimes, i think female friendship kind of starts the same way. it’s scary being vulnerable, especially at an age where we are all too aware of our ego and how quickly it can bruise. but much like romantic relationships, putting yourself out there in a platonic capacity can reap equally as precious rewards.
to be honest, over the past three years, A and i have only seen each other a handful of times. meeting up at asian vegan fusion restaurants, the del mar location of urban plates, and most recently -last night in fact -at rimel’s rotisserie in cardiff. we have shared tales of travel, job highs and woes, and most certainly enough dating nightmares to make you never want to create an online dating profile again. but despite the infrequency of our visits, i always leave our time together filled, inspired, encouraged, understood, and for lack of a better (or trite) term, so very blessed. her passion for helping others and bettering the world around her is not only admirable, it’s infectious and i am constantly amazed by how much influence, energy, and drive fits so neatly inside of such petite package. that, and she seriously tells the best stories.
you know, friendships at this age are interesting. to me, they are a living organism, constantly changing, ever evolving. they often become the victim of their circumstances -never completely immune to the wear of distance, schedules, and the biggest culprit -life stage. i have learned that friendships, like most things, take work. but the ones worth fighting for always make the work worthwhile.
You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.
You have to pay your electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.
as it pertains to this particular subject matter, the last few lines struck me the most. you have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. sometimes it’s as simple and complicated as that. if you’re lucky, you will make a lot of friends in this life. some before you can talk, some before you can drive, some before you can legally drink, and some not long after you realize it’s time to start wearing eye cream. they will come in all different shapes and sizes and last for a season or for a lifetime. but despite how many ladies you count as friends, there will be but a handful that you truly count as your people. and those are the friendships you’ll want to water, and nurture, and grow. those are the ones that will fill your life with endless joy and meaning. and those are the ones that despite circumstance, or the infrequency of your visits, will still find ways to bless you and keep you sane.
thank you, A, for reminding me how sweet true friendship can be. and how it can bloom from even the most unsuspecting seed.
image via portable3