….some are silver, some are gold…
Anyone get the title reference? I’ll give you a hint – it’s a song I first learned in Girl Scouts, years and years and years ago (I think I was a Brownie for one year, maybe two). Anyhow, it’s very true. It’s actually a whole song or poem or whatever, but I just remember singing the first stanza, didn’t even know there was more until I just now googled the lyrics. Here are the ones that go through my mind at times: “Make new friends/but keep the old/one is silver/and the other’s gold.”
It is my belief that friends, real, true, good friends are the family we choose. I don’t know where I would be without my friends – wouldn’t even want to begin to think about it. I may not see all of them often, hell, I have good friends I haven’t seen in 20+ years, but I know they are there for me. And I know that, most importantly, they will keep my secrets. And I will keep theirs. Like the friend I haven’t seen in 20+ years but am still close to – I know that he’ll never tell people what it was that I shouted out to him the very first time I met him (thankfully there weren’t a lot of other people there who knew me who heard me, and those that were, were probably as drunk as I was at the time and either won’t remember or won’t share for fear I’ll tell on them too).
Technology makes it so much easier to keep in touch with our friends, to chat with them regularly, to share our lives with them. And to reconnect with them. I love technology! I have friends whom I now love (I love my friends and I’m not afraid to admit it) who were more like acquaintances when I knew them way back when, who years and years later became actual friends after we reconnected online. And I have friends, true friends, whom I met online but have never met in person, whom I still consider real friends because we share our lives and details and talk on the phone and laugh and cry together. We share our everyday struggles with life and kids and boyfriends/spouses and friends and we share our hopes and dreams and secrets. We tell each other things we don’t tell everyone.
I love my friends, as I said before. I can’t say that enough. I love that they help me with little and big dilemmas and decisions. We share our triumphs and tragedies, big and small. I love that I can look back at my life and say, that idea came from this person, and that idea was made better by this person, and this person encouraged me to do this, etc. They encourage me to follow my dreams. I love that my friends encourage me and I encourage them.
Sometimes I tend to share a lot of little details on Facebook. But I share the big ones only with my friends. And then they remember and text me and ask how the date I was so excited about was, or can’t wait until the date is over to text me because they’re dying to know, or they ask if I’ve remembered to take time for me lately.
I’ve always been very outgoing, for the most part. People thought I had tons of friends, but really I had tons of acquaintances and a few people I considered “real” friends. I remember in college, in the dorm cafeteria, being called over to a table of guys. One of them said, “We see you going from table to table every night, talking to everyone, and we want you to be our friend too.” I’ll never forget that. Those guys were such a hoot – they always made me laugh so hard – and they introduced me to the fun of going dancing in gay clubs. They were so much fun, so complimentary, always a blast. But, alas, they were not true friends. I don’t think I could name one of them, even with a gun to my head (please, don’t try that – it’s not a challenge).
I recently was lucky enough to spend time with someone I now consider a friend. We hadn’t seen each other since college. Back then, we knew each other – lived in the same dorms, our activities had us regularly crossing paths. But we weren’t friends back then. Now, though, I consider myself lucky to have him in my life. Of course, only time will show how it plays out – how close our friendship will grow. But having him in my life right now makes me happy. I know I said it’s quality and not quantity of friends that count, and I truly still believe that. But that doesn’t mean that expanding my circle here and there can hurt.
Of course, we always also have friends we’re really close with whom we drift away from. But that’s ok. Usually when they drift away, it’s not painful. It’s like that saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. All are good. I can look back and think fondly of people I was once really close with who for one reason or another have drifted out of my life. But they left their footprints on my heart, and I can always reach in and touch those memories.
I’ve been through hell and back several times in my life. I’ve had a lot of tragedy. But I’ve also had triumphs. And my friends have been there every step of the way, making me laugh when I wanted to cry, giving me encouragement when times seemed so bleak. And laughing with me and having fun with me when things are good or even when it’s just normal life.
So call your friends, text them, IM them. Tell them hi, tell them a joke, tell them you love them. Life is too short not to let them know you love them.
Live, laugh, love…it’s what makes it all worthwhile!