Today I heard myself describe my relationship with a friend of 35+ years, "With BR, I don't have to tell the stories, I just have to give the updates."
So, so true. Lifetime and/or long-time friends are a true treasure. Whether you're together on a regular basis, or sporadically, when you do meet you start up again just where you left off. She knows your history, your family dynamics, your successes, your failures, your fears, your joys, your weaknesses and your strengths. Tah-dah! She really knows you and has weathered all the years and changes steadfastly committed to you as a friend.
I remember in my younger years feeling that I needed the perfect friend. Knowing full-well that I am imperfect, I still felt there would be the perfect soulmate. Yeah, yeah... Some think that you can find that with a spouse, but girls need girlfriends.
Somewhere early on, I heard-read that we can't expect perfection in other people, instead we should enjoy the parts of each relationship that work well. We can have many friends with different strengths and weaknesses, interests and opinions. What each of us needs is a mosaic of friends. A mis-matched, cobbled together group of friends that in-the-whole form a thing of beauty. A treasure. Fine art.
So, some of my friends share my faith; some know my extended family. Some friends love to cook-read-travel or talk. Some I get together with weekly or monthly. Some I seldom see or hear from. Yet together, this group of old friends enrich and inform my life.
I know just which friend to call when I need to complain or vent. I know which ones love to celebrate. Various friends can empathize with my joys or my frustrations. I can dial-up just the right friend for just the right conversation. Some friends like to do, some like to talk. Some understand my need for aloneness and some require a constant party.
I love them all. I can take each in small or large doses. But, when the chips are down for one of us, the other is confident that the friend is close by and trustworthy; available and competent to say just the right word, to do just the right deed, or to extend a hand, arm, or shoulder at just the right moment.
That being said, I think I'm open to new friends. Not all positions are filled. If life is about growing and changing (and it certainly is!), then I can see that I am in the need of more friends for this continuing journey.