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The Many Facets of Friendship

Many many years ago, a friend and I had what we considered to be a deep, relevant conversation about boys, which evolved into an actually relevant and meaningful conversation about friends. What we intuitively deduced at the still-unfolding age of 20 was that not everyone can or should be everything to you.

In each of our worlds, we have our circle of trust – the people we cannot live without – and our perimeter filled with all the other types of friends. And some of those friends just fit the role they fit. For example, the work-out friend that you’d never go to happy hour with or the movie friend that you’d never discuss your kids with. But even our cannot live withouts cannot always be our everything. The point is to make sure you have a solid network.

This subject came up again recently, over 20 years later with the same friend who is now one of my cannot live withouts. At 14 weeks pregnant, she and her husband suffered the devastating loss of their baby, that they’d tried two years (after a miscarriage) to conceive. Because they were both hurting, she reached out to talk to someone who wasn’t going through the same loss she was. As much as they wanted to be the everything for each other, they couldn’t. She needed her friends.

At the same time, another friend was hurting for different reasons. A friend of hers, who had been one of her cannot live withouts, was pulling away and she didn’t know why. I told her that sometimes friendships change, but that maybe it was just the timing with the holiday; the friend was busy and caught up in her own life. Nobody is that busy she said, especially with cell phones, e-mail, texting and facebook. She has a point.

But I think friendship is fluid, organic, always changing with each life experience. Big things, like jobs, births, deaths, travel, moving and even little things like too much laundry, lack of sleep, kids sporting events, can affect how we deal with our own lives each day and that affects how we deal with others.

The best types of friends are the ones you can count on always, no matter what. The ones that grow with you through all that life throws at you. They may be busy when you call them but they always make it a point to call you back. They are the ones that you don’t have to talk to every day but can pick up right where you left off the next time you are in contact.

There are many facets to friendship and I am lucky to have a solid network of people and a strong circle of cannot live withouts in my life.

One of my 2011 goals is to strive to be a better friend to the people I rely on. The last half of 2010 was a blur and I feel like I did a half-ass job of connecting with those that are important to me but I promise to be better at it this year.

So far, so good.




  1. Love this!

  2. Thank you!

  3. "A friend of hers, who had been one of her cannot live withouts, was pulling away and she didn't know why."

    Did your friend ever stop to consider that her CannotLiveWithout may have pulled away because perhaps she lost a baby…or is pregnant…or had a miscarriage… and just couldn't handle hearing about it?

    Just a thought…

    Been there.q

  4. Kara, it was none of those things. Turned out to be her (admitted) just not making the time to call back. They've since resolved it.

  5. Glad to hear! I'm always a big fan of talking through things if possible.

  6. I concur!

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