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Monday, January 08, 2007
Friendship Is An Interesting Animal...'s ever changing, ever evolving. And ever fragile and precious.

This weekend I did some thinking about friendship and what makes it true and real for people. It's a scary thing when you think about what may constitute a friend for some people and different requirements for others.

Some friendships are superficial. We all have them. They're the folks in the workplace that you occasionally have a cup of coffee with, but no further commitment ever happens. Or they are someone you run into randomly at the gym and work out with sometimes in companionable silence and sometimes in conversation. They're the people that are friends because they're there and convenient, and it would just be uncomfortable for everyone if you didn't speak to them.

Some friendships are co-dependent. You get something out of it that you need, and so do they. You may share something deep with each other, and maybe it's a situational need, but that's about it.

You have workplace friendships, school friendships, college friendships, friendships that stretch across cities, counties, states and countries. I have friends on the other side of the world - I may not talk to them as often, but they're still important to me. I have friends who read this blog, and others who do not (they're missing out). And sometimes members of your family can be your friends.

There are all sorts of types of friendships that are out there, but I'm not going to go into all of them. It would take *weeks*, although it might be an interesting series of blog entries to delve into. Alas, however, I don't have that sort of time or attention span to devote to it all; I have some thoughts to get out and this is the place for them.

This brings us to the root of this: those people that you pull close to you and they know as much about your life as you do. And vice versa. These are the people that you burden with trust and secrets and love. True friend are always there for you when you need them. You might need someone's shoulder to cry on. You need someone to call with some great news that only they would completely understand. They could be someone that you can talk non-stop with over the phone or in person, or say nothing at all and enjoy each other's company. You can depend on a true friend to help bail you out of jail, or to be sitting right next to you while you're having a grand ole time laughing over what caused the two of you to be thrown in jail. They are the people that you turn to when you need good advice, total honesty, a reality check. They fantasize with you about the perfect life, and support you when reality isn't so perfect.

You don't want to lose them, and if you ever do it feels like a metal spike driven deep through your heart. Believe me, I know how that feels (even though I know there are a couple of you out there who think I'm heartless). I know you know how it feels too.

So I wanted to talk about true friends. True friendship isn't pretty. You might think that it's all about floating on clouds and always having good times, laughs, and great memories. And absolutely it is. But then there are the darker things that come with true friends. You see, there's always a dark side to the light side.

You have to be honest with your friends. That sounds easy, right? You don't lie to people who are important to you, and a great many people don't lie to anyone period. Well, honesty is often brutal. Especially if you ask for total honesty. You might hear things that you don't want to hear, phrased in a way that you might not be appreciative of. But whatever it is, it's said with love for you. Or you're the one delivering the honesty, and you know you're saying it with love, concern, care, etc. for the other person.

But what happens when you feel that you have been betrayed...

... tune in tomorrow.