2016,  Friends,  Musings

Musings: A Common Denominator

A death, a wedding reception, and a birthday…

What do they all have in common?

The ability to remind me that I have chosen to surround myself with a great group of friends. I’ve been told on countless occasions that it’s rare, while simultaneously being complimented, on the strength and length of my friendships. Secretly, I’m also glad that many of them have blended together and most of the various groups of friends have all become friends.

Some people may say I spread myself to thin. I appreciate your opinion, but I completely beg to differ. I chose to put a huge emphasis on friendship. This isn’t to say that family and my relationship are not also important to me, but I chose to balance my time with these three things of importance. I’m not asking for acceptance or understanding from anyone, it’s just how it is.

Bancroft Beavers. Well really, I was a TJ Eagle, before I became a BB, but that’s really where the story begins. I transferred to a new elementary in 3rd grade. This is where I met a lot of my friends that I still have today. The only exception is the Guidette, whom I met in Kindergarten while joining the same Brownie troop. From Beavers, we became Pioneers, then we transitioned to Warriors. Many of those that followed through this progression were my guy friends. Some went on to become Sac High (RIP) kids, but they never lost touch with us. They all lived in the same neighborhood, so it wasn’t that hard. I was actually the oddball that lived in a different neighborhood, but luckily my G-parents lived in the same neighborhood, so I was always there.

Once we became Warriors, we met a whole new group of friends from E. From here we blended our groups together and we had a whole new group of friends. Why am I giving you these details? So that you can see the longevity of the friendships that have been established. It’s not just us, it is our families that have become friends — our siblings and our parents. We all know each other and it hasn’t changed to date. Yes, we’ve all gotten older, maybe a little less recognizable, but driving through the neighborhood you can still spot someone’s parents or siblings. We can still tell you where their childhood home is, most of their parents have not moved from the neighborhood.

Being a woman, as you get older, it is easier to stay closer with your female friends. However, I’ve been able to keep both sets of friendships pretty closely held. I know it’s rare and I appreciate the friendships that are still intact. I appreciate that I can celebrate the good moments with them and also be there for sad moments. It’s in each of these moments that I remember to be grateful for these humans who have come into my life and stayed.

Last week was a roller coaster of events for myself and different friends. It started with a vigil service for our friend’s father. Afterward, we went to dinner, where we were afforded the luxury to just laugh, talk about life (mostly about kids and marriage), and spend some honest, genuine time together. Even though it was for a sad occasion, it reminded me to be grateful for these women (and the others who are part of the group who couldn’t make it) — they are strong, loving, and above all genuine.

Then a few short days later, I was able to celebrate a fellow BB as he married his love. We attended the reception that was held at his childhood home. All of my guy friends, most of whom are BBs, were there to celebrate this momentous occasion. Even our PE teacher was there and she still remembers each one of us. It was at this reception that the groom’s sister was introducing us all to her friend when she said: “You guys are lucky to all still have each other.” Okay, that wasn’t verbatim, but it was close enough. She was telling her friend that we’ve known each other since elementary school and then realized she didn’t have many continued friendships from that time in her life. It was this statement that really prompted this post.

Ms. Pam with all her BB’s over the years.

The next day, after two soccer games, I rushed to go meet up with the Guidette to celebrate her birthday. Another reminder of a strong friendship, my longest friendship to date. I love how I was able to blend newer friendships, the Bestest and her, and now they are basically best friends too. We all have friends that we’ve met through various jobs we’ve held, and I was lucky enough to maintain a handful of very strong friendships from my Nordstrom and Red Bull days. Friendships that are some of my closest friends, my Ride or Dies! But the best part is, they’ve brought new friends into my life as well and they’ve also blended with my childhood friends too.

None of my friendships is perfect. There are times we drift apart and find our way back to each other. There are times where we go lengths of time without speaking or seeing one another. I have even lost a few friendships over the years. But it really boils down to who’s there for the hard moments, when you need them most, or how easy it is to fall back into a friendship when you do hang out after long periods apart.

I completely empathize with the other side of the spectrum of fewer friendships. It’s not how I chose to roll, but I can see how others are not like myself in this way. I can see where only keeping a close couple of friends is more important than having a larger spectrum to surround yourself with. I don’t think it’s the quantity that matters, more so the quality. Are these humans you want around on your happiest and worst days? Will they support you through all things in life? At least to me, those are the questions I ask myself when choosing to spend my time with people. Time is the most valuable thing you can give to someone, friend, family, or significant other, so chose wisely.

The common denominator is friendship, not the length or quantity, but the quality…

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