Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friends are friends forever?

Liz and Erica on St. Patty's Day
If I were to try and fill this blog solely with our adventures in infertility, it would be spotty at best so don’t be surprised if you see more frequent posts that have nothing to do with baby-making. Today’s ramble was inspired by a conversation with a friend of mine. I stated that good friendships, like good marriages, require work from both ends. Relationships go through phases and the ones that are meant to last, do. That got me thinking about the friends I have had over the years.

The one constant has been that I have always kept a very small circle of close friends, as in 1-2 at any period in my life. I have yet to determine whether that is by choice or just the way it has worked out. I used to long to be more popular and have a slew of close girlfriends, but these days, I am content with what I have and am happy to say Georgia has treated me well when it comes to friends (see photo!).

I have a pretty high standard for friends, a standard that has been cultivated over the years from too many feelings of being let down by someone I cared about. I need my friends to be an active part of my life and reach out to me as often as I reach out to them. In the spirit of honesty, I admit that I have not always been a good friend. There are more than a few occasions where I acted like the total and complete opposite of a friend. I’m thankful to say that I’m still friends with some of the people I hurt (and you know who you are) the most during my misguided, fickle, jealous youth — proof that the good ones stick.

Friendships were easier to keep up when we were in school; everyone was together all the time. Now that we have grown up and moved all over the country, a lot more effort is needed to keep the connection fresh. Distance and different types of lives make it difficult and while things like Facebook are great for not losing touch completely, I think it also leads to a false sense of intimacy.

I no longer waste time on forcing friendship. I will try numerous times to connect but if all I get is static on the other line, I eventually leave it up to them. In fact, J and I did that with a couple we were friends with in Virginia. We invited them to a million different things, but they always had an excuse so we finally stopped asking and they never took the time to reach out to us. We ended up cutting our losses. Sad, but true.

What about you? Are you still in touch with friends from different times of your life? Do you make it a priority to maintain those connections? The best girlfriends are simply invaluable and I’m curious to see what others do to keep those relationships fresh.

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