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Friday, September 22, 2017

Friendship is Impossible {CELEBRATE This Week: 211}

I'm glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.
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Interestingly enough, I'm surprised by this post. A few lines in and I wondered if I was actually writing toward celebration. I wrote a little more and wondered if anyone would even want to read these words. I kept going and wondered where this was coming from? Why am writing about these memories? This isn't the kind of thing I planned to write or even typically write. Why are the words stacking up like this? Am I anywhere near celebration?

A few more lines and I wrote "and belonged everywhere and nowhere all at the same time." And just like that -- a slip, slap, loop -- I was reminded of a Maya Angelou quote that I read in Brene Brown's new book.

You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.
I realized I'm writing like Brene. I didn't set out to write like Brene. I didn't even want to write like Brene. But the words were stacking up and I decided to keep going...and push toward celebration. It may or may not be worth the read.

It was worth the writing, though. I'm reminded that sometimes the most important stories are the ones we don't even know we are carrying around with us. I'm reminded that what we read matters to how we write. And, most importantly, I'm reminded that a writing habit is the most important thing about being a writer.

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I've struggled with friendship. Do we all struggle with friendship sometimes? It's not easy and we can feed ourselves a lie that it's not essential.

Plus it's hard.

Being friendly is not the same as being friends.

I'm good at being friendly. 

Friendship...well, that's another story.

My whole life I've been really good at having friends for a season. Then something shifts and we take different paths. It started in third grade. My best friend decided to get a new best friend.

In 5th grade the bestest friend a kid could want moved into my class. We were a solid pair...until she moved away in seventh grade. 

I was friends with my cheer squad in 8th grade, but didn't make the cut in high school. They stopped being my friends.

I made new friends in high school, they were from the other middle school in our district. We had a lot of fun. One of my high school friends was my roommate our freshman year in college. She missed her boyfriend and went home. The rest of us went to different colleges. It was like different planets.

College brought more solid friends for the road. And graduation led to goodbyes. A new job and new friends. Then I became an instructional coach for the district and belonged everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

We adopted kids from hard places. I didn't have energy to chop fresh vegetables for dinner, let alone keep a friend. I had some super friends. They didn't last through the first year after adopting the girls. I gave up on the idea of friendship, deciding I wasn't a very good friend.

My most consistent friends were the ones who shared their stories each week during Slice of Life. They were splattered around the globe. My writing group formed. We told stories and laughed, and I realized not all women are terrible at friendship.

I wish I knew when, but I don't really remember dates, and I wish I knew how, but life was overwhelming, being a new momma to four -- three of them from hard corners of the foster system -- but somehow I became friends with Becca and at the same time with Jasmine. They were from two different spheres of my life.

For awhile I wondered when our paths would diverge. It always happens with the greatest of friends. We walk closely and then our paths curve away from one another. Rarely is it because of a fault or an argument or a mishap. We simply turn different directions quietly and kindly.

Last week I opened up that kind of happy mail that arrives in the box at the end of my driveway. I found a card...

If this were the 50s, I'd bring you so many casseroles.
And I realized everyone has roads that are kinds of crazy twists and turns. The greatest of friends will have roads that turn away from one another. When that happens, friendship is about shouting across the distance and holding tight when it gets impossible.

Friendship can seem impossible -- but the truth is the best life is impossible without friendship. It is essential to a well-lived life. Throw yourself into being a friend and hold on when it gets impossible.

And maybe, just maybe, make a casserole.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing. Your post provides validation and struck a chord with me about some of my thoughts about friendship and how it has evolved over the years. As always, I am in awe of how well you write and express your feelings. Kudos to you for all you do, and the Love you give your children. Your family is very blessed. You lift many of us up! Thank you for your words of wisdom and also your positivity.

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  2. Friendship -- even as it ebbs and flows is definitely something to celebrate. I too have noticed how there are seasons to certain friendships... and how much dedication it takes to maintain a friendship through these busy busy times!

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  3. I grew up reading books like The Babysitter's Club that made me feel like everyone had a best friend or a small group of best friends that did absolutely everything together. But I have lots of friends and I don't see my friends all the time or do everything with them. My friends are people I connect with when we're together. Some I see once a year, some I see every weekend...some I talk to everyday, some I talk to every few months. But they're still my friends and I appreciate them being in my life. And I think as I get older, I don't worry so much about the details, I'm just happy to know I've had people come in and out of my life and make an impact on me. Love you, friend!

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  4. Even though we are miles apart and have very few chances to be together, I consider you a very dear friend. You won't disappear from my life! Hugs to you and can't wait to see you in November!

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  5. Your post resonates with me. I don't have a lot of friends. I get that road that curves away. I've come to understand this about myself and not worry about it as much as I used to. My friends are in a small circle around me. I know our friendship is virtual, but when I saw you that one brief moment and you hugged me like you knew me and loved me. That was a beautiful moment.

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  6. I read your post several times. I stopped. I paused. I reflected. I find it interesting that some of my friends are those I have met through blogging and workshops. We don't see each other often, yet I call them my friends. Close close friends.

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  7. Throw yourself into being a friend- such good words.

    Sharing writing has made so many of us friends. What a surprise that has been!

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  8. I was at a book club this week and the topic was friendship. I've been thinking about past friendships. I too have had friendships that come and go. They all have a special space in my life though and they are worth the time invested. Thanks for this reminder of the necessity of friends.

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  9. Ruth- This is a beautiful piece of writing. I think so many of us, maybe adoptive moms in particular, would say that we have struggled to keep our heads above water at home, and just have not had the energy to put into other relationships. Now I'm wondering how to start doing that again…

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  10. Friendships are forever with those you can rely on. Friendships are forgiving even when miles separate you. Friendships are meant for the dark and bright days because these bonds lean in when needed. Thanks for letting me think seriously about this, Ruth. Sometimes when in the writing zone, everything is blocked so now I will come out to celebrate life with you.

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  11. Love that image of roads that turn away from each other . . . and then shouting across the distance and holding tight! I like to say to my friends - "If you are ever in my life, you are always in my life." But maybe some of them wish I would let go! Isn't a card in the mailbox just the best? I do love touching base with friends through blogging too. Thanks for creating this lovely pool of friends who celebrate together each week? Sometimes the fabulous, sometimes the gritty, sometimes the mundane - all worthy of our gathering.

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  12. Always enjoy reading your words.

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I {heart} comments. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.