A Portrait of Friendship

A Portrait of Friendship

I am very blessed to have a amazing group of friends.  In this funny, ever-changing world, it is wonderful to know you have people you can rely on to share the good times and the bad.  I have been very lucky that way.  I have the same friends now that I had in high school, with a few “drop-outs” along the way.  I’ve got friends from every workplace I’ve ever had and I feel so fortunate to have made a brand new group of friends at my new job, friends that I know I will keep in touch with even if I eventually change career.

I had morning tea with a dear friend of mine this morning.  We used to work together years ago and have always remained in touch.  We are both going through similar things at the moment – marriage break-up, new homes, new jobs and we are a comfort and support to one another.  She is amazingly centred and zen-like, in a way that I will never be, and helps to ground me and bring me back down to Earth a little bit, when the world seems scary and unmanageable.  I think, in turn, I help her, even if it is just to provide a listening ear and some understanding.  We “get’ each other, which is such a relief…not having to explain yourself or make apologies for who you are is a gift.  Today she said “If I could give you anything at all, it would be the ability to see yourself as I see you…how beautiful and strong you are…”  I wish I could say lovely things like that! 

It is my birthday in a couple of weeks and my other long-term friend GK (we’ve known each other for over 25 years now…which is scary!) gave me my gift early this week.  She sketched a beautiful portrait of me in pencil that I am going to frame and hang on my wall.  She doesn’t consider herself artistic but I beg to differ!  Look at the amazing eyes on this picture!  I can’t “do” eyes at all.  She got the shape and characteristics of mine just right.  A wonderful gift from a wonderful friend!  She even got my nose right, which is disappointing as I don’t like my nose ha ha!  I would have been happy with some poetic licence on that feature! 🙂

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I am so grateful for the friendships I have.  Without them I would be lost.  I have had the same best friend for over 32 years now and I couldn’t imagine life without her in it – even if we don’t get to catch up as often as we’d like.  We have seen each other through first loves and training bras, new jobs and career changes.  We’ve cried together, laughed together, shared secrets and confided in one another.  We’ve never had an argument in all those years and we think of each other as family, accepting one another’s faults and believing in each other no matter what.  I have been incredibly lucky to have someone like that in my life but, in all honesty, all my friends fit that bill too.  It’s like I am a magnet for awesome, loyal, courageous, accepting people.  I like to think that maybe, just maybe, I am a pretty good friend too but I’m less sure of that – it’s harder to see good qualities in yourself than it is in others.

Friendship is one of the things in life that help you weather any storm.  Friends are the family you choose for yourself.  Friends accept you for who you are, whether that is crazy, sarcastic, quiet, shy or loud.  They stop you from being too hard on yourself and won’t hesitate to give you a metaphorical slap in the face when you’re being pathetic and hysterical.  They console you through breakups and celebrate your new loves.  They help you change and grow but also believe in the person you are deep down.  Friends call you, out of the blue, when you need them most and leave you alone when you need to wallow by yourself.  They know when to speak up and when to sit in silence.  They embrace your questionable fashion choices and sympathise when you make a fool of yourself.  They never poke fun at your dance moves and will gladly waltz with you when you find yourself alone on the dance floor.  They cheer you on when you are near the finish line, exhausted and about to give up.  They accept your faults and, in fact, find them charming and delightful.  They always think you are ten pounds lighter than you actually are and won’t hesitate to tell you when an item of clothing makes you look ten pounds heavier.  Friends are the glue that hold you together when you feel as though you are falling apart.

Friendship is everything and I am so blessed to have an abundance of it.

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