Friday, October 14, 2005

Do you know where your friends are?

Although I’m huge on quotes, I’m not going to share any this time (OK, maybe one, but you’re going to have to keep reading to get it). But have you ever noticed how many quotations there are about friends? In case you’re not a big dork like me and you don’t keep a quote book, I’ll tell you that there are a lot. I’ve found plenty more quotes about friends than I have about family.
Perhaps there’s something about friendship that inspires people to say poetic things about it. Family is just kind of there… but friends are the people you’ve found worth the time and effort to have in your life.
Of course there’s a reason for this rant… I spent some time with my sister recently and we drove each other crazy. Although we shared a room until I left for college and obviously shared a similar history for all those years, we have become very different people. Not bad different, but definitely different.
I had a friend who was a big advocate of not getting sucked into the whole family commitment thing. He believed that no one should feel obligated to spend time with their parents, siblings or other relatives simply because of the titles. I’ve often preached this to friends, telling them that it’s OK to choose to spend the holidays with their friends instead of their families if that’s what will make the days more enjoyable.
But it’s easier said than done.
I’m not writing off my family. We’ve learned what works for us in terms of spending time together—we know what our limits are. I’ve never gotten together with them without laughing my butt off so it’s not like I’m having a bad time.
But there’s something to be said for friends. They are the people you choose to be with, rather than those who are chosen for you. There’s a quote that says a friendship is (don’t worry, this isn’t the official friend quote you’ll be getting) is the recognition of one’s soul in another person and the delight in that recognition.
I spend hours emailing my friends, talking on the phone with them and sitting around their dining room tables playing cards because I want to. I spend way too much money on cell phone bills and often give up sleep for the promise of a better time, but it’s worth it.
And now, time for the official quote (much better than I ever could have said it…):
“Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”
Now, go find a friend and give them a hug.

1 comment:

KAT said...

a truer statement was never spoken: you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family. and if your friends know you pick your nose, they may not pick you back.

i've had my share of family strife, and it's true that my friends have gotten me through it. you need family -- and it's true that there is a strong bond with the ones that even drive you insane. and for all of the problems that they have, family is usually there for you when you need them the most.

i feel for you KAT, mostly because we had this exact converation 10 months ago. it is harder done than said.