Friday, September 26, 2008

Ella Es Mi Amiga

I've been thinking a lot about friendship the last couple of days. Sometimes I feel like I am still in the first grade with it all. Seriously. I don't know exactly how someone becomes intimate friends. I didn't have another little girl to share all of my secrets with. I never played dress up with anyone or giggled about boys. I didn't pass notes or have a secret handshake. There is no one actively in my life who has known me since I was four.

I suppose I pick four because I know someone who has a couple of good friends that she has known that long. They grew up together.

For me, friendship is doing life together. But then it gets complicated by families and children. The time has to be carved out.

I also know that I have a tendency to gravitate towards children. I can talk easily with them and make them smile. I find it harder with adults. But I am working on it. Sometimes I volunteer to kid sit while a friend finds time with a spouse. I like that, but . . . .

While I do long for that "doing life together" kind of friend, the one who would drop anything at a moments notice, I recognize that I do have the start of some friendships.

Debbie was eight when her family moved here from Argentina. At there house, they speak a mix of Spanish and English. I know just enough Spanish to follow along. God brought to mind today the number of times I have gone over to Debbie's. Raquel and Lucas have tried to pull me into a game or activity. Debbie reminds them, "Ella es mi amiga." (Sorry, I don't know how to do accent marks!)

Ella es mi amiga. She is my friend. She hasn't come to see you but to hang out with me. I love those words, "Ella es mi amiga."

What are some of the best ways you've found for making close friends?



Anonymous said...

I think for me, my two closest friends, we have stuck by each other through tough times... we aren't "time tested" but "trial tested."

I think for me to develop friendships is also hard. I tend to hang back and not call someone, for fear that they really have something else they want to do, and don't really want to or have time to talk to me.

With my friend Cindy, she pursued me a while at the end of last summer, before I ended up in the hospital. we met for lunch, and talked on the phone. We didn't get really close though until after I got out of the hospital. After that we talked at least once a week, me calling once and her calling once (never really talked about it, it just happened). Then I got up the guts and asked if she wanted to do lunch one day. We met (had the kids with us so we went to McDonald's so they could play while we talked) and my kids were so good because they love "Miss Cindy" too. We just started getting together once a week. Some weeks we had to skip because of schedules, sometimes I met her at work, and we ate lunch on her lunch hour, sometimes she came to my house when I had the kids and had lunch here.

Sometimes my husband gives me the time off, and I get to go help her do work on her house (she is trying to scrape off wallpaper and paint and such) or spend a good long afternoon talking and catching up. We email back and forth and still talk at least a couple of times a week.

I started sharing some things that were going on in my life with her, becoming more transparent, authentic, and she didn't reject me, even when I felt a bit awkward and uncomfortable at first. And then she reciprocated by telling me things going on with her. That broke the ice for us.

It's so hard to know how to develop that close female friendship. I have struggled with it, and longed for it, for a long time. And I too don't know anyone who is actively involved in my life any earlier than about my junior year of college... that's my oldest, closest friend.

I don't know if anything I wrote helped you, but that is kind of what God has done for me... it's my story, and not everyone has something that goes the way it did with me. Cindy and I, and my other best friend Gwen and I, just felt comfortable together, we compliment each other, and our strengths/weaknesses match up for the most part, where they are strong, i am weak, and vice versa. And we share common interests... singing/worship, praying, rollerblading, reading, sitting up and talking for hours and praying and crying together... (is that last one really and interest or a given?!) :)

anyway, you get the point. I hope that helps.
God bless,

cautious1 said...

I do not have a friend that has known me for what seems like forever. I don't know if I could choose a "best" friend because I have several people that could probably fall into that category. My "best" friend from college lives in MN. but she is the person that could finish my sentences and knows how I think and what I think sometimes before I verbalize my thoughts. I don't see her very often (probably 4-5 times a year only) but talk regularly. I am one of the few people that still sends cards and letters via snail mail so I keep in touch with her that way (it's nice to get something other than a bill or junk mail in the mailbox).
I have a "best" friend at work...I see her everyday and she has been through a lot with me and has supported me through the ups and downs of life.
I met another friend at church (clearly a God-incidence) and while she might not fall into the "best" friend category just yer, she's someone that I admire and love a great deal.

After all of that, I would say that my most recent friendships have been made through connections at church. I have been involved in a variety of things and have gotten close to some of the people (I'm not one to warm up to too many people quickly either).

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

If it makes you feel ANY better I too struggle with friendships. They seem to go through so many seasons and often it's just very frustrating!! But, I have found as have you, it's better to have one forever you can count on and love friend then 50 "friends" that you are not deeply connected to!