BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!
Ok, Seriously, am I really going there, saying a phrase like that???
YES, Yes I am.
A few years ago I was discouraged about what happens to Friendship with Adulthood. I wondered if friendships get left behind because of Marriage (I remember my Best Friend and my Sisters all getting married years ago and me feeling like a Displaced Puppy with no where to go- since now it was naturally their Hubbie's job to take care of them. duh, Katie), Children (as we all know, in some ways- who your kids get along with determines who your friends are), Work/Home whatever it is we take care of that takes our minds off of our friends. Because of this Evolution I found myself asking JT what would happen to me?? Would I ever make Meaningful Friendships again? Or would they all be based on having kids in the same size diaper, working in the same callings at church, or those people assigned to be my friend through visiting teaching? Would anyone Ever KNOW the Real Katie Tyler again? Or would I just be The Mom of the Size 5 Diaper and the other two? the Other lady that is at the church every Wed with the YW? the Girl who sometimes forgets about the visiting teaching appointment and is rushing out the door to preschool? Would I have Friendships based on WHO I AM- AND WHO I WANT TO BE AROUND? Would our conversations be based on Teething Toys and Time Outs? Would our Fun be planning another YW activity? Would we ever have the Deep Conversations about Dreams and Hopes and even Let Downs that I remember sharing with beloved Mission Companions? Or were those days Gone for Good???
(this is sounding a little dramatic.. but it wouldn't be me if it wasn't a little over the top, right?)
But this past year I recognized EVERY thing I THOUGHT I might be losing.
I had Friends who were there for middle of the night phone calls and mid afternoon breakdowns. When I NEEDED a SHOULDER to CRY ON.
I had Friends who stood next to me, and stood up for me when others would Betray me.
I had Friends who would inspire me and encourage me by simply being themselves! Girls that I admire and hope to be like someday.
(I have to interrupt to give an example here:
sitting in the chapel at the Stake Relief Society Program in January was OVERWHELMING. Not only was the Spirit so strong, and the message So Powerful- but I was overcome with emotion sitting near SO MANY AMAZING WOMEN that I adore and look up to! I was SURROUNDED by friends and sisters that are so talented. Not to mention the desire I had - and successfully suppressed - to Stand on the pew and brag to everyone that I AM FRIENDS WITH THE GIRLS WHO ARE BEHIND THIS!! I felt so much pride that those talented women are my friends! That I have found a way to surround myself with such FABULOUS girlfriends!!)
I discovered Real Connections with the Cute Girls I visit teach, my own companion, and those that visit me!
I have had Friends drop off dinners, cookies, and treats on days that I NEEDED love (in the form of Yumminess!) That may not have even known they were dropping off WAY more than soup or cookies or Lasagna.
I had Friends who were patient when I was falling apart. Who let me take my time getting back together again - and thankfully expected very little out of me when I had very little to give.
I had Friends who Said the Exact Right things at the Exact Right Time.
I had Friends who truly LET ME BE MYSELF. This is a BIG one for me. To feel like I can be Katie and that is a GOOD thing. To feel like I am More than any of my Titles- I am ME.
I had Friends who I haven't seen in years (and some I have never even met) leave THOUGHTFUL comments on my Blog.
And then last night...
(really, am I actually crying about this again??)
I had Friends show up- on my porch with Pina Coladas in hand. Ready to Listen and Love and Laugh with me. TO REALLY BE THERE FOR ME WHEN I NEEDED IT.
They didn't ASK ANYTHING FROM ME. They weren't THERE for my Size 4 Diaper (who of course HAD to wake up to check out the party), they didn't small talk about the weather and snow outside, they weren't there on an Assignment. (unless Shelbi and Jenni were threatening them...) I REALLY DO THINK they were here last night BECAUSE THEY LOVE ME. Not just me for my kids, me for my calling, me for my awesome hair (I couldn't think of anything better than that, but I knew most of you reading are sick of the sappiness and needed something to laugh at- cuz my hair is super awesome) I REALLY DO THINK they were THERE FOR ME.
So, ask me again about the Evolution of Friendship in Adulthood? Ask me if I think strong bonds of friendship are reserved for the College years or left behind in the Mission Field? Ask me how I feel about the possibility of Knowing each other outside of our Titles of Mother, Teacher, or Neighbor?
So- there it is. I have them. Lots of them.