my kitty is gently bathing herself on the floor next to where i sit as i listen to the gentle hum of my computer, fondly named “winston” and the sound of my fingers running across the keyboard.
be it ever so humble, it’s good to be home.
i was away for nearly a week – perhaps you noticed, or better yet, perhaps you didn’t – but away i was: visiting friends from years past who make you feel as though not a single day had gone by since the last time our paths chose to take us on a different direction.
i’ve never been good at goodbyes – and this time it wasn’t any different. instead of saying something so final as “goodbye” i instead chose to say “see you later”, knowing full well that i will see these people again, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.
from time to time, we’re blessed to come across people who change our lives for the better, and many of the people with whom i was able to spend time with on my trip fall into that category. my only regret is that i didn’t get to say everything that i wanted, didn’t get to tell them how i truly feel about their friendships because, i’ll admit, i’m not good with the spoken word.
i was doing a lot of thinking on my twenty-six hour drive around the country about friendships, and the different forms that they have manifested themselves in my life these past thirty-some-odd years. i was able to share a little bit with a friend while sitting in a car parked in the garage while waiting for others to join us, but after a bit more thought, i think i’d like to expand a little bit on my (albeit rough) thoughts:
i use the term “frequencies” partially because it reminds me of radio frequencies, tuning in to catch a listen to sounds transmitted through the airwaves. the dictionary defines frequency (in the physics sense) as “the number of periods or regularly occurring events of any given kind in unit of time, usually in one second.” – now, i’m not sure about all of the scientific jargon, but as far as i can tell, at least when it comes to my friendships, that the greater the frequency, the closer the friendship.
for me, i’ve found that my friends fall into three different types of categories, each very different, but yet at the same time very special to me. while these ideas are still a work in progress, i think i can say this much about each of the different frequencies:
- for starters, i have friends that didn’t start out as friends. i wouldn’t call them enemies by any stretch of the imagination, but they weren’t people that i was interested in becoming a friend with, either. for whatever reason, the people who fell into this category rubbed me the wrong way for some reason or another (probably because of my being quick to judge them or not give them a chance) but after getting to know a person in this category, i find that i actually like being with them, getting to know them, and learning from them (i’m a big believer that you can learn anything form anyone if you’re just willing to look). with these friendships, i find myself being thankful – thankful that i took the time to make a friend out of this person. thankful that i didn’t throw in the towel. thankful that i showed up and tried to be a friend in return. and who would have thunk that now i have a good friend who once started out in this very category…
- the second category for me would be a normal friend. you meet, find out that you share similar interests, hobbies, or whatnot, and you just hit it off. you spend time together, getting to know one another better, and find out that you have the makings to be really good lifelong friends. you eventually tell your kids to call these people “aunt” or “uncle” so-and-so despite the fact that you have no blood ties with these people. they’re close friends, and that’s good enough. people in this category can become like family.
- the final category that i’ve had the privilege to discover is difficult at best to define, let alone give it any kind of name that captures it’s true beauty and meaning. for a friend to fall into this category, it’s almost as if you have to be dialed in to their frequency from the beginning, even before your paths ever cross. when you finally do meet this person, you can’t help but think that you’ve known this person all of your life, that they know you better than you know yourself (though you may not openly admit this) and that they understand you in a way that no one else has ever understood you. it’s almost like meeting another side of yourself, a side that you didn’t know that you had, but at the same time feels so familiar, so safe, that you can’t help but be overjoyed that you were able to meet this rare kind of friend.
i’ve friends on all of these different levels. the majority of them would fall into the second category, while the first would have less and the third category would be the rarest of all (if you ever even get to meet a friend like that, that is).
friendship is a truly beautiful thing. i’m so blessed by those that i have.