Friendship is so weird. You just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like, ‘Yep, I like this one,’ and you just do stuff with them.Bill Murray
Have you ever looked back to the beginning of an existing friendship or relationship and thought about the first time you met? What drew you to them? Was it their look, glow, laughter, or wacky personality? Was it their kindness, generosity, or compassion? Was it their wit, quiet presence, or demonstration of strength? Did they smile with their eyes? Their lips? Did they have a glow about them? Were you instantly connected seemingly without explanation?
I particularly love those friendships and enjoyed lunch today with one such soul. Before I met him in person I slightly Facebook stalked him when I found out he was dating one of my dearest friends. About a month later we met in person as I was designated to sit with him [babysit was the less preferred term] since he didn’t know anyone. We discovered rather quickly we’d be hard pressed not to get kicked out of anywhere we’d go together, immediately cutting up at all the moments that would appear wrong to everyone else but us. It’s a diamond-like friendship, each face holding a different element: laughter, joy, safety, support, kindness, encouragement, sarcasm, honesty, brutal honesty, leave me alone you’re being to honest-honesty. I have a handful of those in my life and I cherish them dearly. Though not all friends show up in the same capacity I have special admiration for those who can truly hang authentically with me. Those are the kinds of friendships that I can come to at my best or worst and still always leave with an overflowing cup because of the richness of the relationship, thus I’ve made it a point to surround myself with such people.
So today was about enjoying salads, carbs, and the company of one another while pondering why the table I wiped down is sticky and there’s a faint smell of poop somewhere nearby. But even before that we were the last in a long line to place our order with only one cashier behind the register. By the time we got up to reach her there still wasn’t anyone behind us, so we all bantered a bit and made her laugh several times. It was great to see her smile and soften with such a simple interaction. As we got our drinks I thought how fortunate I feel to have a like-minded soul to run with who also enjoys helping others feel loved, appreciated, and seen. . .that and it’s cheap entertainment with the bonus of a full tummy. No shame here, it’s just how we roll.
I love the quote from Bill Murray that kicked off this blog post. Friendship truly is an intriguing phenomenon and I don’t want to lose sight of its significance in my life, buried in the hustle and bustle of everything else. Care to indulge me an exercise?
Take a few moments to jot down the names of some people that bring you joy. It matters not the length or number of names that come to mind, just write those names down.
Once you feel complete for the moment choose one name and, with this person in mind, close your eyes. What do they look like, sound like, feel like? What about them brings you joy? What stands out in your friendship or interactions? And what do they say or do to enhance your life? Conclude by thanking them and move on down your list. When you are done breathe in the gratitude and memories of these amazing souls who have brought joy to your life.
This is something I do from time to time just because it gets me out of my head and puts me in a place of gratitude. It reminds me to return to the simpler things and magnify what matters — my life mantra. Plus this exercise is a wonderful way to send love to those you care about. Maybe some of the people you listed are no longer with us but they can still feel your love and appreciation, which transcends incarnation, distance, and time.
My wish for you, all of you, is to surround yourself with people that bring you joy, who see your very best and add to it. Maybe it’s time to let go of some people in order to make space for new energetic connections. Maybe it’s time to simply tell your posse/peeps/tribe/bffs/homies/friends that they’re awesome and thank them for being in your life. Or maybe it’s buying your buddy a beer. Or tacos. Or both.
So raise your glass or chips and queso to that weird thing called friendship, and if you look around and see someone doing the same go “do stuff with them” because they are probably your people.