Tuesday, January 10, 2006

True Friends

It's very interesting that PC chose to blog about Shelley yesterday, because I'd planned to talk about friends as well. Only mine has absolutely nothing to do with writing. :)

Last week, I attended the birthday party of a close true friend. This birthday was even more special because this summer will mark the 20th anniversary of our friendship. Memories of all the fun and touching moments we've had together overwhelmed me as I watched her enjoy her evening. This woman has been not just present, but an integral part of the most meaningful moments of my life, both good and bad. She's become a sister to me, and in doing so she changed the course of my life for the better.

As women, not to mention romance writers, we are relational to our very core. In Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, John and Stasi Eldredge write, "Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships and the quality they deem those relationships to have. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Or, I am alone. I'm not seeing anyone right now, or my children aren't calling, or my friends seem distant. This is not a weakness in women-it is a glory. A glory that reflects the heart of God."

This is why I have a hard time calling a day "good" if I've been struggling with my children a lot. This is why I feel sad and lonely if I haven't had a "real" conversation with my husband in several days. I could sell a book tomorrow, but it wouldn't mean nearly as much without any Playfriends to jump and scream with me. Our relationships, or lack thereof, bring depth and color to an otherwise basic existence.

I realize I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But as I danced under the disco ball and watched my friend laugh in delight, one thought sang through my mind: "Cherish this friendship. The people we love make life worth living."

I love you, Jan. Happy Birthday!



Smarty Pants said...

I was telling a co-worker the other day that my ultimate goal was to be able to support myself with writing to so I can give up my 9-5. She said "that will drive you crazy. You need people."

I disagreed but for several different reasons that I didn't go into with her. For one, I'm not terribly social - INTJ and all. I hate my phone and look forward to a day doing nothing but reading and petting my cats. I've always been a strong supporter of having a few really good friends over a bunch of superficial relationships. The lime green dress incident is from the wedding of my best friend I've known since I was 10. She's the only one that could get me in that color.

But also, people think that writers just hole themself up in their office and pound on the keys. Grant it, I need to do a little more of that, but writing is much more social than that. If I wanted to get fully emmersed in the culture I could be on every loop and message board, join three RWA chapters, etc. As it is with RWA and the playground, I'm more social than I have been since I left college. That with my family is more than enough people for me.

Playground Monitor said...

How wonderful that you've been able to sustain this friendship for 20 years. I've moved away from my home area so I've lost contact with most childhood friends. And because of moves and jobs and simply not working hard enough to keep things going, I've let some adult friendships fall by the wayside. But now I'm learning to work like the dickens to nourish the friendships I have. A good friend is precious indeed.