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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The richness of friendship

I woke up this morning thinking about all of my friends. When I was a Brownie, we sang the song "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." It is a good addage. I think I'm the richest person ever when it comes to friends.

When I was young, we moved around a lot, because my father was in the Army. You'd think that would make me outgoing and maybe it would have, but my parents split up when I was 9. After that, my mother settled us down in Canton, OH. I was the new kid in a school of kids who had been together since kindegarten. I was painfully shy and didn't really make any friends in grade school.

Then, my mother and step-dad moved to a new junior high school district. What kids I knew from grade school were going to a school on the other side of town. I was lucky enough to make a few good friends in junior high school and high school, including my fabulous friend Jen who I mentioned in an earlier post, but I was still painfully shy and quiet. My yearbook entries always included "a nice, quiet girl". I know this probably surprises those of you who don't think of me as such.

When I went to undergrad, I was still shy and quiet, but I managed to make a few good friends, who happened to be my roommates. As an aside, I'm having dinner with two of them on Tuesday night and I'm really looking forward to that.

I started to come out of my shell in grad school. I attended the same school (BGSU) for both grad and undergrad. I knew the campus, so didn't have to overcome that obstacle. My friend Sandy and I bonded over Elephant malt liquor one Friday happy hour. She was a big fan of the drink, Zima, which had been test marketed in her home state (PA) but wasn't available yet in Ohio (yes, I'm showing my age). I hope to see her in January or February. She now lives in Rochester, NY, so the visits are few and far between.

When I started my job as an actuarial consultant, I had withdrawn into my shell again. I don't think I said more than 2 words of my own volition for the first 2 weeks. I was married and didn't fit in with the single crowd. The married crowd was a little old or a little weird. But, gradually, consulting forced the butterfly out of the cocoon. I met Suzi at the beginning of my career and she has been a wonderful addition to my life, but we really didn't become close until after my divorce.

When my ex-husband and I split up, the metamorphisis became complete. I felt so free and happy that I knew it was time to shed the shy girl from the past. All of a sudden I was making new friends left and right. And, not just quantity of friends, but quality friends. I like to think I'm a good judge of character and every one of them completes me in some way.

Today, I am running with a few of them. It is easier for me to hang out regularly with the ones who train for running or triathlons. But, it is worth the effort to keep in touch with all of the friends I've made along the journey to becoming who I am today. Without them, I wouldn't be the person I am. I love them for that and for so much more!

So, thank you my friends for being part of my life and for sharing your life with me. I love you!


P.S. I should mention that I also cherish my best friend, lover and the most wonderful husband ever, Matt. This post was about girlfriends, but he should get a shout out too. : )


Blogger Jodi said...

I had a great time this morning! I appreciate my girl friends more and more every year. Especially the tri-girls!


See you this afternoon!


12:08 PM

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

A wonderful post! Girl friends rock.

And good hubbies do, too. :)

12:38 PM

Anonymous your childhood friend, Jen :) said...

Hey Jen!!

What a great post ... and a very good one for me to be reading today. (I had an absolutely horrible night last night--long story short, an ultra-pious, over-zealous woman who doesn't believe that children should be disciplined called the police to report that I made Austin stand in a corner at the rest stop for his bad behavior and that I was "screaming at him, struck him twice and bit him". The items in the quotes didn't happen, but that's what she reported. So, I was the lucky person who was made a spectacle of at a rest area on the Ohio turnpike. I'm still waiting to hear from the officer who reported to the "scene" to find out if he'll be filing a report or not. I just find this the most preposterous thing that any person in the world, no matter how unstable, can rock a person's world with a phone call to the police. I'm still stunned by the whole thing)

Anyways, I feel so lucky to have you as a friend. I always have appreciated your open, honest, caring nature. You are one of my dearest friends--I cherish you and all that you are. It makes me so glad to know that you are incredibly happy and in such a good place.

I love you, Jen

1:06 PM

Blogger Mallie said...

I've had to lean on my friends more than usual this week, Jen. And it's so awesome knowing they're there for me, as yours are for you.

Don't accuse me of plagiarizing if I post a similar thank you note on my own blog soon!

4:46 PM

Blogger DaisyDuc said...

Beautiful post, wonderful friends really make a difference!

8:46 PM


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