Brittany Fuson’s “Squad”
I’ve been thinking a lot about friends lately. Old friends, new friends, funny friends, serious friends. I think it’s partly because of my upcoming move. But, I know I’m going to have to make new friends. I’ll meet them playing golf and tennis, going to book club and yoga, and socializing as couples. Still, it’s so weird to think that the women I meet and befriend will not have a clue about my husband, my daughter, my history, or my interests.
On top of that, in the last year or so I’ve met a wonderful group of girls in my neighborhood who have become dear friends…friends that complement the ones I already have but who I didn’t know before. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting together with them on a regular basis and getting to know them. I like them, I respect them, and I’m going to miss them. I also have a coworker in my hood who I’ve gotten closer to in recent months. Of course my thought process about all of this is “Why now?” But then I ran across some journals during a recent pack and purge day and I was reassured that these women will remain in my life regardless of where I move or where they move.
I was cleaning out my closet when, just as I thought I was done, I saw a bag at the very back. I thought, “What in the world is in that?” Come to find out it was old journals and a “This Is My Story” fill-in-the-blank book I’d filled out for Kristen years ago. Like when she was in elementary school. As I glanced through it and several entries in the journals, I was so pleased to read several of those entries mentioned my friends Kathy, Rosie, Mary, and MB. Pleased of course because they were happy and funny memories, but even more pleased because those four ladies are still so very important to me. Two of them don’t even live in Austin anymore, but I still rely on them and cherish our bonds.
It all made me realize that regardless of where one lives, one’s friends are everywhere.
Today I went to a musical play with a friend I worked with 30 years ago. She moved from Austin many years back but just this year returned. Thirty years later and we’ve picked up right where we left off. I couldn’t be happier.
As I evaluate my friendships, I discover that so many of my friends are long-time ones. We lay claim to histories that are both happy and heartbreaking. We’ve worked together, travelled together, golfed together, cried together, laughed together, and grown together. They teach me, support me, comfort me, accept me, inspire me, laugh with me, and challenge me. We all have our “squad goals” and realizing mine is pretty dang special is very comforting and gratifying.
Ever since I was a little girl, I longed for good and trusted friends. I remember like it was yesterday the day my friend Tina decided to be “best friends” with Michelle instead of me. It crushed me. I had a similar experience as an adult when a dear friend and I had a major disagreement and our friendship ended. It too crushed me. Years have gone by, we’ve both matured, and when I just last week ran into her in the grocery store we hugged and shared updates on our lives, our families, and our empty nest plans. We will probably never be the bosom buddies we once were, but the hurt is gone.
They say people come into your life for different reasons and for different lengths of time. I’m pretty sure my college girlfriends, who I take a trip with once a year and whose friendships I have now shared for more than 30 years, are time-tested and eternally secure. What a blessing to watch as our own kids, nieces, and nephews are now forging friendships all their own. I guess you could say that circle of college coeds has come full circle.
In some ways holding on to friendships is easier today, what with so many apps and sites that help everyone keep in touch. But, we are also a much more nomad-like society and people move in and move away constantly. It’s challenging but not impossible to hold onto friendships. Plus, you can always go visit them!
All of this was further reinforced by a blog I read today. In yesterday’s “Our Daily Bread” entry, readers are invited to “sit a spell” and really take the time to catch-up with someone. This, as it detailed, can often be hard in today’s jam-packed and action-oriented world. We all get busy, time is precious, and it’s a lot easier to send a text or Facebook message. But, that’s not what Jesus did when he went to Zacchaeus’ house. He spent time with the tax collector and ultimately changed his life.
I loved “sitting a spell” with my friend Kathy and her sister Carolyn today as we lunched and headed to the play. I hope to continue doing so and if history serves as any indicator, I will continue to do so with my newly formed squad. Even when I move out of their neighborhood.