Friendships- They don’t grow on trees ya know?
By Renee Concepcion LISW-S, LICDC-CS
I just got home from a trip with friends to Napa California. I know right, beautiful landscape + wine + girlfriends = as close to magical as you can possibly get! As I slowly got over the “after vacation blues” I found myself reflecting on the time that was had, the small hilarious moments that are now inside jokes, and the experiences shared with women who I call my friends.
Friends. Such a simple word that rolls off our tongue without thought or hesitation. Think about how often you throw the word “friends” around, almost as if we have “friends” growing on trees and we’re never worried that we would be without them. It’s kind of a shame when you think about it… because of all the things we have in life, friends should never be taken for granted. Let me tell you why.
I can think back at my life and reflect on the friendships that developed over the years. From the friends I’ve made as a child who I had the privilege to become an adult with and now raise families together. The friendships I made in college who were there for me during the first round of pivotal change, my 20’s! And the friends I made in “adult world” where you actually have to focus on things other then being just a friend- because now you’re a colleague, a wife, and a mother.
While reflecting on this trip and my friends who shared it with me it became abundantly clear that I am one lucky gal. I began to think about the dynamics of the friendships and asking myself why these relationships, and the other friendships in my life are so significant? I came up with some answer I’d like to share:
- Hodgepodge- My friends come from all different backgrounds, have different careers, enjoy different things, and value the differences in each other
- Compassion- My friends and I truly care about the happenings in each others lives and can provide empathy and sympathy when needed
- Honesty- There is an underlying value of sincerity that floats in every interaction. The ability to be true to yourself around others is cathartic
- Humor- The fact that we can be silly and appreciate small moments that make us cry with laughter bonds us and sometimes saves us from despairing moments later on
- Longevity- To know with confidence that this relationship is there for the long haul, well that’s where the gratitude comes in doesn’t it?
Now there is one major point to consider here- these relationships need to be taken care of, to be nurtured, and to be paid attention to. If you’re lucky enough to have a friendship that looks similar to what I described above, well don’t let it slip away. Just like any other relationship in our life we need to work at it. The exception here is that friendships are our chosen relationships, which means it needs even more love and dedication. I’m not always the best at this, life gets by me and time moves quickly and I don’t focus on friendships as much as I should. I’m making a commitment at this time to change that. I am utterly grateful that I have them in my life and I want them to stick around.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment, and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Dr. Brené Brown