When I was a little girl, friendship meant we liked to play together. It meant sharing toys and playing mermaids in swimming pools. Into adolescence, it became about understanding. In the midst of all that teen angst, we sought out people who really got us.
Then you get older and they say a true friend is someone you can always count on, and you begin to really get that. Moving through the trials of life, it becomes important to have friends you can rely on to be there time and again.
Now, when I look on the friendships that really stand the test of time, I see that’s only part of the story. There are a lot of wonderful people in this world. Amazing people who will hold out a hand when you are falling. People who seek you out and shoulder your deepest pains. They will wipe up your tears and tell you what you need to hear. Not always what you want to hear – but what you need to hear. People for whom you might always feel grateful and lucky to have known.
But for me, true friendship comes when that trust goes both ways: when both sides open themselves to vulnerability, when both sides trust each other. True friends are people who stand by your side when the rest of the world turns on you, but they also come to you when the world has turned on them. Not only do they shelter you, but they come to you for shelter too. True friends shield and shepherd each other, coming together no matter which way the rain blows. It begins in a moment, but it’s a thread that can only be woven by the push and pull of each strand across time.
What is friendship to you?
I think there is real power in the human voice, as flawed as it may be. And when the voices speak together, when you have a multitude of voices speaking, patterns begin to emerge and there you can begin to understand truth. So in the spirit of the personal narrative, I am hosting a weekly challenge every Tuesday morning, where I will post a topic (ranging from the banal to the intimate) and ask readers to respond. I would love to see everyone’s answers and how similar and different they all are.
You can respond in any way you choose. You can give a fictional response or a true one. You can use words, sentences, and/or photographs. If you have a blog, you can link it with Mr. Linky below. Please be sure to include “Tell It To Me Tuesdays” in the title, and link back to this post. Feel free to use the “Tell It To Me Tuesday” button available to the right. If you don’t have a blog, but want to join in, you can just leave a comment. Please follow the rules. I don’t want to have to delete links. I like links! Don’t make me delete them.
Next week’s challenge: Time