FRIENDSHIP: WHAT IS A FRIEND?

"A friend remembers your name and who you are, even when you can't." JAM

Friendships forge in many ways these days from connecting on Facebook to other social or game sites. From there, these relationships can flourish to become something more meaningful, even long-lasting.

Others, like blog readers are here one day and gone the next. Myself included. I find blogs I love, subscribe and then need days of time to catch up on all of them. I am really not ignoring you or avoiding your pages even if it appears that way. It’s hard to keep up with all the great writers on here and that’s the bottom line. But I do consider you friends because you share yourself with all of us here so openly.

Meeting on the internet is similar to having a pen pal as my mother did for many years when she was a young woman. When the pair finally met, they were both overcome with the joyful emotion of long-lost friends. By then, they each knew everything there was to know about the other, family strife, husbands, raising children, work, home, you name it. They just needed to physically connect.

My friendships over the years have altered with time. It was curious when my husband and I parted because some friendships fell away altogether. Not being part of a couple meant I could no longer even out the dinner table numbers, I suppose.  It also meant those weren’t very good friends in the first place.

Some friendships formed in courses or mutual interests and when those were done, so were the friendships because the camaraderie changed, something was missing and they simply weren’t worth maintaining.

 Other friendships just naturally grew stronger regardless of where we met. But even that doesn’t mean much at the end of the day. These same long time friends can vanish as readily as the curious online looky-loo, depending on why they were in your life in the first place.
 
Hopefully, it will be as with the majority of my long time friends, some since the age of 17, who have a genuine interest in me and my world, an expression of value by spending time together, whatever the form may be. An online chat, a phone call or a walk by the sea. It’s all friendship and it’s all bonding.
 
Friends may grow with us over the years, evolving right alongside us while others may remain as they were the first day we met them. Others fall away like a season past, never to be revived again. There are friends in my world I may not see for some time due to our individual life commitments but when we do reconnect, it’s just like yesterday, as if no time had passed at all. The connection of human souls doesn’t need a prescribed form to follow, it’s as individual as the friends forging the bond.
 
Even here on WordPress.com, I have forged friendships where I am continually learning from some people, laughing uproariously with/at others, journeying on a spiritual path with like-minded souls, having fun with the fabulous things in life from fashion to writing and there is certainly no formula. These people are from varied age groups, cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, yet something in us connects as fastly as if we once shared the same embryonic sac.
 
We have no expectations because we know, simply know what our relationship is about, sometimes before much is said at all. Sometimes I read their thoughts or writings and wonder how they managed to climb inside my head and say it all so much better than I ever could have. Some of my online friends have a direct path to my heart that the real world friends simply miss out on altogether. Perhaps the conduit is the literary connection of the writing. I’m not sure.
 
What I am sure of is that my real world and online world of friends is as diverse as each beautiful, colourful and artsy individual I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing better as we go along living our respective lives around the world. I love you all and thank you for being my friend, whether forever or for now, I walk in humble gratitude for your friendship :)
 
What is a friend to you?
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26 thoughts on “FRIENDSHIP: WHAT IS A FRIEND?

  1. ‘The connection of human souls doesn’t need a prescribed form to follow, it’s as individual as the friends forging the bond’ I agree! And it’s a pleasure knowing you too, Janice. To me, a friend is that person I know I can always count on, who values my friendship as much as I value hers/his, a person who values honesty and loyalty, and knows they can always count on me too. For me, reciprocity is everything.

  2. Love this post. I also like the idea of blog friends being like pen pals. It never occurred to me before, but you are absolutely right! Online friends, or physical friends, are all the same. The depth of that friendship is directly related to the effort you put in. :)

  3. It’s true, we are pen pals. Loving your statement: “The depth of that friendship is directly related to the effort you put in.” That’s a great quote you shared, you should “own” it. Thanks, pen pal/ blog friend, you are awesome :)

    • I don’t know the answer for sure but I believe no one can keep track. I only have 130 about half relatives near and distant. I miss so much on there if they don’t write it directly on my pages, just had no clue it was anyone’s birthday or anything else and some are so offended by it, who knew. So I just posted the request last week: “If there is anything important you need me to know, please write it on my wall.” So far, no one has. But then they likely haven’t noticed my messages either, LOL Other than fan pages as in groups or artists I follow, I think that gathering of numbers of stranger/ “friends” is akin to “name dropping,” an act of status seeking from low self esteem. But what do I know. I’m no psychologist. Yet… LOL

  4. Wow…you have been busy…how to create so many posts? You must be a multi-tasker:) Yes, friends…interesting topic. I tend to get along with most people…but there are only a few…very few…I hold close to my heart…prehaps I am selfish or I don’t put enough in…only so much time and energy…almost like we can only devote ourselves to a lover…maybe a child…and the friends are merely there for entertainment…not sure…need to think about this more.

    • The truth is some things just fly out of my head when I least expect them. Now, that does not mean they are all quality. But they are multi-faceted, that’s for sure. It does take a lot of time and energy to maintain relationships but you know it’s right when it feels good and as Katerina said, the reciprocity factor is there. Still, some friends are of greater depth and import than others just by their very status in our lives and what we have experienced together. The memories, the bonding, the sharing and caring, all part of it. Entertainment is good, too, we need balance in all things so just hanging out for the sake of good conversations not otherwise possible or a few good laughs is always worthwhile in my world.

  5. This is a beautiful post on friendship! In my life, friendship has been present in many ways; sometimes I feel it is only a way to move on as when we are with friends we feel good, sometimes it’s more than Love… it’s very strong and can’t be broken at all! But sometimes it’s just acquaintances… they come and they go…
    Well in all friendship is like weather: it has so many faces!

    • I love that last line! You better own that one as a Daphnee quote: “All in all, friendship is like the weather; it has so many faces!”

      I may even “borrow” that line sometime if you don’t mind. It sums up all I was saying in one neat, tidy line. See what a great writer/thinker you are… awesome :)

  6. It’s true: the penpal analogy is very good. For those Bloggers who stay the course and get to know each other and become more familiar with each’s lives genuine friendships can develope. That’s a nice thought

    • Agree, the staying the course is the key whether in the “real world” or online. Fickle is not friendship unless you are a cold fish. And you are not, you are just ducky, LOL Thanks for the visit :) Glad you like the analogy.

  7. Probably bloggers are much more open than what is on Facebook. It kind of sometimes seems dangerous to give out to much information on Facebook, a lot of people are a little leery. But when it comes to blogging, it seems that they open up their mind and thoughts for the whole world to see.

    • Yes, I believe you are right, Randall. I, too, have wondered why that phenomenon exists. Facebook tends to be such a “small” environment with privacy settings that permit only who we wish to view our pages there, including the public that you’d think people would be more “REAL” there and yet blog pages can be viewed by thousands, potentially millions. Perhaps it’s the “kindred” spiritedness of blogging mind that binds us together where as Facebook is usually only surface matters. I actually don’t used it much except to link my posts here through it. Just not fond of it, it doesn’t fit with who I am. All those happy happy people with their happy happy successes and their happy happy holidays and happy happy acquisitions just dull my senses, they are so sappy and I have not much to contribute there at all. Just encourage others or send messages to loved ones now and then, otherwise, just my blog post links.

  8. I’ve been surprised by friends. Some friends who I “knew” were true-blue ended up betraying me and others who I “knew” were just casual ended up being there for me in such deep and abiding ways.

    I never trusted friends I met only via cyberspace until I met my blogging friends in the past few months. I’ve opened my life to you more than I have to many of my face-to-face friends.

    What does a friend mean to me? Someone who I trust, respect, accepts me for who I am, and with whom I can be myself. We don’t have to have the same interests, but it’s nice to share laughter and time together. (Of course, the same holds true in reverse, my friend would have to trust me, respect me, etc.).

    Great post, my friend. It got me thinking about how much my idea of friendship has evolved.

    • Mine too, Lorna, and it continues to evolve daily. There is so much in human nature that we never know until it reveals itself. Like you, I’ve shared more here with all of you than in my “real” life because it has felt safer to do so. The environment here is not judgement laden nor quick to say what you should do as opposed to supporting your journey to finding your own best way of managing things for yourself. Trust and respect are big and love laughing too, that’s why I visit your posts as often as I can, adore your flair for sharing “real life” trials with a magical comedic edge that is as informative as it is uplifting. Working on trying to get my own pages lightened but I don’t know if I will succeed… it just doesn’t seem to fit me on a regular basis the way yours is your signature style. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy your feedback and agree with you on the basic tenets of friendship. Would that all should be so honourable.

  9. Was lovley to read this, Ive allways been a person who makes some brilliant connections, but end up kinda moving on to make new friends… with hope that part of me remains with them like them with me… I definatly agree with you, about subscribing and then vanishing off the face of the planet… Im cathcing up with a lot of blog reading as i write

    • It’s challenging, isn’t it? I hope those who enjoy us will remember us as we do them, even if we don’t make it to their pages consistently. Thanks for adding your thoughts on this topic. Will try to read your pages as soon as possible. Please visit again whenever you can :)

    • A friend can be so many things to so many people, I think it’s hard to nutshell it but safety is a big one for me. Anytime I am “unsafe” I am no longer in the company of a true friend. Thank you for visiting me, see you soon :)

  10. I think a deep friendship is one where you have fun together and enjoy eachothers company…but if something doesn’t go as planned…you are there for him/her and he/she is there for you …asking nothing in return. I have one such friend.

    • This very day I said to a friend, who needs conditional relationships, that’s what family is for, lol. My personal belief is our friendships shouldn’t be conditional but respect founded. Without mutual respect, I don’t believe trust of friendship is possible and the instant respect is not shown, trust is also gone. From my experience, I believe trust happens naturally with the respectfulness shown one another over time, there when we need them but demanding nothing in return. They say if we have one such friend, we are rich. This must mean you and I are both very wealthy. :)

  11. Pingback: True Friendship: When Happiness & Gratitude Merge… | Mirth and Motivation

  12. Since writing this a long time nearly two decades friend really blew my mind with her emotional raping and deceit, utter disloyalty and I am now in a frozen place where forming new friendships is very, very challening, and I even question the old ones.

  13. I have to add that not all my friendships exploded in my face. It was just a lot of years, so many memories to grieve when she was a source of support in the midst of grieving my mother and all over someone she really does not know who just again said March 8th, 2012:”she is ugly.” Disgusting what some women will destroy just to have a man, any man at all. This is a side of her neither of us knew until now and while I’m glad to know, I feel it will be some time before I can gather myself again, such destruction of so many friendships because of one person’s ill choices to pretend to be my friend while deceiving me and using me to further her position. It’s like a movie… wish I could get the ugly images out of my head … time, I guess :)

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