I love meeting people and engaging in relationships. It is truly something that I love to do. Something that I find myself reflecting on a lot lately is my concept of friendship when I was growing up and my concept of friendship as an adult. This might come as a shocker to some, but I am a loud mouth extrovert that could easily become friends with everyone in the room. As a child that is what I did, I loved meeting and making new friends. I wanted to be friends with everyone in the room, and I naturally thought that everyone was extroverted and wanted to be friends with me just like how I wanted to friends with them. Another shocker for you all, I got in trouble a lot in school for talking to much while trying to meet all of these people. What is so interesting, of all of those friendships that I made during my childhood and teenage years, I'm only friends now with a handful. This is something that noticed a lot with my middle school students, and I find myself wondering if some of those kids will still be friends when they are twenty six. Another thing that is striking about how I viewed friendship as a child and teenager, I thought everyone wanted to be my friend. Nope that wasn't the case. You see there are some people, unlike myself, are not extroverts, but are introverts. Nine times out of ten, an introverted child doesn't really want to be around a loud month and bossy extrovert. Please try to not be appalled by the fact that I was a bossy child. Okay I'm still a little bossy. Okay fine, for the love I'm a lot bossy. I didn't understand why some of these kids didn't want to be my friend. Frankly I thought it was them, not me. It is a good thing that I grew up.
As an adult my view and vision of friendship is so vastly different. I'm still a loud mouth, semi-bossy, in your face extrovert, but I found that I need quality friends not quantity friendships.I also needed a mixture of extroverts and introverts in my life. Let me tell you, I have the best quality of people in my life. The best. I love them. I can't even begin to think about my life without them. By the way, adult friendships are not six people sitting in a coffeehouse all the time. Because you know that whole having a job thing gets in the way sometimes. Oh and that having no money to buy things gets in the way sometimes.
My college friends are some of the best people that I know and love. You will be friends with these people for life. I was with them everyday and almost every hour. We studied, worked, and lived together. Many times we walked through fire together. After graduation, I am still close to these people. It is different however. We are in different cities and doing different things. Some of us are married and have babies, and some of us are still single. While we might not be living close, I know that if I ever have an issue, I could pick up the phone and they will be there. Any moment that any of us have a need we are there. I once heard that if you are friends with someone for seven years, you are friends for life, and I am so glad that I have known these amazing people for seven years.
Being out of college and in a professional career, I found that it was harder to make friends. I was looking for people that I would build me up and would want to have lots of fun. And you know what it was hard. Finding people that I could trust and would enjoy spending time with was hard. In many situations I found myself walking into existing friendship groups and both myself and the others in the groups needed to see if I would be the right fit. In the four years that I have been out of college, working at Sequoyah and attending different churches and serving in different churches, I have found an amazing group of people. Some friendships have taken me by surprised. I never thought that I would be friends with certain people. My life would be incomplete without them. I trust these people with my life. We have numerous shared life experiences and we all needed a person to talk about those things and work through different happenings in our lives. I love that. I'm so thankful for that. Community and relationships are key to surviving through life. For me, I work with some of these people. I couldn't make it through the day sometimes with having time to talk with my friends. They make me a better person.
I'm overwhelmed by how good God is, God did not design us to simply spend our lives alone, but designed us to love and spend time with others. Find those people, find those friends that make you laugh, you enjoy spending time with, that build you up and make you a better person. Because you will do the same for them.