Kathrynzj says: "I spent the better part of last week on a continuing education cruise with a group of revgals. Both the class on hospitality and the connections made with friends (old and new) were phenomenal. I always have a difficult time with re-entry into reality from times away but this, aided by getting nailed with strep throat, has been more difficult than usual. Not only does it a take a few days (weeks? months?) for it to stop feeling like I am on a boat, but my heart misses my friends.In parish life the boundaries are clear and they are there for a reason, but it can make the life of a minister a lonely one. It is such a tremendous gift to spend a few days with women who not only are wonderful and gifted, but who also get exactly what you do and why you do it. The hugs are genuine and free and the laughter is awesome.Many of us have friendships - past and present - with these same qualities. And so today we will celebrate Friday with friendship:"
1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?My first "BFF(s) were a group of girls I connected with in eighth grade. Before that I was pretty much a loner, and teaming up with Dodie, Mare and Shorty (yes, we had nicknames, I was Jinx...who knows!?!) was a wonderful thing. I remember the blue mohair sweaters we all bought at J.C. Penney and wore with our uniform skirts, getting together at one another's houses after school to play games and gab, and just hanging out. We banded together initially because the cool girls wouldn't have us as part of their gang....but then we discovered that we actually did like each other. The three of them went off to the same high school and I veered off to "the Viz" and we lost touch. Maybe I should Facebook them!
2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you? Not until this year. Close friend Soul Sister A moved to South Carolina. But she's coming for the wedding and we are having a slumber party! Woo-hoo!
3) Are there people in your life now that you can call 'friend'? Thanks be, there are. In ways I would not have begun to comprehend at an earlier age. Richer, deeper, surer. And my best friend? I'm going to marry him.
4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends? Talk. Talk. Oh, and then there's talk.
5) What is a gift friendship has given you? Oh so many.... But the best one? To begin to see myself reflected in a different way in the eyes of those who loved me.... kinder, softer...than I would ever have seen myself with all those old critical voices I used to carry, opening the possibility for the first time that I could let them go, find the authentic me that lived within. I owe that to friendship and love. That's a great great gift. Along with acceptance and laughter and unconditional love and great hugs and secret code words....and way, way too many things to even mention.