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  • Lindsey Garner

Being my friend: A how-to guide

I have a great friend that has made a pact with me regarding last minute cancellations. She and I decided one day to put our shit out there and let one another know where we stand. I told her that I'm prone to cancel plans (especially super social plans) last minute. She shared that she is also a last-minute canceller. We decided that when we do this to one another, we are simply gifting the other friend time. Time, after all, is probably our most valuable and treasured resource. We are both mothers that work a shit ton (probably too much at times) and often feel as though we are barely getting by. This gift of time feels like the most generous thing to do for one another at times. She has stood by that, and always understood my tendency to get too deep into work and run out of time for a happy hour, or my lack of a desire to put a real bra on, opting to stay in my sweats and cook at home instead. This kind of friend is my favorite. She gets it. She's been there, and chooses to not hold it against me, but rather meet me where I'm at in my own life.

I also have another pal (I have a solid crew, ya'll) that has been in my life for almost ten years. She is the yin to my yang. She is my adventure buddy, and my straight shooter. She calls me on my bullshit. She tells me when I'm being a dick about things. We think completely differently, yet she appreciates my perspective and embraces it. She also understands that I am just about the worst communicator in the world. She never gets mad at me for forgetting to call back, or not checking in with any sort of regularity. She knows I'm there when she needs me. All she needs to say is "I need you", and I'll drop everything and make it work to be there. I know without a doubt that we will be old lady friends together hiking the Appalachian Trail when we have nothing else to do but take our sweet time walking in the woods.

I've shared with some of my closest friends that my favorite thing to do is to send a text with the "bowl of rice" emoji when I'm thinking about them. I bet you didn't even know that emoji was a thing...it's really under-recognized and under used, in my opinion. Anyway...when I send this bowl of rice, it means WAY more than just a bowl of delicious grains. It means "hi friend...I'm thinking about you and I love you". It's a recognition of the fact that while I often think about this rad circle of humans I'm lucky enough to surround myself with, I just as often, forget to tell THEM that I'm thinking about them. This quick note means a lot to me, and I hope it means a lot to them.

I could go on about a few more of my friends, and how they truly show up for me, but my point here is that friendship looks like whatever the hell you want it to look like. For me, it is for sure NOT long phone conversations, or group texts. It's just not. I don't love being on my phone, and choose an audiobook or a good podcast on a long car drive over talking. The women I have in my life (and a few guys too...but I'm a girl's girl for sure when it comes down to it) are a handpicked, filtered crew. I've learned to let go of friendships that aren't serving me, and also to let go when I am not able to be the kind of friend someone needs. I recognize I'm not everyone's cup of tea. That's ok. Like I said, my time is super valuable to me. If I had 1000 friends, I might not have time for that audiobook I was talking about.

I often see others frustrated over friendships that aren't working. I hear lots of stories about things said behind one another's backs, and things we think are true about our friends that we really don't know are true for sure. Wouldn't it be cool to just let that sort of friendship go? Release it. Just because you're great friends with someone for a time in life doesn't mean that it needs to be forever. We can celebrate a great friend that was there for us for a time and at the same time, recognize that the person may not be what you need NOW.

This week, take time to celebrate those people in your life. Take a second to send them a nice note or a text, or if you are the opposite of me, give them a call. Let them know that you're there to meet them where they're at. Along with that, take time to send gratitude to someone you need to let go. Maybe it's someone that never returns your texts, or someone that you think judges your life decisions. They might have been awesome at a point in your life, but they don't light you up anymore. Say "thanks", and then send them on their way. Refine your circle.

Oh, and happy "Thanksgiving Week", also known as the best time of the year. I'm going to be writing more on this topic this week, because Thanksgiving for me is about way more than turkey and cranberry sauce (although that shit is DELICIOUS!)...it's about crafting my own family circle and celebrating with them. It's about letting go of things that don't fit in my life and making room for those that do.



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