Up North (sipping coffee & creamer and reading, of course)
"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future" wrote someone. Was it you Donald Miller? Regardless of who said it, I remember it. I also remember my life B.S. (before Sarah) and my life A.S. (after Sarah). And yes, the acronyms work here. Our friendship came unexpectedly (not until my 30's) through a series of bizarre circumstances and it has grown into something worth writing about.
Aristotle said, "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." In my B.S. life, I would have laughed and suggested that those friendships don't exist and whoever thought they did had some serious co-dependent issues. I would have found that level of intimacy in friendship violating.
I like my autonomy, can you tell?
The irony of a good friendship is that A.S. it is, I am more completely myself, more honest and dedicated to my story than before. I take fewer detours away from my truest self because, like bumpers in a bowling lane, she keeps me from pit dwelling.
She isn't my only friend, I'm not hers. Thank God. We would suffocate. I'm learning that as time rolls on and narrows because of family, work and community obligations (be honest here, you would do all of them unless you felt you HAD to) it gets harder to decide which friendships to draw close and which to let out on a string. The best decisions are the ones you don't have to make (because you just "know") and the best friendships are the same. The natural filter of time brings clarity.
We aren't meant to go alone. I wouldn't want to anymore. She is on my radar and I'm on hers and that reality is no longer frightening to me, it is comforting.
Do you want the same thing?
Let me suggest this lesson from elementary school, "If you want a friend, you have to first be a friend." Or in the words of my friend Erika, "Assume your way in" to a friendship and you'll be surprised to find who is waiting for you on the other side – perhaps you'll find your own soul staring back. This is both creepy and cool, worth every ounce of risk.