Friday, February 12, 2016

This Friday....Let's talk Friends

If you guessed by reading the title this post is going to relate to friendships. I am no expert but I have had some crazy bad and amazing good friendships throughout my 28 years. Friends have come and gone and as we grow up our relationships grow and develop but some friends are lost along the way. That doesn't make you a bad person. ( I'm still learning this).

At 28 I never realized how hard it would be to make friends. My mother grew up with three very close girlfriends. Our families remain super close. We get together during the holidays every year. I missed 2015 and let me tell you it still eating at me. Those 4 women, now 3 have been through so much. My mother's death. A divorce. The death of a spouse. What can we learn from all those tragic experiences is that you don't need 50+ friends. You need a core group that will stick with you through good and bad times. You need a group you can call at 2am to come fall asleep next to you. You need a small group that knows your deepest darkest secrets and will take them to the grave.

In elementary school I was the kid that wasn't that outgoing. I had a core group of friends, thanks for the neighborhood I grew up in. Also I made friends with what back then was known as the "cool kids". What made them cooler than someone else? At age 9 I couldn't answer that. Even today I can't answer that. If you have the answers I would be interested to hear them. I still speak with some of those people. What did happen was I gained about 4 close friends out of that period.

In middle school I didn't know any better. I hung with some of the same girls from elementary school and met some new people but really we weren't "friends" we were more acquaintances. I didn't fit in. I tried. I made jokes. I always smiled. I ate in classes when I shouldn't. I thought people were my friends but really we were all finding our ways.

In high school, my best friend from elementary school went to a catholic high school and I was in uncharted waters. All the girls from elementary school and middle school clung together and I was a fresh fish. I wasn't part of any clique. I was lost. I joined Yearbook. Made some friends but mostly had one or two friends that I hung with. It was a lonely period in my life. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it. I don't live with regrets.

I had high hopes for college. Some of the greatest friends I have came from my four years at Johnson & Wales. Late night pizza sessions. Road trips from Boston to NYC on a random weekend. Bar fights. Roomie bonding over cooking ( I never cooked) and baking. I held executive positions on 4 on campus organizations. I finally felt like I belonged. I made it. These friends knew me. They understood me. I could be myself. I graduated in 3 1/2 years. I am so thankful for the friendships I made. We are scattered across the world. We don't speak as often as I would like. We have grown up. Some married. Some had babies. Life went on but the friendships formed will live with us forever and I am very thankful for them.

Post graduation I lived in NJ, NYC, FL and back in NJ. My mother past away a year after I graduated college. After that I became a different person. Someone I don't recognize in the mirror. I abused friendships. Ruined relationships. Grew close with some and distanced myself from others. This June it will be 6 years that she is gone. It's time to make amends with the frail friendships. It's time to come clean to myself what I want in friends. Who do I want in my corner. Who can I count on. Yes I am an outgoing person. So I know a lot of people. So did my mother. They called her the "mayor of Marlboro." That doesn't mean she was friends with everyone. That doesn't mean I need to be friends with everyone. I need to work on my core friendships.



I have friends who I can call and who will always be there. I have friends I drop everything for, but will they drop for me?

Everyday we grow. 2016 is my year of commitment. Friendship is high on that list. I look forward to seeing where it goes and how it develops.

XoXo,
Tracy

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