Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/. This week's word is Keep.
"Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."
I am really appreciating this saying these days. I have several distinct groups of friends that I have kept over the years - friends from growing up, friends from college, friends from adulthood, and now friends from church.
Facebook has brought me back in touch with people from elementary, junior high, and high school. It has been wonderful to realize that some people have kept me in their hearts all this time. One friend that I went to school and church with teared up when I attended a gathering in her honor. Of all the people that came to see her that evening, it was seeing me that brought her to tears. That was such a moving experience, to realize that I could mean that much to someone.
Living in a sorority house in college made it easy to make friends. Sharing meals and bathrooms has a way of forming bonds with people. I have kept in touch the most with one particular friend, the girl who people often got me confused with. She lives in a different city and last year I got to see her when I was in her city for business. I thought it was so funny that after all these years,we were still similar in the way we dressed. We were wearing the same color shirt, pants, and shoes. It was like we had kept what makes us who we are, even after 30 years.
The photo above was taken this past December at a gathering of friends, my "Urban Tribe". This group of friends originated at work but over the years, we have added people and I think of these people as the family I chose. It's been harder to keep in touch lately, one has moved to Maine, one has moved to a city 1.5 hours away, and one has experienced some health issues that have kept him mostly homebound. But on that night in December, it was like the years and changes didn't matter. My Maine friend surprised us all by coming into town. Her accomplice brought us all together for a happy hour and the joy I felt seeing her as I walked in the door has kept me going for quite awhile. We commemorated the gathering by writing on the table in the establishment we were in, a monument to how even with changes, we have kept a special place in our hearts for each other.
I have struggled in recent years with the first part of that saying, "Make new friends". As I said before, it's easy to make friends in college, close quarters give you instant friends. As an adult, however, I think it's harder to make friends and to keep them. You can start out strong then all it takes is a marriage or a child to change what you had in common and make it harder to keep those bonds that brought you together.
After joining my church, I started attending its monthly women's book club and that has brought me some new friends. There is also a small group of us that meet once a week for a Bible study and I hope that I'm developing friendships that keep growing for years to come.
Make new friends but keep the old - what a great way to live a life. As part of my one word "best", I hope to do my best at keeping those old friends and strive to be the best new friend and keep those new friends until they are the old friends.