Fun with Friends

How exciting it can be to make new friends!  There’s the thrill of new discoveries, shared interested, and feelings of belonging.  Equally joyous is the reconnection of old friends.  It can be so easy to get caught up in new jobs, fresh faces, and different places that we neglect our long-established relationships.  The best friends are understanding of this phenomenon, but are usually quite flexible in handling this dry season.

Do you know what I’m referring to?  Those friends you may not have seen in years, and yet when you spend time with them after this separation, you talk and laugh and get along just as easily as you did all those years ago.  Those are the best kinds of friends.  I’m lucky to have had such an experience as that today.

Many people are really good at socializing.  They make friends everywhere they go.  Most of their friendships are at surface level; there may not be much substance in those relationships, but they do genuinely care about those friends.  I’ll admit that I have quite a few friends who may fit this description.  Whenever I think about their popularity and likability, I wonder if I’m just another surface-level friend with no deeper connection.  As it often turns out, many of my fears have no foundation.

I was nervous about meeting an old friend, with whom I haven’t really spent time for about three years.  I wasn’t apprehensive about the fact that communication might be awkward.  Maybe I should have given this a little more thought; I didn’t even think about the sorts of questions I might ask him.  Nor was I afraid that his character might have changed since the last time we met, though I did think about the possibility.  Instead, I was worried that although he seemed genuinely interested in spending time with me, I would not compare to the vast number of other friends he undoubtedly has.  I was viewing our relationship as a surface-level friendship and that only.  However, after spending the afternoon sharing stories and laughing and getting into adventures, I realized that we had more depth than I had previously thought.  He made me feel like a special friend in his life, not just one among the many masses.

How often do we worry about concerns that have no basis?  I am just so thankful for these carefree moments with friends, new and old.  I am grateful that there are people who can renew my hope.  Of course, it is often helpful to consider both good and bad alternatives.  However, when it’s possible, I try to increase the positivity in this world.  Don’t ever underestimate the value of a simple word of appreciation and encouragement!

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