According to Aristotle, it is “a single soul in two bodies”. Henry Ford said that it is someone who brings out the best in you. It’s a gift you give yourself. A friend is “God’s way of taking care of us.” A friend is “someone who knows the song of your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

Obviously we as humans place great value on friendship. We learn things from friends that we could not learn on our own. Each person has a story, life experiences that no other person can claim. And from these things we learn what we could not from any other person. Our lives are enriched by those we keep close to us.

Sometimes those relationships last a long, long time. But sometimes they come to an end. And sometimes it’s for no apparent reason. This is something I’ve been mulling over recently. Why do friendships end? Or at best, drift. Obviously life changes and we have to adapt or get swept out to sea. But why is it that people move on, especially when there’s not really a reason? This is something that I’ve just recently thought of and it’s entirely possible that I’m completely off but here we go.

I think maybe the reason God allows us to drift apart is we are done learning what we could from that person and vice versa. You’ve fought battles together and been there in good times and laughed and cried and prayed and yelled. You’ve each taken something from your experiences together. But maybe we get to a point where we have to move on. It’s not that you no longer like the person or you’ve had some big fall out. But you both need to move on. Because if you don’t, if you stubbornly stick together and never branch out, other people will miss out on your wisdom. On what you have to offer to the story. And you’ll miss out on what they have to offer.

Let’s face it. You can only have so many good friends. Otherwise life just gets exhausting and complicated. (I’m not saying you can’t be kind and loving toward everyone but true friendship takes work.) So what if you have to move on from that person that you’ve been best friends with for x amount of years because you have taught each other everything you can. And maybe that friendship with that person was preparing you for the next friendship. Maybe you wouldn’t have been ready for the new friendship if you hadn’t experienced that old one first. (This is sounding a little too predestination-y for my taste so let’s switch trains a little bit.)

Friendships really are odd things. There are your accquaintences, the people you kinda have to be friends with, the people who you are their friend but they aren’t really your friend, your good group of friends where you know acceptance can be found. Then there are the deep friendships where there’s a special connectedness. Where your thought patterns become so alike that you don’t even have to finish a sentence but the other person knows what you’re talking about. Or they walk into a room and you don’t even have to turn around to know that they’re there. You can just sense it. (Kinda like when John jumped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb because Mary had arrived.) I wonder what it is that makes each of those relationships what they are? What is it that makes you connect more with some people than with others? Things you have in common, sure. Similar life experiences. But I have quite a few people that I have things in common with or share life experiences with. The number of people that I feel that deep connectedness with, however, I can count on one hand.

One of those people doesn’t even fit the description I just gave. This person and I vary greatly on many things. While we share a love of writing, acting and dancing, there are many things that we are complete opposites on. But maybe we are an example of learning to love someone despite whatever glaringly obvious differences you may have.

I don’t understand how and why it all works. Maybe I never will. But tonight, I sit here grateful for my friends. You have all enriched my life in different ways. I wouldn’t be who I am without you. (So if I’m annoying, you have no one but yourselves to blame. šŸ˜‰ )

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” – Walt Whitman

“Friendship is always a responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Kahil Gibran

“The best mirror is an old friend.” – George Herbert (That one was for you Annes! šŸ™‚ )

“A friend is someone who knows everything about you and loves you anyway.” – ??

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus