I woke up this morning with Friends on my mind. (No, not the 90's television show, although now I got you all singing the song...you're welcome)- Just the concept of Friends in general. I grew up in a small town (in which I now live again) and some of the Friends I made in preschool are still a large part of my life. It's a beautiful thing, having a Friend that you can say you literally grew up with- a Friend who is in pictures with you at birthday parties, school assemblies, soccer games... There is a bond there that cannot be matched by any other Friend. Since it was a small town, those preschool and elementary school Friends became junior high Friends, and then high school Friends.
Then I remember my mother telling me when I was younger that the Friends I would be meeting in college could be the ones I would have for life. I went to college, made the Friends, (a lot of them), but I cannot name one of them that I actually still keep in touch with today. I was friends with a lot of boys. I was that girl who was the only chick at the frat house. I loved it. Loved having boy-friends. I felt taken care of, I felt special, I felt...not-competed with... It was nice. I had never had that before because I had previously been stuck in a controlling and manipulative relationship where jealousy played a huge factor. Then I met some girls and for the first time since my playground days, I made new girlfriends. Everything was great until it wasn't. And I won't elaborate on that but I will say that I had my heart broken and it took me awhile to recover from the pain.
No-one can hurt you deeper than a woman.
I also have a Friend (a girlfriend) whom I met in junior high. She and I clicked instantly- did everything together, lived together through college...we were a team. We were a dynamic and epic team. We had fun, we shared life, we laughed, we cried, we fought, we did every-thing together. Then things happened and we drifted apart. For 14 years we didn't speak or see one another. Then this year-this past week to be specific- we reunited and it felt like no time had passed. She was once a part of my soul and now I can say she's back in. Or perhaps she never left... Yeah, I think that's how it works. I think once you let someone in, truly let someone inside of you to see the real you- have a piece of the real you- no matter what happens, even if they walk away, they will always hold onto that piece. You may not even feel that you're missing the piece, but they have it. And when they return, you somehow feel completed again.
But what about making new Friends? What about meeting someone in your adult life? ...how does that work, exactly? That's a hard one, I think. Unless you're on some online Friends forum (is there such a thing?), it's difficult to actually meet new Friends in your adult life...especially when your job requires you to stay home. But it can happen. And sometimes it can happen with such strength that it can knock you off your tracks a little bit. When you're an adult you don't have the time to waste like you did as a kid, you're forced to be a bit more picky about whom you let in, so the Friends you may meet, the ones you consider worth your time and effort, have to be something special. They sort-of have to be soulmate material. Because as an adult, you have baggage- good and bad, so cultivating and sustaining new friendships can be difficult. It no longer matters anymore what you want, or who you want, because you have other people to consider in the equation. But when you find someone who gets you, someone you feel really deserves to be let in, it's difficult to walk away.
The old saying is true- You can't choose your family, but you can choose your Friends. But what they don't say is that sometimes you can't choose your Friends. Sometimes a person walks into your life (or back into your life) when you weren't expecting it, when you didn't even think you needed anything, and becomes a part of you. And whether you like it or not, however hard it may be, you remain tethered to that person- even if just in the abstract. Because that person was let inside- you let that person inside. And therein lies the trouble. When you let someone in, when you allow them to see your true self, your soul, and everything else you were willing to expose, letting them go is the hardest part.
Because everything happens for a reason, timing is everything, and sometimes you need to just sit back and allow life to take over. On one hand I believe that you absolutely control your own destiny- You want something? You work hard and go get it! But on the other hand I believe that some things are out of our control and we need to take a backseat and allow someone else to take the wheel. (sigh) I'm not good at allowing someone else to take the wheel in my car. I like driving. I'm good at driving. I feel like I know my car the best, I know what it likes, what makes it tick, what makes it run the smoothest, and plus- I get car sick if I'm not in the driver's seat (yes, I'm still using the car as a metaphor for my life here).
But as an adult, one of the hardest lessons we have to learn is that it isn't always about what you want anymore. It isn't always about how well you can drive, it's about how safely you, and all of your baggage, can arrive at your destination.
I decided to re-share a recipe to go along with today's post. It felt like a comfort food type of subject today. Because, that's the wonderful thing about food- food is a Friend I always know I can rely on. Making food and sharing it with the people I love, like a good Friend, is something I hold so very dear to my heart and it is a part of myself that I could never give up. And since baking is something I do whenever I feel off in some way, whenever I perhaps am in need of a Friend, I've decided to share with you one of my pie recipes- written almost exactly 2 years ago when (clearly, according to the post content), I was in dire need of a Friend.