On the nature of friendships

I'm one of those people who makes friends easily. I meet, I like, I befriend. That's me. I can honestly say that this has not always been the case because I was an awkward child for much of my early youth, and I was also the kind of kid who found it easier to connect with adults rather than those her own age. Growing up, I knowingly craved a consistency in my friendships that depended on the kind of steadiness that had everything to do with remaining in one place. Moving, I soon learned, invariably meant a threadlike unraveling of my few attachments. This is the reason why for the longest time, I felt inhibited in the degree to which I shared what I considered worthy of knowing about the inner me.

It really wasn't until adulthood however that I grew sufficiently into the kind of awareness that is basic to differentiating the stuff of mere acquaintances from the hallmarks of true friendships; or that I was capable of making the kind of commitment necessary to maintaining a connection with someone over the spans of time, distance and personal growth.

So far in my life, I've been exceptionally lucky in meeting a variety of people who have evidenced for my benefit those traits we all associate with the most meaningful of friendships. As time has gone by however, I find myself holding my older friends closer to the proverbial heart and investing less and less time in seeking new ones to bring into the fold. Since my arrival in Houston nearly five years ago, I've met many wonderful people but I've let few come to mean more to me beyond the confines of a category I refer to as in mutual like.

Somewhere along the way, I began to assume incorrectly that this was how it would be for me from now on and into my old age. That I would live on the sustaining diet of my old guard friendships with a less often and more sporadic spending of myself into newer associations.

To my surprise then, since I began blogging six months ago, I've completely debunked this expectation. I've experienced an exponential growth of comrades-in-blogging-arms. A plethora of worthies who have been, thanks to their intriguing, honest, entertaining, intelligent, thought-provoking and sometimes painful sharing of their lives, fast-tracking their way into my discerning heart. On-line, I've discovered a wealth of people whose sincerity in extending their hand in friendship to me would take so much longer to confirm in the face to face world. I guess that is because you all trustingly expose what is the very best of your inner selves in your writings. Because you give so much without asking in return.

To those of you whom I've also shared of myself with, I hope you can feel how I truly appreciate knowing you. How I try to take you in like measure and with careful consistency, to those normally private places that make me who I am. I want you to know that I keep visiting your blogs as much for the I can't wait to read what you wrote today factor as I do to satisfy the need of wanting to know how you are doing in your lives.

In this virtual world, I will construe such impulses as new hallmarks in this different path towards friendship forging; in this space which I normally reserve for my Leaping Thought Wednesdays, I take the opportunity to thank you for the pleasure I receive and the growth you instigate through the privilege of knowing you.

From this Leaping Thought Wednesday to the next, may all your days be made fuller by those you call your friends.


  1. Oh gush and bother, now I'm all weepy and glad for you and want to invite you over for Windexing. I so get what you're saying. There are people I've known for years that I just don't get past a certain point with and then there are bloggers, like yourself, who I've "known" for a few short months and feel inexplicably connected to. There's so much more shared in these semi-candid forums that have little to do with social constructs. In some ways it's not real but in other ways it's the one true thing, these spontaneous friendships based on similar and complimentary brain systems.
    I'm so glad for your blog-friendship.

  2. So well written. I agree with you. As I get older, it becomes more and more difficult to make new and worthy friendships, beyond the idle chit chat outside of the nursery school while waiting to pick up kids, waiting in the Starbuck's line, etc. But on-line? I've met and honestly befriended several women who I am honored to know - you included! It's been a delightful side effect of blogging, making connections with fascinating women who, although they may not live close enough to meet me at Starbuck's, I can email with, chat on the phone with, visit with when I'm (hopefully) in their town. Connections are great, any way that you can make them.

  3. Well friend, I was about to write something but cce mostly stole it (speaking of similar brain systems). In truth, this blogging thing allows people to connect in ways that are difficult to duplicate in real life. We get to meet people who are ideological neighbors. We get to finish our thoughts - and let them finish theirs. And we get the edited version of each other - sans the halitosis and annoying quirks. Is it any wonder that these friendships feel so comfortable?

  4. M. you are so right, what a wonderful community of friends we are able to create online to share ideas and maybe parts of ourselves that we can't as easily, or don't have the forum to, in our day to day experiences. I think anyone would be lucky to count you as a friend.

  5. Cce: I feel the same way towards you. Inexplicably connected. And you delved into the nucleus of why that is - this blogging thing is ALL about dispensing with the social construct. We share here the kinds of confidences we take forever to work our way into in face to face meets. Stripped away, what is left is more of the true self than most of us would care to admit. I mean every word I ever write to you Cce and since I stumbled on your blog, there have been many days when I've wished I could sit across a table and share a cup of coffee with you or watch Idol (but you'd have to watch the Bachelor in return mind you) since my husband, like yours, is not into these things. All this to say that I'll Windex with you anytime (but sharing Ron is an altogether different matter) and that I too, am so glad to be your blogging friend.

    Melissa: Same here. I no longer have the luxury of time that I enjoyd so freely before. My coffee meets are few and far between and even then, I reserve those times for my established friends. Sometimes I wish I could split myself into so many different people and slow down the hours in a day. But in the end, I only get to those things that are all important and let the rest fall by the wayside because I'm only one and the hours never slow nor multiply. How you do all you do with your two little ones and with such cheerfulness of spirit is one of the things I admire the most about you. You are so very nice. Truly. I feel honored that we've been able to connect outside of the blog. In a short span of time (though you were among the first bloggers I ever liked) you and your family have become important to me. Thank you for your trust. I return it. I have only one regret with you - you were so close and now so far away...

    Ron: Indeed, I care for you as much as you already know in spite of the halitosis you worry about dear friend. Also, in spite of that sometimes annoying, oftentimes charming habit you have of finishing my thoughts. The verdict is still out on the quirks though. I guess we'll just have to see how that pans out.

    Suzanne: I'm coming to call you more my friend than I ever did since we met in Baku and I think that is a great thing. We have to thank the blogging more than Mr. W. for that. We'll become better friends on our own merits, yes? I'm game if you are too.

  6. You are so thoughtful, and such a wonderful person - how can one know that without ever meeting? It's possible, and the truth - and, as they say, our world only gets smaller and smaller. Thanks for these sweet words. Now get busy designing my banner! :) Just kiddin'.

  7. Working on it as we speak Lulu dear. Also, right back at you on the thoughtful and wonderful. You, Melissa and I have to engineer a get together someday with the children. Sorry it has been taking so long with the banner. Will write you later.

  8. I've always enjoyed reading your blog. You are very kind and genuine and I can tell this just from your blog. You write such beautiful stories. Have you ever written a book or thought about it?

  9. Oh YOU! Here I have a free moment and I think, I'll check in with my new fav blogger gal, and you've gone ahead and expressed something I've been thinking about for some weeks now.

    I have another frogship (isnt that blog friendship? or perhaps bendship..) anyway, she most recently posted that she is getting divorced and I'll tell you that it hurt to read it, I hurt for her and the turmoil that is happening in her life, even though we've NEVER met and she's halfway across the world. My world is broader and more full with my newfound friendships and I believe that this woman (who is suddenly getting divorced) also has an entirely new support system for this period of sadness in her life. She is not alone.

    Thanks for such nice articulate thoughts on something I think most of us agree with, we like you too!!!

    Big hugs

  10. I remember my very first best friend, the girl who lived next door, Lori Zonner. She ran up to me and said "Do you want to be friends?" I said yes, and that was that.

    It gets much more difficult when we get older. I'm not sure why.

  11. Erin: I can say the same about your blog. Enjoyed it - right from the very beginning. I'm pretty sure that also means that I would enjoy the you behind the words because words can be a facade some of the time but not all of the time and your genuineness, fun, candor and kindness shine through. Thanks about the writing kudos. And no, I've never thought about it. Really? I don't think I've got the talent necessary for it. Check out Cce at http://www.madmarriage.com - she is an altogether different matter. THAT is writing talent.

    Baby Island: Fav new blogger to your too! I think you are pretty fantastic. You lift my spirits with your eternal optimism. I know you are going to deny the eternal before the optimism bit but take it from me if from no one else, you've got eternal optimism down pat because even when something gets you down you have already found the silver lining. I can tell that from reading you for only as long as I have.

    I know what you mean about worrying about our blogging friends. I know I do when their lives are not everything we wish it to be for them. As you pointed out, one of the great by products of the blogging world is the support network we build up. I know it restores daily my faith in mankind (especially at its low points) when I get to meet people such as you and everyone else who has commented here for that matter. Support, kindness and more genuine friendships that can sometimes be found in the outside world. That is what the blog has brought me.
    Liking you back tremendously.

    Thomaslb: Thanks for stopping by. Love that you remember Lori's name. Who is Alice? And YES, you do.

  12. What more can I add -- Milena, your blog is as delightful as your online persona. And a personal and private thank-you for this week's thoughtfulness. PS Great new picture!

  13. I feel exactly the same way, and the previous comments echo my thoughts, too. Your blog is a place where you have clearly put yourself "out there," with an open heart and mind, and it's no surprise that you attract other good folks. :)

  14. I have moved many times in my life and found it easy to make friends. This last move to France has me a bit perplexed. I am older and I guess it is harder to make friends and I am more selective but I am having a hard time meeting people I really like and want to befriend. I have turned to my blog and its readers and found it amazingly easy and rewarding, more than I thought it would be. I just worry that I am withdrawing even more from real life and making friends in the real world. I actually met one blogger who is American who lives in Toulouse like me so I guess it is possible to bridge the gap from online to real friends.


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