What is in a friend?

The onset of the new school year as a kid usually brought with it my best intentions for the new year. Every year, I made a list of everything I needed to improve about myself, so that I – could have friends.

Being that I grew up relatively poor, I did not have the beautiful clothes many of my classmates wore. I was not in my eyes, beautiful, as I was teased forever about my appearance (nose, feet, shape.) For some reason, I was bullied both by kids in class and also – believe it or not – teachers (only one or two, thank goodness.)

So the list began. I wrote down everything I wanted to change about myself. My Grandma would take me shopping. I tried to get fashionable things, but it always ended up being practical. Boys’ jeans instead of the girly ones. “You are hard on the knees, and these need to last the year,” she said. “You have to be practical.” How I loathed that word, practical.

Middle school brought popularity for me – for all of two weeks. Until the rest of the kids discovered I was not as rich as they. They saw where I lived. The royal freeze began.

Luckily, I found a few friends. Great Kate (she was very tall for her age), shy Jenny (always wore suitcoats buttoned to her chin), Lisa (struggled with severe acne and being overweight), Soeren (a church friend who seemed to be popular but loved hanging with all of us “on the outside.” We had our own table at lunch.)

You would think adulthood would change your mind about a few things. It has.

I am so grateful for the true friends that God has blessed me with – those who never walked away, who did not need to be impressed with me on any given day.

I think of my best friend, who encourages me for me, and also inspires me to achieve more in life, yet is steadfast. A best friend is one you can share “the real” with, who is not overwhelmed by your “real,” and you can do the same for them. I never really laughed from the soul until I met her. team-motivation-teamwork-together-53958.jpeg

And I have “super close” friends – these in number are about 5 people. They know who they are. They have been there for me, and I for them, in many ways. We all seem to share some commonalities. One is that superficiality is non-existent. “It is what it is.”

Someone once said that to have a friend, you must be a friend. I am so thankful that I have learned and am still learning – how to be a better friend. To those close to me, I want to say “thank you.” We do life together, and without you, life would have no sparkle.

Here’s to friendship – near and far. Have a blessed day. Share your joy with someone else.

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