Several months ago, I vowed I wouldn’t write a post about “friends” for reasons that shall remain as silent as I’ve been about the whole situation. Don’t ask. Regardless, I’m here to talk about friendship today because I just talked to my BFF Cyn – a woman I’ve known for nearly 20 years and one of the strongest women I know in the world. Seriously.
Cyn calls me out of the blue now and then, and always at the perfect time – when I need a “pep talk,” as she put it. We share a connection so deep that she knows when I need her, to hear her voice, to ground me back to reality, and to pull my ass out of the well, if needed. We haven’t talked in probably a year or more. Today, her phone call was just what I needed and have for some time. She has this ability to take all of my huge problems and make them look insignificant, which is exactly what they are in the grand scheme of things. And for whatever reason, she’s the only one I hear most of the time. I have many names for Cyn: she is my soul sister, my Sanity, my best. She is what I consider a True Friend, and those, my friends, are hard to find. I’ve been lucky enough to have several True Friends in my life. Before I go into naming those wonderful folks, let me explain what a True Friend is to me:
A True Friend is someone who accepts you unconditionally as you are with no expectations of what you might be. They love you, flaws and all, and your friendship will never be destroyed by petty bullshit or any bullshit, for that matter, to include the bullshitter. They stand by you through thick and thin, even when you don’t trust their words, whether you know it or not. And they never lie to you.
That last one is very important to me. I have a hard enough time lying at all, so if I consider you a True Friend and I tell you something important, something you need to hear, you can bet everything you own that I’m not lying. I don’t lie to my friends … EVER. Not when the cost is the friendship. I barely lie to strangers. I do NOT have a poker face. And the following people I’m about to name have never once lied to me, betrayed me, etc.
I can name five women in my life, who have all been in my life for some time now, who would never hold me to unobtainable expectations or bring drama and petty bullshit into our relationship. I’d like to show you my girlfriends, my sisters, the women whom I’m proud to call friends and who will be with me for a long damn time. I’ve already proven that with Cyn (almost 19 years) and Mishko (over 24 years). They’ll stick around because these women have beautiful souls, and they are all my soul sisters.
- Cyn, of course, being the first, and I’ve already explained our relationship. Can you believe the bitch is a year and a half older than me? LOL This pic is about a year old, maybe less.
- Mishko, whom I’ve known since my 17th birthday and who just got married recently. We talk once or twice a year, but it never matters. We pick up wherever we left off. She’s a year younger than me.
- Deni, whom I’ve known for about 10 years and who calls me at least once a week to check on me or to vent or to cry or let me cry. This is Deni …
Okay, okay, THIS is really Deni. She’s not a zombie. Honest, but if she becomes one, I’ll shoot her because I love her that much. She’s a few years younger than me.
- Sharon, my partner in crime … er, the ‘zine, and whom I’ve known for the last four years after meeting on a writing site, and we’ve never met in person and have only talked ONCE on the phone. LOL I trust Sharon’s word over most and will always stand by her when the shit hits the fan, regardless of who started it. I know her Celtic temper quite well now. Y’all should learn it. Why? Because as William Congreve wrote in “The Mourning Bride,” “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” This is Sharon and one of my favorite pictures of her. She’s a few years older than me.
- Kitty, whom I met on Twitter through her sister CJ Redwine a year and a half ago and who is now my roommate and long lost sister. That quote can apply to her too. Watch out! And this is Kitty, the baby of the group, as she’s over 7 years younger than me.
Each of these women share many things: I can pick up the phone after not speaking to them for however long it’s been and we’ll pick up right where we left off (that does include Sharon); they will never compete with me in anything (that’s a girl thing that I just can’t get used to) because they are like me and not really girlie-girls; they won’t knock me down when I’m trying to get back up and stand on my own two feet again, but instead, they’ll hold out their hand with a smile and a nod and actually take my hand rather than pretend and end up slapping it away. Why? Because that’s what friends do! That’s what sisters do! And it’s reciprocated.
My girls are all ages, sizes, backgrounds, etc. Why? Because I look at a person’s soul, not their exterior, not their beliefs, none of those things. And these five beauties do the same, which is why we’re friends.
Take a good close look at your friends, and remember, friends listen as well as talk. If they don’t want to listen to you, they aren’t really much of a friend, are they? I call those fair-weather friends. The ones who interrupt you to talk about themselves. It’s really quite sad, actually, but I don’t bother with those kind of friends anymore. If anything, they’re merely acquaintances.
And I try really hard to shut up and listen, rather than talk about myself. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at it. =)