Monday, August 13, 2012

Reunited and it Feels So Good!

Some Relationships Never Change

Distance and Time are No Match for Love

The Cast of Friends, duh-
Over the course of the past couple days have been blessed with numerous reunions! Some I knew were coming while others were surprises, some were with friends while others were with family, but the commonality between them all is that despite that time and distance these relationships had not changed and if they had only in the sense that they grew stronger. If you ready my earlier post "Far Apart but Close at Heart" you may find that this post has similar undertones. However, I think it is a theme that is important to touch on and remind ourselves of from time to time. My first reunion came as a surprise this past Thursday night while I was out on Penn's campus. I was reunited with a previous co-worker who I hadn't seen for over a year! When we worked together we weren't exceptionally close and I was surprised by how excited I was to see her! We had a great time out together and perhaps more importantly it made me think of another co-worker, Charlotte, who I had once been very close with. The reunion inspired me to reach out to Charlotte and I am going to continue to do so. It was such a great, genuine friendship that just faded away for no other reason than life happens. We get busy, absorbed in our responsibilities or new lives and forget about relationships that were once meaningful to us. It doesn't mean we no longer care. Sometimes it becomes hard to juggle everything- friendships, work, family, school- and we lost touch with people we truly cherish. My next encounter was again another surprise! Saturday I ran into one of my best friends from high school who was a year older than me. The two of us probably hadn't seen each other in over 2 years because as I said before life gets in the way and we lose touch. But I was pleased to discover that not only had this friendship not changed it had in fact grown even stronger! We couldn't stop talking, catching each other up, hugging one another, and expressing our dissappointment that we allowed ourselves to lose touch for so long. I felt the same level of comfort and love with this friend, Steph, that I had felt years before when we were in high school together. I had thought about her in passing many times in the past but I didn't realize how much I truly missed her until I saw her again this weekend. I still trusted her, felt able to confide in her, and enjoyed just being around her. We both vowed that we wouldn't allow ourselves to go so long without seeing each other again and I fully intend to keep up my end of the deal. True and loyal friends are too difficult to find in this world to just let them go when you have found them. This is a fact that I've learned over the past few years after realizing that many of my so-called best friends were not as understanding, reliable, and dedicated as I thought them to be. My final reunion was with my best friend of all- my mom. I hadn't seen her in nearly a month which is a very long time for us and I missed her terribly. I knew I missed her and had longed to be with her and therefore I expected the reunion to feeling exceptionally fulfilling. I was not let down. As I hugged my mother I was filled with joy, comfort, and the strongest love- a mother's love- one that cannot be immitated or duplicated. I could not stop telling her how happy I was too see her and how much I loved. It felt so good hugging her, holding her hand, and just being near her. (If you haven't picked up on this yet, my mom and I are exceptionally close.) Not seeing each other for an extended period of time did not make our love for each other depreciate. If anything it multiplied while we were apart. I know that my mother will always love and support me and it is this knowledge that weighs down on me when we aren't together. When I need a hug or unconditional love I know I can depend on her and I long to be with her. I constantly have to remind myself that we will be together again soon and I do this so often with many of my friends.
Me and my Mom- loving embrace!
Separation isn't permanent although it sometimes feels that way. It is the knowledge that we will one day be reunited with those we care about and that it will feel so good that helps us carry on when we can't be together. I have a more than a couple quotes that I'd like to share with you in relation to this topic-

The first quote I found is about the nature of great friends- the ones who lift you up, remind you of who you are, make your day whenever you hear from them- and I feel blessed to have found at least one of these friends in my life although I don't get to see them nearly as often as I'd like.

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."

- Albert Schweitzer

Never fails to make smile!
True friends don't define us or make us who we are rather they remind of us who we are. I am blessed to have at least one of these friends who has brought my spirit back to life on more than once occassion and helps me reaffirm my identity when ever I am lucky enough to spend time with her. The next quote I chose speaks more to the idea of separation and has helped me realize that I don't need to constantly be with a friend in order to consider them a "best friend."

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."

-Elisabeth Foley

I miss this girl and her crazy antics!
Foley's words comfort me and bring me hope. Recently I have been doubting the validity of many of my friendships because we are on different life paths at the moment or because we haven't spoken in quite a while. These facts make me sad, dissappointed, and fearful that I have lost friendships that I worked so hard to cultivate. But perhaps Foley is right in saying that the truest friends are those that can live and grow separately. Just because we are apart or on different courses doesn't mean we've grown apart it simply means that we are personally headed in different directions. I guess it's important to differentiate between growing apart, being separated, and losing touch. The three are often used synonimously but they do mean very different things when we analyze the words. It is hard to stay in touch or spend time with a friend when you are physically separated but as I learned from my reunions time and distance are no match for love. Just because we are apart does not mean we have grown apart and when we do finally reunite it is most likely to feel as if we were never separated at all. The last two quotes I have for you are from the timeless Winnie-the-Pooh. They are matter of fact and simple in nature but seem to me to be the perfect way to finish off this entry.

“Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have.” 

- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Play time for the best of friends!

“We'll be friends until forever, just you wait and see.” 

- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Oh how much I love and appreciate the optimism of Winnie-the-Pooh. Whenever I am feeling pessimistic or doubtful I can always turn to his simple yet insightful quotes to bring me some relief. I have yet another reunion coming up today with my Dad and brother. I haven't seen my Dad in about a month and haven't spent really true time with my brother, Adam, since last summer. He is older than I am and just like many of my friends is on a different path than I am currently. But if I believe that the quotes I have chosen ring true than our reunion will feel not good but great and will our relationship will be just as solid as it was the last time I saw him. This post has helped me immensely in regard to sorting out my thoughts and comforting myself because I have felt quite down recently about not being near to some of my dearest friends. I hope it has been as useful to you as it has been to me and that perhaps it has inspired you to reach out and contact a good friend who you haven't grown apart from but merely lost touch with.

Good luck reaching out and rejuvenating a friendship today- it's important because as Christopher Robin said "Friendship is a very comforting thing to have."

Friends Theme, Friends Theme Song

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