Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

the must-have friends list.

So, as I was driving to Norman at 6:45 this morning, I was thinking about buying a headband. I know what you’re thinking… such deep thoughts, April! Ha. Really, though.  I was thinking about buying a headband, one of those cute embellished ones. 

So, what was my next course of action?  Contact my friend Andrea for advice.

Andrea is one of those people who are always, always, ALWAYS classy.  Seriously.  I’ve thought she was classy since we were 6 and she gave me a Sanrio stationary kit for my birthday.  She is always stylish – the right blend of classic style with a trendy twist.  Seriously.  She’s the kind of girl that I wish I was.  She’s funny, sincere, trustworthy, and I never EVER have to worry about whether she will be honest with me.  She’s the girl that I ask for fashion advice.  

Example: Todd, Andrea and I are at Old Navy and Todd tries on an ugly, puffy, orange vest.

Todd: Doesn’t this make me look McFly?
Andrea: McNo.

She will let me know if jeans tucked into my boots make me look like a OU sorority girl wannabe, or if the flower in my hair makes me look like Billie Holiday or a 5 year old.

I thought to myself this morning: everyone needs this kind of friend.  Then I thought, I really have a great group of must-have friends.  So, I have compiled a little list of a FEW of the wonderful friends I have (this is not comprehensive, it’s just an overview)… types of people I consider a must-have friend.

The best not-my-husband guy friend: Curtis. We might as well have been twins.  We are carbon copies of each other.  He’s one of my husbands’ dear friends, so he can shoot it straight with me and we can gripe to one another Platonically. 

The sweet, April-stop-freaking-out friend:  Erin. This girl is more of my compliment.  She is an optimist, and always SUPER kind and funny and fun. 

The Couple/people who are in your same stage of life friends:  We have a few of those.  Erin and Curtis (see above), John and Azlynn. You need these.  Trust me.  Otherwise, you’ll feel all alone.

The couple a little ahead of you/call for advice friends:  You need these too.  They keep you from freaking out. We are lucky enough to have a few of these too, but Marcus and Tricia come to mind.  Gosh, I LOVED living next door to them.  They were the best.

The faithful, I’ve-got-your-back-no-matter-what friend: This person is the one that you know would be willing to sit in jail beside you. 😉 (Not that I’m advocating jail… I just mean that this person is with you no matter what.)  Nichole.  We share secrets and I know that I can always count on her.  She’s the one who threw me a fantastic baby shower, was there for everything for my wedding even though she lived hours away, and I know that we’ll always been friends even though we don’t live close.

My social justice/political friends: Curtis.  Joel.  These guys push me to think for myself and force me to stay up to date on the issues.  You need these people.  Trust me, the world is a better place with a little less ignorance. 🙂

My online friends:  I can’t begin to list these friends because I have developed quite a few since I have been homebound (aka – a mom), but these are women and men who I haven’t seen in person in years or ever, but I love being a part of their written lives.  Many of them are listed to the right of this post. 🙂

My friends who are family: These people are always a must-have.  Again, I’m not naming any names here, but it’s a crucial part of my life.  You know who you are.

This may have been a bit of a boring post to you, but I was thinking of how thankful I am for these people.  I’m sure I missed some, but this is a general idea.  How about you?  Do you have friends that are must-haves?

A little less conversation, a little more action

How do I put this into words?

…I’m not the greatest friend.

I’m guilty of being a “convenience” friend.  I don’t call all the time.  I basically confide in those whom I am around on a regular basis.  Often, when I am in a quandary, I have no one to talk to because I haven’t made the effort to talk to anyone when times were easy.  I live in my own world.

It’s funny, because most people would categorize me as being a huge people person.  It’s true, I’m very talkative and friendly, but I actually get drained after a day with people.  I prefer a one-on-one conversation.  I am energized when I am here writing in the dark with the television on in the background.

I digress.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with friends that I haven’t talked to in a very long time.  Too long.  These were the people that I would tell you are lifelong friends. The ones you make in college.  The ones you saw fall in love, get married, and have babies.  About a year ago, we began to drift apart.  I got pregnant, lost my job, fell into a self-absorbed funk, and we began to talk less.  Feelings were wounded.  I was resentful. We didn’t communicate the way we should.

When Babybel was born, she became my world. We didn’t have a church family up here, few friends, and we stay at home all the time because it’s the most fiscally responsible thing we could do.  I poured myself into her…I still do.  Whatever did I think or do before she was here? I honestly can’t remember. Remember how I said in an earlier post on how I was obsessive?  Case and point. Especially in the first few months, all I could think of was Babybel.

In the conversation yesterday, we talked about the awkward silence that had permeated our friendship over the past several months.  One point was that all I do anymore is talk about babies.  Ouch.  When did I become that woman?

Being a mother is a good thing.  A great thing.  Ceasing to exist outside of being a mother is NOT a good thing.  Ironically enough, a friend of mine had just written about having a “Mommy Break Room” in her blog that same day.  I think I need a little more than one of those.  I need to regain a life.

I mean, I’m a smart girl.  A really smart girl.  One of those annoying magna cum laude graduates that everyone couldn’t stand.  I’m crafty.  I’m creative.

My boss at the last church I worked for made me believe I wasn’t, because I wasn’t what he wanted me to be.  He made me feel inadequate, dumb, weak. Like I wasn’t good enough.

But I am. Good enough.

I’m going to try to be a better friend.  I’m going to try to call more, make more of an effort.  I’m going to try to regain a life.  I’m going to worship more.  Although I love being a mama more than I’ve ever loved doing anything else, I will FAIL as a mother if I let it be my defining characteristic.  I will fail as a wife as well.

Has anyone else been guilty of letting yourself go in leu of something or someone else?

the moments I remember

I remember walking out of the church one late summer evening, while the sky was streaked with colors of tangerine and magenta.  The sun hit my face just right, enough to warm the cheeks from hours of air-conditioning. I remember peace – the feeling that God loved me and that everything would be okay.  For a moment, I was not a child of a broken home.  I was not broken or misunderstood.  I belonged.

I remember the first time I walked into the quiet church, lights off in every room except the bathroom and kitchen. I could smell brownies baking in the fellowship hall kitchen.  I was scared to go in because it was a room of girls.  Would they be kind? That was the day I met Kristen, who spoke of love and generosity.  She taught us about inner beauty.  Strength.  Benevolence.

I remember notes she would write in her perfect cursive, just the right amount of flourish, on paper with roses around the border. She would write the words, “you are beautiful.”  I think it may have been the first time I had truly ever heard that.

One summer day, we sat in a circle on a drive under the awning while it rained all around.  We talked about nursing homes and the elderly, of loving others unselfishly.  We made plans to visit them and talk to them of their lives.

I remember learning about God in those early days, about someone who loved me, broken pieces and all.  A kid who thought too much, afraid of her own shadow.  A kid who thought that no one would ever love her, that girls would always pick on her, and boys would always ignore her.  A kid who talked of things too uncomfortable, too perceptive for her age.  Too poor.  Unchurched.

Those years, I was taught of a God whom I have not seen in a church often.  There were no boundaries, no limitations on love or acceptance.  There was no hierarchy of privilege versus poverty.  We were taught to give. Love. Search. Question.

I know that what I saw was most likely different than what they could see, but when I drive down an Oklahoma road in the summer, or see a sunset, or drink a glass of strawberry lemonade, I think of that first summer. I think of Kristen, who still listens with her whole heart, who accepts unconditionally.  I think of her doe eyes that link themselves to you and feel every joy and pain you have.  She was like an older sister — teaching me how to grow without growing up.

Those are a few moments I remember.