I have heard it said, “If you want friends, show yourself friendly.” I am blessed to say that I have never found it particularly hard to make friends. I do, however, feel that I have “realms” of friends. I have those that are acquaintances and those that are more than acquaintances but not best friends. Then there is my “inner circle,” that smaller group of gals that I will let my hair down with. It is with that inner circle of friends that my melancholy side can show, where I don’t have to be “on,” and my nerdy alter ego (who I call LaDonna), seems to feel so comfy that she takes up residence when they are around.
These are the gals that love me come rain or shine. They hold my hand on the cloudy days and dance with me like no one is watching on the sunny ones. They rally around when I drop the ball and cheer my home runs when I am in my stride. Their love is the same through the successes and the failures, and to them I am the same person either way. They ignore the bone-headed things I do and see my brilliance even when I cannot. They ignore the things I say that they know I don’t mean, and they take the time to know my heart instead of focusing on my actions or what my mouth is up to. They are the group of women that I always come home to and miss the most when life gets to busy. They are the group that I stop my world for, just to sit and have wine and a light dinner catching up on all the adventures we have had since the last girls’ night out. They see the little bite in my personality as quirky and not deadly. They just know me, and I know they have my back. It is these women that I never doubt.
I feel blessed to have them. I have lived long enough to understand the value of such women and the richness that they bring to my life. I am always amazed at how much time can pass, yet when we get together it’s like we haven’t missed a beat. I love that we are all very different from one another, yet we can come together on the really important issues of life—each with our own strengths and weaknesses. We can rally around the others as needed.
I love that with my “inner circle” friends, I don’t have to be anything that I am not. I never feel as if I am not enough…not good enough, not talented enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, or anything else that the world can get me to buy into in weak moments. With them, I am just the right amount of funny, the right amount of smart, and I’m just quirky enough without tipping the scales. Some, I have known since childhood and others only a short time but each of them adds to my life a depth and richness that can’t be replaced. They are the ones that I run to when life kicks me in the teeth or when I need to hear the painful truth, when I have lost my way or when I just need to celebrate. They are the ones I call when I am experiencing the most amazing sunset or laughing until I cry at the most redneck thing I just came across.
Each of them challenges me to be a better person. They stretch me in ways that I never knew I could be stretched. Often times they shove, I mean coax, me through doors that I wouldn’t have had the courage to go through on my own. They help me to readjust my thinking and see things from a new angle. They show me how to let go of things and people that are holding me down. We spend very little time on things that don’t matter—like how much money we make or what titles we wear, or the size of our homes or the cars we drive. Rather, we spend time on the issues of the heart and those things that will last when everything else crumbles around us. It is because of their friendship that my life has gone from rags to riches.