Last month my friend Ashley and I went to a small jazz concert in Georgetown. We had just recently seen Midnight in Paris and were totally in the mood to enjoy some Cole Porter.
The night was so hot, and we didn't think to bring drinks or chairs. Ashley is such a good friend, though - never one complaint. We spread out my pashmina on the grass and ended up having a wonderful evening.
During the month of June my happiness project focus was friendships. Truthfully, this has been a weird year for friendships. Earlier, my closest friendship of 4 years abruptly ended. I was by no means innocent, but I did try to salvage the relationship, while she wanted nothing to do with it. Now, looking back, I can see it was for the best. I once read a quote - "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." (- Jim Rohn) I'm happy to remove negative energy from my life, and make room for the kind of people I want to be more like.
I also left a firm filled with many friends to work at a small company made up of older men and women. Friendships have suddenly stopped being convenient. They take intention. It means taking up precious hours in our day to plan and coordinate meetings, but I think we could all agree that communion with friends is always worth the effort.
During June, I had 3 friendships suddenly rekindle. In each of the friendships, we had drifted apart for different reasons (travel, jobs, marriage). As each relationship was restored, it surprised me how effortless it was (Becks, if you read this, I'm totally talking about you!). And here is something that got me thinking - While I do agree that friendships take work, I think there needs to be an organic quality to them. I don't like forced friendships. Just because I have a lot of common interests with someone doesn't mean we will be bosom buddies. (Points for Anne of Green Gables reference!)
While June was a huge success, I did totally strike out once. I met a girl at a party and thought she was so interesting. We seemed to hit it off so I gave her my email. Still haven't heard from her. Maybe she's just super busy, or maybe it's not meant to be. I'll have to wait and see.
So I think I've written enough. Let me turn it over to some other people - On Monday night, I asked Twitter, "If you could give one piece of advice for starting or maintaining friendships what would it be?" I was blown away by the response...
(Click the photo for the author's twitter or blog)
- Brandy: they require effort. Just like romantic relationships- friendships need effort and time put in by both sides to be successful.
- Kate: put in what you hope to get out.
- Kara: be honest! Honest friends are the most cherished kind in my book.
- Lisa: as with many -ships, open and honest communication.
- Elisabeth: never say anything about your friends behind their back that you wouldn't be willing to say to their face; don't gossip.
- Ashley: put yourself out there and initiate things with someone you'd like to know better. It's scary, but worth it.
- Caitlin: make time for your friends just as you do for a new romance. Communicate and offer love, support, and constructive criticism.
- Amy: i would say: Don't keep score (i.e. if you want to be friends, don't worry about who called who, etc.) & reciprocate! If someone shares something with you, share back. If someone initiates plans, try & do the same. Be open. :)
- Ashlee: friendship isn't effortless. It takes effort. Constant effort.
- Maria: stay honest. and treat your friend how you want to be treated.
- Cesar: never hesitate a tiny message, it can go a long way.
- Serena: be willing to argue it out.
- Danielle: say what my best friend just said to me "I am never going to judge you, whatever you choose. I stand by your side. I'll help you with whatever you need help with and give you my opinion, but I will never judge you." Also...call often and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. When you spend time with your friends, really listen...pay attention to their accomplishments and challenges.
Wow...I think I follow some pretty smart people on Twitter. :)
What friendship advice do you have?
That is all.
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That is all.
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