Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unpoetic Ode to Friends

As we move through the many stages of our lives, we have different groups of friends. Friends in the neighborhood growing up, high school friends, college friends, grad school friends, friends from work, friends from hobbies, friends of our spouses, the list goes on and on. Many of these folks we lose touch with (if anyone knows the Shannon Johnson who used to live on Bordeaux Dr in Rockford, Illinois give me a call), many we stay social-network-friends with and a precious few we remain close enough to that we still know the goings-ons of their day-to-day lives. I am TERRIBLE at staying in touch with friends, thus the ones I do stay in touch with mean all the more to me. (To the right:, me, Deepa and Trang- 2 of my med school buddies.)

Our friends serve many purposes- support, comic relief during the more painful times of our lives, laughter during good times, and companionship as we do activities we enjoy (going to the movies, running, eating, etc). Some have transient purposes and once we no longer have the same job or live in the same location the relationship loses its luster. But other friendships have such a strong foundation that you know the person will always play an important role in your life no matter how infrequently you talk or see each other.

One of my favorite parts of a long run is that moment when I know I'm going to finish the run. Sometimes this is the halfway point because I usually run out-and-back routes and once I'm halfway I have no choice but to go home. Other times I enjoy the feeling of knowing I'm going to not just finish the run, but finish the run well and knowing that allows me to take a step back and enjoy the run all the more, without the stress of wondering about my ability to finish.

Similarly, some of my most memorable moments with my dearest friends are times when we were having a great time, laughing and joking around and I think to myself- "I will be friends with these folks forever". I don't have to work to impress them or worry about might happen when they move away- I know we'll be friends until we're old and gray (but I plan on dying my hair so maybe not gray). Now, don't worry, I'm not about to go run out and buy some BFF necklaces (but those were cool while they lasted, weren't they? Do kids still do that nowadays??). But I do have specific memories of times with certain friends where I all of a sudden knew they would always be important to me. Does this happen to anyone else? Am I just a big goof? (Don't answer that.)

Anyway, I started thinking about this a while back as I drove home from seeing one of my med school friends who was in town for the weekend. Most of my closest friends have scattered all over the country, making the times we see each other all the more precious. I look forward to retirement (or at least a part time job- i.e. 40 hours a week) when I'll have time to travel the globe to see them all:)

Cheers to good friends!

1 comment:

  1. You're not a goof! This is a really sweet post, Val. I know we'll be friends until we're old and gray. Actually I'm already gray, so I'll go the cheesy route say, we'll be friends forever:)