One of my pastimes has been reacquainting myself with friends I have lost contact with for one reason or another through the decades. Some of these friends I once knew in high school or college. Some I considered very close friends or roommates that I eventually lost touch with. The internet search has been of invaluable aid in finding many of my long lost friends. I’ve found friends that I had abroad from high school as well as friends I knew in college who currently only live a few mile from me.
This got me wondering how I lost contact with many of them to start with and thinking why I considered them friends to begin with. When I was a young kid I somehow mysteriously made friends with some kids and not others. For some reason oblivious to me I seemed drawn to certain kids who ultimately morphed into my friends. My closest friends were the ones that I mutually seemed to be drawn closest to and I naturally spent most time with. Strangely my closest high school friends and I came from totally different backgrounds and didn’t appear to have a lot of things in common other than curiosity and wanting to have fun together. I felt comfortable with them and the thing we talked about and did together seemed so naturally spontaneous. If any one of us got bored and wanted to go out and do something we naturally contacted one or more of these special friends and got together or in many cases simply went to their house and dropped in unannounced. We never seemed to get enough of one another. Conversations were quite spontaneous and if we wanted to go out we simply went out.
It seems so strange but once we went off to college we drifted apart and soon lost touch and forgot about one another. The same thing happened with college friends. We were so close while in college but soon after we left for our individual careers we drifted apart and lost touch almost as if we never knew one another. This pattern seems more true with boys than with girls I think. I still don’t quite understand why this is true. I think it has something to do with accessibility. When we saw each other every day at school we were always very accessible to one another but once we left for college that accessibility was severed. It seems to have been similar with college. When we were in college we made friends who we frequently saw so we were very accessible to one another. But once we started careers we no longer saw them as frequently and felt these friends as less accessible even though we didn’t live far apart. Each seemed focused upon their careers and later their families. At that stage in life we made other friends having similar lifestyles and interests, with co-workers and people we met in our careers, people we met in church, parents where our kids went to school, etc., people whom we didn’t have to go out of our way to see on a more or less regular basis.
But there are those very few exceptions that some have where friendships are maintained even when separated by distance, careers, families, and routine encounters. I never had such a friend but know of people that have that very special enduring friendship. I believe that such people not only enjoy your company but deeply care about you as a person and are willing to do anything for you. They don’t care when you call or why you call. They simply enjoy hearing your voice and talking about nothing or sharing everything even very personal and private things. These are the friends who will go out on a limb for. They comfort you when you are down and share the excitement of your joys. They are good listeners and willing and sometimes wise in dispensing advice. They are sympathetic and nurturing. This is the ultimate in friendship and what it should all be about. If you have such a friend don’t let go of them for not everyone has such a special best friend.
Sometimes such friendships are one way where there is a giver and a taker. This often happens when one is rich and famous, the taker, and wants to dump all their problems on another, the giver, who is often attracted to the taker by their position of wealth or fame or was a friend before fame and wealth set in. Such one way relationships endure for a time, often for a very long time but usually end up in a breakup when the receiver gives up in frustration or the taker self destructs and severs the relationship.
Though I have never had an enduring friendship I believe that such friends must make themselves very available. They are people you feel comfortable contacting at any time when you have something to share or dump or simply need advice and council. Special best friends need to be empathetic, caring and nurturing as well as sensitive and compassionate about your situation. They must be a person whom you feel you can confide in and trust with you deepest secrets without being judgmental. They must be people you can depend upon to help you regardless of the circumstances. These relationships must be mutual in order to be sustainable.
But most of all best friends should feel very at home simply shooting the breeze about nothing and everything and sharing even the smallest things. There should exist that special synergistic emotional connection and desire to share and simply being there for one another. At least this is who I’d like to have as a best and enduring friend. Of course I’d reciprocate all of these qualities.