Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best Friend

I am blessed enough to have two people that I can call my best friends. I am unfortunate enough to have them live far away – one in Texas and one in Tennessee.

Tonight, I received an unexpected phone call from BFF-TN. At the time she called, I promise you that I had just finished reading the following paragraph.

"A friend is not a friend when she doesn't want the best for you. A friend is not a friend when she is envious of your happiness. A friend is not a friend when you find yourself keeping secrets from her because you fear that if you told the truth, she would be hurt or lonely or unhappy with her own life. A friend is not a friend if there is no room for expansion, joy, happiness, change. If she does not want you to be the best you can be, to have all you can possibly have, to be as successful and gorgeous as you have the potential to be, she is not your friend."
–Geneen Roth, When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair

It's funny. Because when I read that, I saw in my mind, in blinking lights, the name of a person with whom I am no longer friends. Since I have moved back to New York, a few friendships, old and new, have crashed and burned in a very big way. But when I read that paragraph, I realized that some of those friendships weren't really friendships at all. They may have been some kind of relationship, in some way, but they were not friendships. At any rate, this particular friend came to mind. I kind of started feeling foolish for being sucked into a friendship that turned sour on me.

And then the phone rang. And then, for the next hour, I was reminded again and again why it's worth it. It's worth putting it all out there, and it's worth getting hurt and let down and taken advantage of, if, at the end of it all, you can find even one friend like BFF-TN, for even a little while.

We compared crazy family Christmas war stories. She encouraged me to keep writing the blog. She encouraged me in regards to my career and my creative pursuits. She called out my strengths and praised them. We laughed and almost cried. She isn't jealous of me, she doesn't resent me, and we have grown so much together over the past 15 years or so. We have learned to set boundaries and make hard choices. We have encouraged and challenged each other. We have gotten each other through rough times with whatever we had to give of ourselves – long talks, rides in cars, food, candy, clothes, coffee, shoes, money… and yes, even makeup.

So, BFF-TN, this "best" is for you. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your years of support.