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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quality vs. Quantity

I remember back in high school having a conversation with a girl who was much more extroverted and outgoing than me. She would float around different groups, friendly spreading her social butterfly wings with an enviable ease. That felt much too daring for my comfort zone, which consisted of sitting quietly in my tight-knit little circle of friends. But, I was shocked one day to hear her express sadness at feeling like she didn't have any friends. From my perspective she had dozens (if not hundreds) more friends than me and I didn't understand how she could feel that way. That is, until I realized the difference between quantity and quality.

The conversation stuck with me as a constant reminder that the quality of my relationships was much more important than the number. And, really, I've been so blessed with some of the most priceless friendships a girl could ever hope for.

As I look back on my life, it's so easy to identify friendships that came naturally and easy, and amazing to recognize the tiny details that allowed our lives to connect. I've been seriously blessed with the companionship of some of the most amazing friends, and often during periods when I needed them the most. And, equally amazing is the connection that remains even with great distance and length of time that might separate us.

One of those friends happens to have her birthday today. You should check out her blog and let yourself laugh and be inspired. She is amazing! Happy Birthday, Jess!

As I get older, though, I've realized that those easy, natural friendships don't come along very often. You know the kind... where right off the bat conversations flow, the comfort level makes you feel like you can open up the most vulnerable part of your heart without any hesitation and without any fear of judgment. I should add here that having been blessed with sisters who have filled that role is a blessing I sincerely try not to take for granted. There is nothing better than having sisters who are also my best friends.

And, so when I have that, I find it even more incredible when my life is still blessed with others that bring with them such sweet friendship that makes my life feel richer than what I could ever merit. Just a few short months ago I met a young mother of two adorable boys, her youngest the same age as Benjamin, and right away I felt drawn to her. I could tell by my initial interactions with her that she and I would probably get along really well. Little did I know how much we'd have in common and how those commonalities would quickly forge one of those rare friendships that come easy and naturally.

On the first play date we had with our boys, Annie and I got to talking and before I knew it, she was opening up to me about her recent loss - a baby girl - that left her with wounds that were still raw and painful. It was the last thing I was expecting to hear from such a happy, seemingly carefree person. But, immediately I was taken back to my own reactions to our loss and the efforts I made to appear normal. And, remembering the physical ache that lingers in the heart in the months that follow and the tears that seemed to not ever dry up, I just wanted to wrap her up and take all of that away. And, right away I felt this huge relief with the realization that there would be feelings we'd share that wouldn't ever have to be expressed.

From that day (in October, I think) followed lots of days just like it where we'd meet up, let our boys play (and sometimes borderline fight... two-year olds!), and continue to build our friendship. Earlier this month I was super sad to find out that their brief stay here would be even more brief than originally planned. They moved this morning back to where they came from, which fortunately isn't too far away but still far enough away to create some distance and great difficulty in continuing our weekly play dates and late night talk-fests.

But, rather than feeling sad, I feel so incredibly blessed to have another friend who will no doubt be a friend for life, one of the best in quality.


Tim, Annie, Jack said...

love you! talk to you soon.

Adan said...

ooooou a very good blog my blog is

JessicaP said...

I think we're friends because we're quite a bit alike - isn't that crazy?!! I've always been a low quantity, but blessed with high-quality friends gal myself. And you, as we all know who read this, are of the highest quality. Lucky me to be your good friend!!!

Thanks for the Happy Birthday and we have to talk this week. I will try tomorrow night around 8:30pm your time.

Love you!

Amy Lawson said...

Holy, friend me on facebook! I always thought you weren't on there. And for real, I can't figure out who the mutual friend is??? Friend me so we can solve this mystery once and for all.