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09 July 2009

Random thoughts

I follow a blog called The Simple Dollar written by Trent (last name???). He writes largely about finance, & has actually made a big difference in my life. I'm trying to save some (tho mostly it will probably be used for taxes & insurance on our house) & trying to be (even more) frugal.

But he sometimes covers other topics as well. One of the things he has talked about a couple of times recently has been on friendship. He doesn't say it exactly this way, but he talks about 2 levels of friendship. He says level 1 would be folks with whom you have common interests: neighbors, co-workers, children of the same age, attend the same church, etc., etc. Then there is the next level where you share interests, but you share other things as well (similar beliefs, ethics,
etc.) & move to a level where you (deeply) begin to care for one another. (These two levels are what i've tended to term as "acquaintances" & "real friends.")

He said that when folks who are level 1 friends move on - change jobs, move to another house, children join different groups - that these friendships generally don't survive. And that is the way of the world. Level 2 friends survive past these superficial moves. He says there are good reasons to have both type of friends, & that the problem comes when you think or expect that level 1 friends are level 2 friends, when in fact it is just shared interests that bring you together.

This resonates with me. I've had expectations in my life of anyone i would call "friend." Or no expectations at all. I don't use the word friend very easily. But i've been blessed to have several level 2 friends in my life who have endured over time. I am so very blessed by them. But sometimes i think i tend to overlook the blessings of level 1 friends have brought to my life. And i've been hurt as people i thought were level 2 friends moved on & i found we didn't have the connection i had thought to be there.

But more, i'm finding that my relationship to Sis #2 is rather that of a level 1 friendship, & we haven't much connection beyond the chance of sharing the same
parentage. I'm not quite sure what to do with this info. I guess i've been too allured by idea presented in books & movies (& by friends who have such relationships) that a sister is to be a "forever friend." Not much else to be said on that subject, but i'm certainly wondering. Not quite sure how to make this paradigm shift in my head. It certainly will change expectations.

I think friendship is a bit like this pic. We touch & intersect with others, sometimes following for a long time, sometimes just a bare touch & then we move on, fade out. But we all contribute to the whole, the picture. The friends i am blessed to have had, past & present, all add color & scope to the pic.

The image used is from this website. No name was listed for me to give credit.


1 comment:

gfe--gluten free easily said...

What a beautiful image! And, it rather conveys both the simplicity and complexity of friendships at the same time. Very nice.

What you shared about friendships is true. I think that sometimes we can overanalyze. Okay, your friendship with your one sister is not what you might expect. Maybe that's okay. Maybe it will develop into something more at a later time in your lives, but maybe not. Maybe it's unrealistic to expect all our family members to be real friends as well as family. Just thinking about family relationships we have.