Thoughts On Friendships

Somewhere in my earliest years of social development, I became an introvert. Meaning I like to be left alone. Really, I'm fine so please don't worry about me, I'm happy over here, I love this island. You go do your thing and play your reindeer games, I'm content staying over here watching. See, I love people watching, spying on them as they go about their business. Maybe watching out an open window, sitting in an airport terminal or as they pass by while I'm relaxing on a sun soaked bench in July.

But I digress a wee bit. I'm proud to be an introvert. It’s who I am. It's one of my strongest personality controlling traits. Seriously, I'm happy going about life unseen and unnoticed. It took awhile but I'm comfortable in this skin now. While growing up, I tried being like those around me, outgoing and having many friends. It never fully felt right. As a result making and keeping friendships was never easy. I'm not whining, simply stating reality.

Back in those days, most friendships seemed to end as fast as they started. Then, during the last few years of elementary school, I had a very good friend. Changing buildings for middle school caused us to lose touch. A few years later, I developed new friends in middle school. So much so, I was able to keep them though high school. But after graduation, 4 years of college away from home and six years living out of state before returning home, well let's just say it’s very rare to see them now.

In an attempt to function within society, my mind organized it into small, simple compartments. One such effort created the many types of relationships encountered, but only three really matter. Acquaintances, casual friendships and the one which is craved, dreamed about and desired above all else; deep, meaningful friendships.

Acquaintances are people you know. Casual friendships have a bit of a history to them. People you talk to on a semi regular bases, have a few beers with, drive to airport or help move.

Deep, lasting friendships are reserved for a trusted few. The ones you confide in. The ones you bare your soul to. The ones you reveal all your warts to. The ones you never wear a mask around. The ones you become unguarded around. The ones who never want anything from you. The ones who never want to change you. The ones who are effortless to be around. The ones you love the most. The ones an unshakable trust is bestowed upon. The ones having the strongest of bonds. The ones allowing you to know that never will you be alone within life and the world. This goes for even the most hard core of introverts.

This kind of personal trust and commitment is unique, making these friendships the rarest of rare. Friendships that are cherished and protected at all costs. Friendships were kidneys are freely donated. Then, if that is not enough, your life is given. It's these friendships that if ever found to be fake or faults in commitment cause the most immense pain, suffering and soul searching.

Kath’s is the deepest and most important one. In addition, over the many years, I have been blessed with a few others. This number could be counted on one hand with still having a few fingers left over even if I were missing a finger or two.

Life ebbs and flows, but these friendships remain unbroken, unharmed and very much unwavering in their love.

Doug Thornhill (dct)