Monday, May 9, 2011

Countdown to 40 and Fabulous - 8

May 9th - 8 days to 40

Turning 40 means that there are people in my life (not including family) I have known for over 20 years, that is, half my life. I find that so amazing. I pride myself in the fact that I have significant relationships in my life that are long standing. Yes there is my husband and son, but I truly have a cadre of friends that have become part of my extended family. I am grateful for that.

Yesterday I had lunch with someone from my Albany days. It was so nice to reconnect and reminisce.  Friendships are often fleeting and of course there are lots of acquaintances, countless over 40 years. There is nothing wrong with that. We grow out of people like we grow out of fashion or music. It doesn't sound so nice to say it out loud or write it on a blog, but I really think it is the order of things. We choose a variety of paths in our lives, in 40 years no less, that connect us to people that make sense for us to know while on that path.  My oldest friend is someone I have known since 3rd grade. We were inseparable until High School and then we were on and off during my college years only to completely lose touch for about 10 years. Now, we keep in touch, not everyday, but we know how to find each other and that works.

I also have contact with 1 friend from high school. There are a few on Facebook,  but the contact has only been through Facebook. My greatest and longest friendships are those with the group of people I connected with in college. I still have a core of friends from my undergraduate days that I have kept in touch with regularly - weddings, baby showers, summer barbecues. And I love that. I also love being in my sorority. I have some great relationships that have come out of that experience.

My sorority sisters at my baby shower, 2007
I am also proud of the community I created for myself when I was in graduate school in Albany. I spent 10 years in Albany and I often miss it. But as time goes by, I realize that I don't miss the city of Albany, I miss the connections and the relationships that I was able to build and sustain while I lived there. I had a good life there. Life is good now, no doubt, but definitely a little more challenging. That's what happens when it's not about you anymore. And I am perfectly fine with that.

My mom comes from a time where too many friends wasn't necessarily a good thing. Your family members are your friends. They never turn their back. They are never fleeting. There is a sense of duty. That was then. We all know that family can be very unreliable and fleeting so there goes that theory. I love my family, but that comes from obligation on some levels. However I have managed to carve out some important friendships out of family members too. My friends are very important people to me. They are people who I chose to be part of my life and presumably they chose me too.

So here's to all of the friends I have made over the years and whose names and numbers and emails are still in my rolodex (there goes that rolodex again that only I still have). Thank you Syracuse. Thank you SLU. Thank you Albany. Thank you family. I am so lucky to have a strong support system from a variety of places to choose from.

"My friends are my estate." ---- Emily Dickinson

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