I’ve always had an appreciation for really great friendships. I remember my parents sitting down with my when I was younger, usually after some big fight with various childhood friends, and explaining the types of friendships you find in life. It usually went something like this, “Lindsey, you’re going to have many different types of friends in your life. I have many different types of friends in life, and they constantly change. Of all my friendships, I can only count on my fingers how many true friends I have, and best friends on one hand.”
As a child, I had a bit of a hard time grasping this. To me, everyone was a ‘best friend’, a life-long confidant. I learned through many tears, the second lesson my parents taught me. “You’re going to have many acquaintances in life, you’re going to have many friends, but you’ll only have a few true best friends.” Acquaintances? Yeah, try explaining acquaintances to a child, not so easy.
I’ve taken that advice with me as I’ve navigated my life. I’ve found many acquaintances, truly good people that brought sunshine into my life, even if for a moment. I’ve had many friends, people I spent time with, had similarities with, and enjoyed the interactions of our life. Like my parents told me, I can honestly say I now only have a few best friends that I can count on my hands, and they change all the time.
My acquaintances, ah, let me tell you about these people. They’re the nice girls at work, who greet me with a smile in the morning, bring me a Reese’s peanut butter cup because they know I have an obsession, and ask general questions about how my life is going. They’re the people in my ward that gush with me over Gilmore Girls and the fact that we have all have a serious love-hate relationship with Logan Huntsburger. They share in my love of Christmas, and help me spread that cheer to co-workers and beyond. My acquaintances and I interact on a daily, weekly, something monthly basis, but they’re always there. We’re that little boost for each other, the little ray of sunshine that you sometimes need to make it through a somewhat cloudy day.
My friends, now, these people are fun. They’re the people I met in school, in my ward, in my clubs. We’re friends on social media, and some of us still keep in touch, but boy do we have a lot of memories. These were the people that were by my side while I was going through the various stages a college student goes through. They’re those people in High School that I text every month or so to catch up on the little ones, the mission, the new job, the crazy school schedule, the new boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend, and everything in-between. They’re my people, my fan club, my support system, the basis of too many memories to count and shapers of the person I am today.
Now, let’s get to the big ones, the ones I protect the most fiercely and support the strongest. These are my inner circle, my crowd, the keepers of my darkest secrets, my best friends. These people made sure to answer the phone when I called every single day after my mom died, and congratulate me on making it through the first two hours of the day, all the while reassuring me I could make it two more hours until lunch. These people were there when I was shattered–heart, mind, body, and soul. Completely void of the life I thought I would have, a dream and heart shattered everywhere. They were there, turning on the light, holding my hand, supporting me as I lifted myself off the ground and put the pieces of my life back together. They’re there at 12 a.m. when my mind won’t shut up and I have to talk it out before I go insane. They’re the words of encouragement when I’m not sure if I can ever open my heart and soul to love again, reminding me of the knowledge I’ve gained and the potential of my future. Some of them have fought on my team since we were in diapers, and we’ve come in and out of each other’s lives, shifting from friendship level as needed. Bottom line, these are my soul connections, my family, the people I truly believe I’ve known for eternity. They know Lindsey, and then they know Lindsey. They see my soul and I see theirs, and it’s really quite beautiful to have a connection like that.
Now, the last point my parents taught me was the one constant in life, change. This was as equally hard to grasp as the concept of acquaintances, but I think with the years I’ve become a little more used to it. It used to bother me, the concept of losing friends. With some people I felt such an intense connection, I couldn’t fathom how our lives would ever survive without that. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, where one friend is lost another is waiting to be gained. I value the concept of change, because it brings with it the hope that wherever you are at in your life, you will have what you need through current or new friendships. It’s exciting, meeting new people and gaining perspectives and cultures.
Of course, we don’t lose all of our friends, some we may keep most of our lives, but the beauty of change is that it brings hope, perspective, and brightness for the future.
I’ve moved quite a bit since May, I moved home where I needed friends and people to lift me up as I searched for a job, and God happily provided. I moved to Salt Lake, a humongous city that felt like it was going to swallow me whole, and I needed friends to keep the jaws open, and show me the beauty that can be found in dark places—God happily provided. Most recently I moved to Orem, a city I never expected to live in, and I desperately needed friends. I needed people that accepted me as I was, supported me as I struggled to start on the new path my life is in, and help me as I discovered new roads and perspectives I didn’t know I had. God has happily provided.
I guess lately I’ve just been extremely grateful for the friendship and people my life. I look back and recognize the people that helped me on my way, turning around on their own paths to give me a hand and pull me a little farther up the mountain. There are individuals who quite literally saved my life, and although I have tried I can never thank them enough.
My life isn’t anywhere near where I thought it would be, but I do know it’s everything it’s supposed to be. There are some holes here and there, but those holes are filled with countless friendship that I know God put in my life exactly for that reason. No matter which category you think you fall into, know that I truly love and appreciate each and every one of you. You are needed, you are loved, and you are appreciated exactly as you are.