I have experienced many different types of friendships throughout my 39 years. I am so thankful for each one of them because they have helped to create the woman I am today. Whether they are still intact or ended, they have been experiences that I would not trade for anything in the world. My goal for this article is for you to see how my friendships have developed through the years and to see where you can relate in your own story.
Friendships from my childhood were very important. I was a sick kid and a lot of people didn’t know how to handle that. I had a couple of girls in particular who were always there for me. They were not afraid to be around me and never made me feel like an outsider. Their dedication to me and our friendship made a bad situation better. They would come and sit at my house and play games or talk about boys when I couldn’t leave the house. It meant so much for me to have them in my life. I am still friends with these girls on Facebook and will always cherish the time we had together.
During my teen years, I had friends from multiple different crowds. I had the neighborhood group who I could always be myself with and they were the first to have my back. I went through some rough relationships and they were always there for me. They helped me to rebuild who I was and what my purpose was. I also had my tennis team girls. We had each other’s backs and lived like a family. Now don’t get me wrong, we had our moments, but we were always there for each other. No one wanted to mess with any of us because then they got all of us.
Then I met the person who is still one of my best friends. I started going to church with her and started a friendship that has stood the test of time, space, families and busyness. This friendship has gone on for almost 23 years. I do have some regrets about not spending more time with her during our 20s, but every time we get together, it is like picking up where we left off. We have been through a lot together and still like to hang out when we can, normally at concerts.
Then I learned about work acquaintances. These are people that you see day in and day out at work. These are the ones who you rarely have personal, let alone deep conversations with. Some turn into friends for awhile, but most stay at work and stop when someone leaves. I had one friend that I met at a job who I thought was my “ride or die” person. We spent a lot of time together in my 20s and 30s. We were there for each other through divorce, broken relationships, deaths, births and marriages. But as time went on, that friendship went south and eventually ended. Our lives had taken different paths. I understand why this person didn’t want to be friends anymore, but the way and time in which it ended devastated me when I was already vulnerable due to the loss of my grandmother.
About 1.5-2 years ago, I began to really pray for close friends. I had my husband and the rest of my family and a few friends that I talked to once in awhile, but I missed having close friends. I missed having that person that you can be completely vulnerable with and not fear that they will leave you. I missed the companionship of females to navigate life with. God has blessed me with so many beautiful, wonderful people that I now call friends. They are in different parts of my life, but all central to who I am today. I am finally in a place where I can be who I am and where I am becoming the type of friend that I would want to have.
This is not just a story about my experience with friendship, it is about the progression of how friendship comes about for many women through the years. Thanks to the women who are in my life now, I have seen the truest form of friendship and how it can come from out of the blue or right next door. Social media is also not inherently bad. I have found some wonderful friends through Instagram and Facebook. I look ahead with excitement and anticipation for what is next with the people that I now call friends, both in person and through social media.
Gina Fox is a wife, mom to 2 fur babies and aunt to 5 boys who lives in North Canton, OH. She loves to write, teach and have endless conversations about movies and music. Her IG is @gfox2010. Her blog is ginafox79.wordpress.com.