I need another friend like I need a... Whoa, whoa, hold on there. Don't nobody panic. Of course I need another friend! Sure, I already have a lot of friends. I have some very close friends whom I can count on in any situation. I have longtime friends that I've known since I was a child. I have cousins who are dear friends, and dear friends who are like sisters. I have 825 Facebook friends. In fact, if you're reading this, it is quite likely that you are my friend. But yes, I am certain that I need another friend.
I've been thinking about this for a few weeks. I went to the Society of Talent and Entertainment Professionals Annual Conference & Showcase, and the very first speaker we had, Angela Belford, seemed like just my kind of gal. She was witty and funny. She was serious about her subject matter, but wasn't seriously stuffy about it all. She just seemed like a groovy person to hang out with. Well, y'all know how quiet and reserved I am, so when I got an opportunity to talk with her, boy did I. We hit it off big, too, and hung out together for the rest of the conference. Since then, we've corresponded quite a bit - and mutually helped each other from our respective occupations. It's been really fun getting to know her.
Eight or ten months ago, my friend, Shelly, invited me to join a Boot Camp class that she goes to. I did, and now I'm even better friends with Shelly. And then, we made friends with Alicia, and I got to know Kari again. Now, we're working out together every day, and Alicia and I are running together a couple of times a week. Boom! We're friends.
About a year ago, when my super groovy sister, Gina (yep, my super grooviest friend, ever!), came to town, I reconnected with her friend/my friend, Carrie. She's kind and caring, and super funny. Sweet Hubby Ryan (husband/friend) and I hang out with the Cranfords as much as we can. Carrie is pretty groovy, and she has lots of friends. She is slowly but surely introducing me to those friends, who are also pretty groovy.
Yes, I keep making new friends, and I'm not getting rid of the previous ones. The untrained eye might think this whole "friend" thing is getting out of hand. It is not, I assure you. It is important for us, all of us, to have friends and to keep expanding our horizons with new ones. All the ladies I mentioned, Angela, Alicia, Shelly, Kari, Gina and Carrie, all have talents and points of view and experiences that are different than mine. I am learning something from each one of these beautiful and talented ladies. I can only hope that I have something to offer them that is given from me as freely and generously.
Aristotle said, "In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds."
The Bible tells us, in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
William Shakespeare said, "A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow."
In her book, DARE, Becky Blalock says, "It is other people who give you the strength and support that help you grow as a professional. The more people you have relationships with, the more access you will have to knowledge and opportunities."
A study on the Importance of Friendship links the ills and social problems of the world on friendship, or the lack thereof. Having face-to-face friends, not just social media friends, is so vital. Of course bad things happen to people who have friends, but statistics show that suicides, divorce, homelessness and drug addiction rates are lower among people who have a few really good friends. It's that support system that keeps people going.
So, yes, I need another friend. And so do you. Strike up a conversation with the new kid in your class. Invite someone from your church to lunch. Share your coffee break with someone from another department. You just don't know what kind of groovy person you might meet.
Much love and many blessings, my friends!