Two lonely-eyed boys in a pick-up truck
And they’re drivin’ through the rain and the heat
And their skin’s so sweaty they both get stuck
To the old black vinyl seats
And it’s Abbott and Costello meet Paul and Silas
It’s the two of us together and we’re puttin’ on the mileage
And we both feel lost
But I remember what Susan said
How love is found in the things we’ve given up
More than in the things that we have kept
And ain’t it funny what people say
And ain’t it funny what people write
And ain’t it funny how it hits you so hard
In the middle of the night
And if your home is just another place where you’re a stranger
And far away is just somewhere you’ve never been
I hope that you’ll remember, I was your friend.
Those lyrics may seem like a strange way to start out a blog celebrating National Women’s Friendship Day but to me, they’re appropriate. These lyrics are from the song What Susan Said by Rich Mullins. I don’t talk about this much, but Rich was a family friend when I was growing up. While the lyrics are talking about Rich and his closest friend, it’s something I always think of when I think of true friendship.
It represents being loyal through the best and worst parts of life. It represents being that safe place even when the rest of the world around you (or in you) is in turmoil.
So, what is friendship? I know some people who won’t use the word friend unless it’s a close relationship. I know others who will call anyone friend just because they’ve met them. I choose to be in the middle of those two positions. I call many people friends, and even some I call close friend. But there are a select few who earn the title “true friend.” A true friend is someone who celebrates who you are, shares your values, and is someone who lovingly kicks your butt when it needs kicking. A true friend is someone you can tell pretty much anything to and know it will never leave that conversation.
I have many friends. I have a good number of close friends but can only think of only a few true friends throughout my life. At times, I’ve found this truth painfully lonely. Deeply lonely. But I choose now to call it a blessing because I cherish those few true friends so much more.
In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the meaning of the word “tribe” and its modern usage. Finding one’s tribe means finding people who “get” you. People from whom you draw strength. People to whom you provide strength. I have what I call my tribes and my inner tribes. Kind of like close friend and true friend. This isn’t cliquish, this is called boundaries.