Friends of the Heart & Friends of the Road
I distinctly remember sitting in my Interpersonal Communication class in college and learning about the nature of friendships. (Yeah, I know what your thinking… My communication degree was probably the toughest college program ever invented…lol.) As we talked about friendship my professor described two types of friendship. One was friends of the road and the other was friends of the heart. Friends of the road are those people who come and go in your life. Friends who are around one minute and then life shifts them in another direction and you really never speak to them again. Even Facebook can’t keep you together. Friends of the heart are ones that no matter the distance, you will still always be friends and you will always pick right back up where you left off. I remember at the time thinking of my dear friend Jessica.
Jessica and I met in 3rd grade when my dad’s job transferred us to Atlanta. The teacher assigned her to be my newbie buddy. Meaning, she had to help me learn the ropes of the new school since I joined the class after the beginning of the school year. We rode the same bus so I suppose it was only natural to put us together. Little did that teacher know that she was joining two friends of the heart. We were best friends all the way through 5th grade and it never mattered that we weren’t in the same class together. I remember the fateful day that Jessica came over to play and I had to break the news that I was moving 250 miles away back to my old home town. Distance was about to test the roots of our young friendship.
Over the course of middle and high school we remained pin pals. We would write letters back and forth. Each note contained a picture collage in which each time we sent a letter we added a sticker or a magazine image cut out to the collage and mailed it back. (I still have all those collages and many of the letters.) Then the magical world of email came along and our communication time quickened. We could send letters instantly! We communicated this way until I got into college and decided to reunite with her one weekend.
Once I was married we visited Jessica and her husband only to discover that our husbands were twinsies. They dressed alike, walked alike and even geeky talked alike. They were instant friends. If you have ever sought true friendship, you know how hard it can be to find a friend whose hubby also gets along with your hubby. Now we could do “couple” things together. We had no idea that in just a few short months we’d find out my husband had been accepted to graduate school at GA Tech and we’d be living in the same city!
Now, 22 years later we are still extremely close. We even have children that are 2 months apart and have formed a friendship. I am so thankful for her. It’s a friendship that is balanced in love and support. We have maybe gotten in three heated arguments in 22 years. We know each others strengths and weaknesses. We know each others humor. We can go a week with just texting. We can go a month without seeing each other and pick up right where we left off.
Friends of the Heart..
Jessica is my friend of the heart. No matter what changes in my life, we will still be best friends. Distance didn’t change that. These are the kinds of friendships in life we should all fight for. Ones that are worth chasing and following up on. Friends that bring out the very best version of ourselves and don’t judge us when the worst version shows up. If you have friends of the heart in your life, stay in touch, follow through, send them a note. Don’t let them slip away.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Friends of the Road…
If you have friends of the road, friends who bring drama, friends who take and never give, consider letting them go. Consider letting them fade. For the good of your friendships with others and the good of your own sanity. At 30 years old, I’ve learned what true friendship is about. Knowing that, makes it much easier to let go of others and hold dear to the ones that really matter.
Ways to Build Lasting Friendship
- Stay in touch
- Send a hand written note every once in while.
- Be willing to just listen sometimes.
- Don’t judge, offer grace and support.
- Pray for them and their family.
- Give more than you expect to receive.
- Confide in them.
- Don’t be afraid to cry with them.
- Find ways to generate meaningful communication by walking together or meeting for coffee regularly.
- Do fun outings together.
- Offer your help and assistance whenever needed.
- Never stop investing your life in theirs.
Kim’s is the party planning, cupcake loving, celebration catalyst behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. Kim was a pro event planner for over 7 years before she became a full-time blogger. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day and more! Kim aims to inspire you to create parties, celebrations and gatherings that everyone loves!