The other day I posted an infographic showing the five types of friend each person needs in his or her life. It made me think about how my friends fit into these categories. And I'll admit it, I've been thinking about it for more than a year. My daughter Courtney had given me the idea when she was in journalism last year, and she asked me who my five were. I think today I'm able to answer.
The Old Friend. Definitely Mary. We've been friends for nearly 20 years. Some good; some great; some forgettable. It's probably the forgettable moments that keep the relationship from remaining strong like it used to be. Disappointment and drama enlarged the divide that surfaced a little less than a year ago. And now, even though we only live about 40 miles apart, we see each other two or three times a year. We catch up on family news, share a few details of our lives, and then we gravitate away from one another until the next time, when the cycle begins again. I do know, however, that if I needed anything, I could count on her.
The Personal Coach. Definitely my cousin, Brian. He has always been one of my biggest cheerleaders, and even when I went through some pretty rough times, I could count on him for guidance and support. We have always shared a strong bond, which is kind of funny, because when he was a baby, I was pretty jealous of how his mom's attention was directed toward him. It changed when we got older though. And when the lowest period of my life occurred, he encouraged me to follow my dreams and do what truly matters to me. Good advice!
The Navigator. Most definitely Scott. I think together, we're headed in a good direction. He encourages me no matter what I attempt. This is a very welcome change from the past! Supportive and caring, he exemplies selflessness. I feel blessed every day that our lives intersected.
The Party Pal. Definitely Courtney (#1). Even though we haven't really "partied" since May, and haven't partied like the "old days" since a year ago August, just being around her is a party. She is a creative force who makes any night fun. So many memories. Again, some good, some bad, and some forgettable. But most of them made us stronger people and forced us to look deep within and go in search of the one thing we each were missing. Spa nights were always something to look forward to. And, it was fun to dress up and go to the bar for Cinco deMayo, although we really didn't need a reason to go out! Shopping in WalMart at 1 A.M. took on a whole new meaning.
Finally, the Secret Keeper. Definitely Jae, who knows me better than most people. Jae understands the intricacies of keeping secrets: how to stay quiet, why it's important for people to trust, and when it's the time to be brutally honest. The thing about a secret keeper is that you know everything about that person, too, and so there's mutual respect and loyalty to the friendship.