Friends that Teach

As women, we are always juggling so many balls in the air.  It is so important to have an outlet to express ourselves, and no one understands our struggles and appreciates our feats more than other women.

friendship-mdWe all have friends that have either lasted a lifetime, friends that have come and gone,  friends that we consider family and new friends we are still getting to know.  No matter what type of friend you may have, friends come into our lives to serve a purpose at a given time.  They can actually teach us life lessons, which we might not discover or realize until many years later.  Even if a friendship has ended on a bad note, there is a reason that person was in your life and a positive lesson that can be taken from that experience.  By watching our friends go through their own ups and downs, we can learn something from them and apply it to our own lives.

Throughout my 37 years, my friendships have taught me so may things:

  • Taught me to trust again. (As friends, we can hurt each other, which makes it hard to trust new friends.  When a special person enters your life and shows you what an amazing friend is, she can help you heal.)
  • Taught me not to sweat the small stuff. (Watching a dear friend go through the pain of tragedy and loss creates a new perspective on your own life.  You soon realize your problems don’t seem so big anymore.)
  • Taught me what a true friend is and what a true friend is not. (Some friends will go above and beyond for you and some won’t.  Be a true friend.)
  • Taught me not to judge. (You never know what someone else is truly going through in their life.  Until you spend a day in their shoes, don’t judge.)
  • Taught me to stand up for myself. (There are times when we compromise our beliefs because we fear confrontation, but in the end, it only makes us stronger.)
  • Helped me find my voice.  (Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do.  If you wish you would have fought harder, there will be a next time).
  • Taught me to be selfless.  (When a friend needs you, be there, just like they were for you.)
  • Made me want to be a better friend. (When a friend demonstrates their dedication to you, remember how it feels and pay it forward.)
  • Let me be me. (If a friend tries to change you, they are not your friend).
  • Taught me never to apologize for who I am.  (There are friends with strong personalities that will enter your life and won’t apologize for it.  They will make you realize you don’t have to either).
  • Taught me to be an individual. (It’s always nice to feel like part of a group but not when it changes who you are.  Have fun being different!)
  • Taught me it is okay to want to be different. (Find something about yourself that separates you from everyone else and embrace it.)
  • Helped me discover laughing is the greatest thing on earth. (When you find that friend that you can laugh with until your stomach hurts, she’s a keeper).
  • Taught me not to be a follower but instead create my own paths. (Confidence is a special quality to have and a wonderful quality to emulate in a friend).
  • Taught me I am never alone. (When friends share their failures, it is easier to succeed.)
  • Given me confidence. (A confident friend knows who she is and where she is going.
  • Taught me that no one is perfect. (In order to succeed, you sometimes have to fail).
  • Taught me that jealousy is an ugly, yet complimentary trait.  (A jealous friend is simply someone who secretly admires who you are.  Help her find who she is.)
  • Taught me not to care what others think. (Some are born to think this way, while others have to learn this along the way.  You can’t please everyone so please yourself!)

To all of my friends (and those who have come and gone), who are reading this, you all know where you fit in on the list above.  All the great, trying, happy and sorrowful times we shared have helped shaped me into the person I am today.  Thank you for these valuable lessons and I hope my friendship has taught you as well.

What have your friends taught you?