Thanksgiving is a time full of friends, family, and who can forget the amazing food! But, each year is a little different, at least for me. Some years I am in my hometown surrounded by dozens of people and others are much more quite with only one or two friends or family members.
This year I will be embarking on a road trip with some adopted family and can’t wait. I will get to enjoy the celebration of life and overcoming of strife with some of the most amazing friends. As I was thinking about this great opportunity, I was invited to visit an old friend of mine from college.
I hate driving like someone hates hanging upside down for an hour. But, I especially hate it when I have to drive at high traffic and by myself. As some other friends were unable to drive with me, I knew this would be the case, and the weather was not looking too great either. I almost called him and cancelled….again. But I drove down to visit him anyway, and I am so glad I did.
I learned what years of friendship do; it allowed the parties to be themselves. All the niceties and civilities that happen with new friends as you figure out who they are, no longer apply. Moreover, you know you don’t have to agree on everything and you don’t have to like all the same things. The weekend was full of talk on all subjects, most things we agreed on, but some things we did not, and I learned it was ok. We took an hour drive and were content to be in silence with each other, which usually means there is a problem or tension, but in this case it was just being ourselves. There was no need to entertain, it was just nice to have company.
In the course of the weekend he said something that I found to be true of all people. “As you get older you learn who your true friends are. It is harder to make them, so you have to keep investing in those you already have.” True words. This concept got me thinking.
You see, we learn through friendship who we are, what we like, and what we want to become. A true friend challenges your beliefs, life, and ideas not because he is argumentative or rude, but because he wants you to succeed. A true friend is willing to disagree and push and challenge not because he has to be right, but because he wants you to have firm ground to stand upon as you decipher the world. I learned I am blessed to have such great friends.
I learned this weekend that I am most thankful for my friends – the new and the old. As the song goes:
“Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver and the other’s gold.”
So, short and sweet, this Thanksgiving give a call to that old friend, say thank you for the things they do and set up a coffee date or watch the game together and just remember why you liked each other in the first place.