Friendship is a gift. I still remember two summers ago, when a very special Norwegian told me, "I prayed for a friend and it came true!" It reminded me of the movie Beethoven when the little girl wakes up with a puppy in her bed and tells her mom, "Mommy, mommy, look! I dreamt I had a puppy and it came true!"
It does seem that friendship comes out of nowhere. You can't really say, "I'm going to go out and find some FRIENDS!" I've tried that. It doesn't work. My second year in Portugal I tried both getting friends and getting a boyfriend, because I felt I needed them. Let me tell you both plans failed miserably. They are just things you have to wait for. Hope for. Dream of. Gifts.
The boyfriend came to me when I least expected it, when I least wanted it. Funny how that works. As for the friendship business, I'm still working on it. Ever since I moved to Portugal, I feel like I haven't had a close friendship that I could pour my heart out to and go on creative adventures with. At first I thought, "Oh, that just stops happening when you become an adult. Your spouse takes place of best friends." I don't think so anymore though. I think it's something that is given to you when the time is right.
I had a special, crazy friend last year that appeared in my life very spontaneously. I met her on a bus ride to a weekend trip I didn't even want to go to and tried to get out of. She, of course, left the country, leaving me to think "why?! WHY do all my friends leave?!" However, I soon realized that I had been given a gift. Maybe new gifts would come soon?
I feel like four or five people have been popping up in my life lately as possible friends. They have either always been there or are new. I feel like God is saying, "here!" or "look, here!" But I feel so far away from everyone. If it takes over an hour to get to someone's house, can you really be friends? If you don't see each other at least once a week or more, can you still be friends? How can I make more time and include friends in my life more? Or should I just embrace my solitude and wait?
The highpoint of today was definitely lunch with a friend, Dora. My favorite things about Dora are her simplicity and straightforwardness. Usually when I like someone I think, "I want to be more like her" or "I wish I had her _____". But Dora makes me feel happy with who I am. I think that is a unique quality, to make people feel like that. I poured out my frustrations and concerns and actually learned a lot of things with our conversation. Mainly:
- Two people don't have to have the same vision of life or values to be friends or even spouses. What makes people love each other is a deeper, more intimate connection. A trust. This might seem basic to you, but it was a RELIEF to me.
- You don't have to earn money. It's not a basic condition of being a good person. It's actually just an ideal of modern society, being self-sufficient. You should have a reason for earning money, and it's not always necessary.
- Perfection doesn't exist. Something like an imperfect family doesn't necessarily have to be bad, it just makes life the way it is. Again, may seem basic but totally shed light on one of my "issues".
I especially liked her stories of couples she knew that went through life mutually supporting each other. One worked a tough job so the other could study something that was a dream of hers, both making financial sacrifices. I liked the way she described a dating period that was difficult, but because of the difficulties it was like a "purification" before marriage. I also liked the stories about people that just couldn't break up with each other, even though they might've had logical reasons to, because they couldn't imagine life without the other.
Oh life. Why so confusing?