As I got older, friendships seemed to form at a much slower rate then when I was younger. There was a period of time in my twenties that I probably only averaged one or two new friends a year. When I started working full-time (as opposed to as an independent contractor), that number grew, and since I started blogging, my circle of friends has exploded. No, I’m serious. I’m talking about folks that are true friends. Like, in real life. Like, let’s break bread at your house together. Who would have ever thought that there’d be so many nerdy, weirdo, awesome people online?
With the onslaught of new friends in the last few years, it hadn’t really hit me that I’ve had some birds that have been flying with me for a long time. I was a military brat as a kid, so I moved around often. I never had the experience of growing up with the same group of kids since kindergarten. By the time I graduated high school, the longest friendship that I’d had was 4 years. That was with someone that I had met and kept in touch with even after yet another move. It didn’t help that I was (am) kind of socially awkward, what with the introvert thing and all.
Imagine how I felt a few days ago when I realized that my best friends, Leslie, Hope and I had been rolling together for 17 years. 17 years. That’s half of my life. My other best friend, Samone, and I have been hanging tough for 13 years. That’s deep, y’all. Then I started looking down the list of my other friends, the folks that are now
like family to me: Sheri – 9 years; David – 7 years; Nancie, Kim, Faridha – 6 years, Endeara – 3 years…and I cried.
These are the people, these are the friends, who: drove 8 hours because I needed help packing, brought groceries to me when I had no money, sent me Valentine’s cards in the mail with sweet notes that make me cry, spent the night so that they could wash Ayva’s hair, carried my bed up 3 flights of stairs so I wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor, stayed at my house the first night that Ayva came home to keep me company, who make me laugh so, so hard, who fight with me and then make up, who love me despite my faults, and who make sure that I never, ever have to feel like I’m alone in anything. These are my peeps. These are my birds.
I broke down, and I cried because it hit me. These people, these wonderfully talented, giving, loving, beautiful people…they are a reflection of me. They fly with me, they allow me to be in their flock, because they see goodness in me. They see themselves in me. I can’t tell you how humbling that is, and how much of a blessing. I am so blessed. These folks took me from a lost teenager, to a drifting young adult, to a suddenly single mother, to where I am today. Right now, I feel brave enough to follow my heart, to follow my dreams, because they’ve told me, for years, that I can do it. More than that, though, I feel confident in whatever I do because I know that my birds got my back, they have Ayva’s back, they take care of us.
There have been so many times in my life that I discovered the truth in the lessons that my grandmother taught me, but I don’t think anything she has ever told me was more on point than this one. Birds of a feather flock together. With Ayva and me moving across the country, we’re going to need friends with wings, so thank God for that.