This week was a big week in news for me, as regards my dear friend Perpet. Most of you have been here long enough to know she is one of the very best friends I have ever had, if not the very best friend I ever had. She's a wonderful, caring person- not to mention a kick ass writer and a huge inspiration to me. This week was her and The Boy's four year wedding anniversary. I also found out this week that she's graduating, and she will have her master's by the end of this month. I couldn't be more proud. Seriously. Even if I had done it myself. I've never known someone who works as hard or is as brilliant as she is.
Over the last (good lord, has it been this long?) eight years, Perpet has been a great friend. We hit it off right away...she and I always had a natural rapport that has become much more than that over the years. I've seen her grow and change and become a very successful, determined woman. She was already, but man- it amazes me how much a person can apply themselves. I learned that from her. She's been there for me through a bad breakup, a terrible relationship, and I will never be more proud of who I chose to stand by me at my handfasting. She is, beyond a doubt, one of the few people I trust not only with my life, but my spirit as well. I know she is a person who can see things clearly, and who will shoot strait with me, even when she knows I don't want to hear what she has to say. Even if she is right. And she always is...
All this thinking about her has prompted me to think about friendship in general, because when you get to thinking about your best friend, you naturally think about the things that make them the person who is most close to you. I'll tell you something, I've been doing some evaluating, and I've come to the conclusion I am a damn lucky woman because I have several very, very good friends. They have taught me so much about what kind of person I am, and by watching them live, what kind of person I want to be. That's not to say I want to be just like my friends, I want to be just like me- but they do give me perspective when I need it most.
Some of the things I've learned, and been pondering over the last week:
A good friend will always love you, even when you're ugly. It doesn't matter what you're going through or where you are in your life. A good friend will stick it out with you. Perpet has done more than her fair share of this. While I'm dropping names, I might mention Flyguy and Sakura too. None of them are afraid to see me at my worst. If I had a dollar for every time one of the three of them was holding me while I was sick, or in the hospital or when I was a crying, shivering wreck I'd have a lot less bills to pay. A friend isn't afraid to see you sick, or hurting or angry. They aren't afraid to look at you when there's nothing attractive about your appearance or your personality. I'm fortunate, because over the last few years, there have been a lot of times when I was an ugly person- I let my anger get in the way, or I let myself be sick because I didn't have the energy to be anything else. I let my fears take me over. And my friends, my very dear friends, were there the whole time, holding my hand and telling me I could get through this and of course I was beautiful to them, even if I was pale, shaky and covered in puke.
A good friend will call you on your bullshit. When you're wrecking your life they are there to tell you. Even when you don't want to listen. Even when it hurts. They love you enough to tell you. Are you mad at someone for no good reason? They'll tell you. Are you being selfish and shallow? Guess what? You're going to hear about it. Are you getting ready to make a decision that will mess your life up for a good deal of time to come? They aren't going to let you do it without telling you first that they would hate to see you do it. I'm grateful for all the times I've had someone to say "Alecya, you're being a dumbass, seriously." Most of the time they can bring me around. And when they haven't, I'm lucky they stuck it out and helped me through a mess I made all by my lonesome.
A good friend has your back, all the time. You can trust them. I can count on my hand the number of people I am not dating that I would trust with my life. Those are the people who matter most. Well, I take that back. Present company included (That's you Aravis, Mark and Swiss) I can count them on one hand. I'd say I have a few people who read this blog who would take a hit for me. Lord knows they've been there offering support and comfort when I needed it, even if they were thousands of miles away. Point is, these are the people I know I can tell my secrets to. The ones who will listen without judging me, the ones who will hold their peace and let me know that whatever it is I've got buried inside of me, they're going to help me carry that burden. When the shit hits the fan, these are the people who are going to be there, heavy object in hand, wanting to know whose ass they are going to kick first. I love them for it. These are the people I know who will help me out of a jam, loan me $10 if I need it, offer a hand when I feel like I've fallen so far I can't been seen by the world anymore. These are the people you can trust to never abandon you, no matter how bad its gotten, who only ask "what is it you need me to do?" And you know, the moment that they ask, that they'll do whatever it takes to make things right for you.
More than those things though, a good friend will make you laugh, make you smile. That's something that I think we sell short on the list of friend qualities because we take it for granted too often. The people I love most can make me smile just by seeing them. They do little things to make my day better. For example, Sakura dropped by work yesterday to see me, just because he knew it would make my day better. I love that about him. When I think I can't take another minute...he's there to bring a little sunshine into my life. I love that when I call my friends, or when I talk to them, they get to hear that full throated bark that is my excuse for a laugh, because they bring out the best in me. They make me happy, just by being near me. They're the people who always know what to say to make me smile. The people I share inside jokes with. The ones who understand my sense of humor and appreciate it. That counts for so much. When I've had a long day, or even a good one, its nice to know they are there at the end of it, ready to share, looking forward to relaxing and being there for each other, even in the good times.
And I want to say this, because this is important- the people who love me, the ones I love...they share my joy with me. There's never any jealousy about our lives. When something great happens (like Sakura getting a fabulous new job -congrats- or a pretty girl giving Flyguy her number) we're there to share that. I'm not bitter, I'm delighted, and nothing makes me happier than to settle down at my kitchen table, laugh and share a glass of tea and celebrate the wonderful things that happen to us. Because being a good friend is more than being there when the times get tough. Its about being there period.
My friends have taught me to celebrate every moment of my life. They've taught me to live every second to its fullest. Its a beautiful thing. I'm lucky to have people in my life that want me to grow and get better, who cheer on my successes and who dance with me for no good reason at all. In the Craft we have a phrase "Perfect Love and Perfect Trust". That's how I feel about my friends. It doesn't mean you never let each other down, because you're human and you're bound to screw up. And it doesn't mean you have to be okay with everything a person does. What it does mean is that you come from a place of love whenever you are with a person, that you love them in spite of their faults, unconditionally. And when a person does hurt you, you trust that you can work it out, and that you (or they) will make sure that never happens again, as much as you can. You trust that they have the intention of being good and loving you too. In Wicca, you cannot make magick in a circle without perfect love and perfect trust. You aren't even allowed into a circle without being in that state. I think true friendship works the same way, and that's why a good friendship feels magical.
To all my friends that I know read here, thank you. I am blessed to have you in my life. I am fortunate to have your love and trust, and I hope that I will always honor that. For all the things you have taught me, I hope at some point I have brought you clarity and insight too. I hope that I will always be the one you think of turning to when things start to suck, because Goddess knows I look to you when my world starts to spin a little too fast for my tastes. And to Perpet, my dear, darling friend, i know you're reading. I could say this in private, but I am-you know- completely unashamed of the wonderful friendship we have; you are a wonderful woman. I love you. Thank you for all the support and goodness you have shown me over the years. You are a blessing to my life. And I am more proud of you than you will ever know, because the joy and happiness you bring to my life is something that can never be properly expressed.