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>Really good friend of mine had a novel idea he was serious about maintaining ..Still does to this day..At the time I didn’t feel it was something I needed to partake in; I was in a different space & time in my life journey than he was..But now, things are different as is my outlook on friendship. I don’t take the word lightly. Nor do I take lightly how I treat my friends; I treat them as I want to be treated. Sounds  simple enough , right? Stay tuned because it gets much better from here…And yep, I’m on 1. If you don’t know what that means; google it…

**Well, its Saturday night and I got several phone calls from friends 2day..So very appropriate for this topic, right? And they said “WHY did you leave us on a cliff-hanger since last night????! wth?” Lol, first of all thats a first!  so sorry extracurricular activities got in the way(of my finishing this post)..with my B.F.F.(how perfect for this topic also) and mad love to ya’ll for showing me love by calling. Stroked my ego for a brief moment(don’t we all need that from timetotime?) so to kick off this topic I dug UP the supreme friend song(oldskool! when music was still real) ..Before I jump knee deep & waist high into this just know this; when I call you a friend its for LIFE. Let me see if I can do my utmost to explain…Ready for me? I sure hope so cause here I go head first>

Mayhaps I should define friends 1st. From my viewpoint a friend IS: Someone who knows U through & through; & still digs you totally! A friend is someone who can hang out with U talking about nothing/doing nothing/and expects nothing in return! A friend is someone who has your back while you’re 2gether & even more so when you’re apart. A friend is someone who will let U wake them up with a call in the middle of the night; because U can’t sleep.(waving BigJack and many thanks U’s for this…) A friend is someone who loves U even over a lifetime spent 3,500 or more miles apart(mad LOVE Lizzard my forever B.F.F. I loves ya!) A friend is someone who doesn’t find a cazillion things to do when your moving day rolls around(I’ll be calling ya’ll soon for this, lol) A friend is someone whose true colors are as vibrant and beautiful as a rainbow…

IF one’s monetary worth were(and I believe it is…) measured by the type of friends they have..then I am RICH. My life simply wouldn’t be the same without the many friends I’m fortunate/blessed/dang lucky! call me their friend..Likewise IF I call you my friend its for life..My circle of friends is large indeed(from coast 2 coast & beyond..) and many in my circle I also consider extended family. I don’t have a good poker face(I show all my emotions ) nor do I fake the funk well at all..just not part of my biological make-up. IF I spend time with U /break bread with U/do things for U without provocation just because I think you’ll enjoy it or need it, or whatever; then I consider you my friend. My friendship with my B.F.F.  has lasted over 25 years! WOW..it has endured many miles apart/marriages/breakups/death of loved ones/lifes’ disappointments/lifes’ joys, joys!/laughter/LOVE/LOVE/and has transcended color lines and racial differences. We simply look at each other as sisters from another mother..There is comfort in knowing someone that long; who knows where you’ve been/where you’re at now/where you aspire to be. Somehow we can go for long periods without talking or seeing one another; yet pick up right where we left off. Its been an awesome ride & I look forward to many more years now that we finally! live on the same coast in the same city. WOW..life is full of beautiful suprises and you’re one of them Sis. I love YOU always..

There are several instances in my life that made me sincerely cognizant of the true importance of friends. One was when my then-fiance showed me a report card he had for friends to grade him as a friend. Another instance was when a friend of mine I’d lost contact with; found me after looking for me for 17yrs. I was wow’ed by that, alot, and humbled…things I’d taken for granted others considered like gold. Friendship. It changed my entire perspective on friendship. Not that I hadn’t always treated my friends very well; I just didn’t really realize till then how much it could also be worth to someone else..my friendship.

Which brings me to the punch line. I think we’ve all faced evaluations in the course of our careers. Usually once a year, right? Or moreso if promoted…When is the last time you asked your friend(s) to evaluate you as a friend? Isn’t the best way to improve anything to grade it/tweak it/work on flaws. How does one know if they’re the best friend they could possibly be? I stand guilty as charged(my hand raised high); I’ve not asked any of my friends lately IF there is room for improvement…I just ASSume I’m the best friend to them I could possibly be. I certainly feel I give it my all…but is that good enough if I don’t meet each friend’s needs. What IF they need more from me than I’m giving? Or one step further what IF theres more I’m capable of doing as a friend; that I don’t realize I could be doing…does it matter? Shouldn’t we work to maintain & improve friendships ; same as we do our love relationships? I didn’t used to think so backintheday when I hadn’t lived as much of life as I have now…things are different now. I no longer take life or any of my relationships for granted. I appreciate each and every one of my friends; and I want them to know & feel that.

In a perfect world all friendships /relationships; would not require stroking or maintenance. They’d just be as effortless as breathing…however even with love relationships we know this isn’t the case. And honestly I enjoy giving /sharing/vibing with my friends. My word IS my bond; and I try hard to keep it. Likewise I’m not drawn to folks who aren’t like minded in that regard..so with me you’ve got to mean what you say & say what you mean. There are a ton of questions I could write to create a report card for friends right here & now; but I won’t. Why not? Because I think it would be more worthwhile for you & me; to create our own report cards…Based on our own unique set of friends. Mine will be more verbal for my friends anyways; they know I love to talk, alot . lol! But even if ya’ll don’t do a report card; if nothing else, hopefully my words have made you think about how special your friends are for a minute. When is the last time you told them how much they mean to you? Everyone needs to know they’re appreciated..And for my fabulous friends?!? YOU ARE SPECIAL & I’M THANKFUL YOU’RE PART OF MY LIFE, hugs!