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In most situations the cast changes on a regular basis, though not usually at the expected moment or place. Times change or terms expire and suddenly a member is off the bill. Better offer? Sometimes. Usually it’s just life working its’ magic on the players and calling them to different scenes.

Nowhere is this shift more evident than with friendship. We tend to be ensemble players in one acts all during our lives having fun and sharing sorrow with a select few at a certain point in the story that plays itself out until the grave and often beyond.

Childhood friends who remain with us until middle age or later are few and far between. I have about 4 or 5 and these are the ones that know where I came from, though not necessarily who I am today. We are bound by memories and families and an awesome kind of familiarity that includes knowing grandparents’ names and afflictions and who the first crush was.. We never lose touch, but we rarely make the effort to get together and celebrate who we were and who we are now.

There are college friends… Those who meet us when we first become who we aren’t anymore. These friends are the ones who can matter the most to a young adult. As a child, friendship is often based on parental preference or the logistics of geography. Discovery of self during the late teens and early twenties is a turning point for many friendships. Career and family and unfinished business take over as we push forward to prove to ourselves that we can be different.

Once a marriage and parenthood are a fact the emphasis shifts to common interests. We spend 10 hours a day together at work or our kids sleep over or we are patrons of the business of the other. That’s usually a 20 year haul and leaves little time for self expression or visits to the past or future of friendship.

The wise adult ( myself NOT included) will make time to retain that childhood identity while forging a new one. He or she will not get lost in the details of child-rearing or working at a career that seldom rewards. Most of us are not wise at all. It’s human nature.

Siblings can be friends, as can parents and children and cousins and friends of friends. A real friend is one who hears your heart and speaks back, no matter what the circumstance. They can be on keyboard only or by cam…..phone friends or blog-friends. Riding horses/huntin’ critters/meet you halfway or take you there friends. I-know-you-need-me friends. “I’m here” friends. Get offa your ass and be a big girl friends.

What were you THINKIN’ anyway? That’s what a real friend would say. But in the same breath, that friend would say I Love You.

And keep the faith. ^j^

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