First you get familiar by exploring unknowns about each other in the effort to see if you will be long time friends
or even acquaintances. If the chemistry is right the relationship will strengthen, if not, then you may remain on an occasional contact level. Don’t we all have names on our Christmas card list where the only contact we have is the annual Christmas or New Year’s card? Relationships strengthen on many levels with travel to exotic locals, good restaurants and through numerous cultural experiences—even the quintessential tourist traps.
No relationship is perfect or absolute; well maybe between a dog and its owner. Flaws and shortcomings should be expected and evaluated in perspective to the overall relationship. So what if a recommended restaurant wasn’t as tasty or clean as you expected. Or the directions to the hotel were off by one street. If it is consistently hit or miss perhaps sole reliance on the friend’s knowledge is an error on your part and additional acquaintances can add strength to another’s weaknesses.
If one is retrospect about their life they might notice they are attracted to the same personality type time after time. This is not, in itself, a bad thing but once aware of this I made an effort to get out of my rut and open my mind to other perspectives. At first it was hard as I always compared my new friend’s perspective to the comfortable old standbys I have always surrounded myself with in the past. Doesn’t everyone have a comfortable old pair or shoes, shirt, belt, or a teddy bear that is past its prime but acts much like a “blankie” acts for a toddler? Or maybe the item has taken on supernatural or superstitious power such as a certain lucky shirt one wears for every triathlon race? As time goes on I found myself enjoying the differences my new friends provided our relationship. It was an enhancement all around as the group leveraged the best each had to offer and offered support when one fell short of expectations. None of us are perfect but are trying to better ourselves by being students of life’s lessons—good or bad.
As the years fly by faster and faster you may lose touch as interests, jobs and life changes happen until you think about each other at Christmas, when paging through an old photo album, or in pleasant reminiscence over a glass of wine of past exploits.
While I hope I am growing wiser I know my friends are out of touch with the world and are dated as the years pass us all by.
Before you, the reader, think I am being cruel to my friends first answer this one question…
With name changes, old business failures, new business launches, border shifts and currency inflation to just name a few items, how can any guide book ever be current?
Were you thinking the same thing?
Here’s to reliable friends of any ilk, old and new!
Get out and explore the world!