There are Certain Friends for Certain Seasons…
WOW, WOW, WOW! After last Friday’s blog post, I received more positive comments on it than any other one I’ve written to date. Why? I just really believe it resonated with so many people— women and men. Two of the men, Anthony and Matt, reached out to me and commended me for bringing this topic to light when so many avoid it.
How I met Anthony, one of those men
One of the men who reached out was someone Pete and I met four years ago when we were at a fundraising gala in Beverly Hills. We had a friend who was the executive director for Jane Seymour’s Open Hearts Foundation, an organization that grants funds to other worthy charities. She thought it would be nice for us to attend and throw our name into the hat so that someday my foundation might receive an award from them.
Pete and I were all in. We were hopeful to have our foundation acknowledged, so we signed up for the entire weekend of events in hopes of being recognized.
Friday: Cocktail hour/ Live auction item preview
Saturday: Dinner gala
Sunday: Brunch at Jane’s home in Malibu
To think we were “VIP’s” is a total crack-up! We attended everything despite the uncomfortable label.
You have to understand that we are not the kind of people that feel the need to go last-minute shopping for an Ermenegildo Zegna suit and a Chanel dress. NO! We like what we have and we wear what we want. In fact—now get this—I wore my daughter’s high school prom dress to the dinner gala. OMG, I am crackin’ up. Either I’m overconfident thinking I look good in whatever or I just don’t care.
Back to the story
So on Friday Pete and I showed up to the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel for the first event on the agenda, Cocktail hour/ Live auction item preview. We walk in, and the lights are turned all the way up; it is really bright in this 700 square foot room. We see celebrities like Randy Jackson, Mallory Lewis (Shari Lewis’s daughter) with Lambchop on her shoulder, Glen Campbell’s wife, Kimberly and daughter, Ashley...let’s just say it was a different crowd than we are used to. We are uncomfortable.
Auction items were displayed around the perimeter of the room. A server passed champagne, which I don’t care for, but Pete gladly took what I didn’t want. Our friend who is the executive director is there, but her time was absorbed by the myriad of “VIP’s” that she was committed to.
So here Pete and I are, feeling conspicuously out of place in this brightly lit room. We make eye contact with each other, and I can see that we share the same secret, unspoken thought, “What in the hell are we doing here?!” We start to laugh for two reasons. One, we know exactly what the other is thinking and two, we are right!
Here’s the first story’s finale
Pete is standing next to a table with one of the auction items. It’s a sculpture-like, levitating heart (it sparkles like Rhiannnon’s song “Shine Bright Like A Diamond”), and has two guys “guarding” it. What on earth? One of the guys turns to Pete and says, “You are about as out of place in here as I am.” Pete laughs, they introduce themselves to each other, and that’s where the two of them plant themselves for the rest of the evening while I look at the auction items.
The guy who calls out Pete on being out of place turns out to be Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Turns out Anthony was also the creator of that sparkly levitating heart sculpture, and by the end of Saturday night, it was ours. Yep, we bid on and won it in the live auction. We have been friends ever since. He is a wonderful friend and, as you probably know from CSI, an incredible writer. So when he commented on my blog saying, “I devoured it”, I was honored.
Here’s how I met Matt
The second man who picked up the phone and called me after reading last week’s blog was Matt Evans. Besides being friends with Cliffe and Sharon, he is a former pastor of the church where Sharon’s husband was, and still is, the senior pastor. (If you haven't already, now would be a good time to read last week’s blog. This part will make much more sense after you do!) Matt told me that he respected how I confronted Sharon about how her being late affected me. He also told me that he respected Sharon for not walking away from a friendship, but listening to my truth telling and taking it honestly.
Does friendship have a life cycle?
Matt then went on and made it a point to talk about Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, a bible verse that I never knew was the inspiration for the song The Byrds released in 1965 entitled “Turn, Turn, Turn”. In Matt’s reference to the song, he likened the lyrics to friendship. “There are certain friends made for certain seasons”. And then added, “You don’t have to hang onto a relationship for more than need be.”
WOW! I repeated it to myself. “You don’t need to hang on for more than need be”. That was a pivotal comment for me.
If there is a life cycle, then I have felt friendships end
The confrontation with Sharon turned out perfectly. I voiced my truth to her, and she listened. She didn’t make it about her or come back and tear me down. She took the constructive criticism and used it to clear away what had built up between us so that we could be closer.
There are not many confrontations that have worked out so well. In fact, many of them have gone sour. It’s a shame to say that because I fault myself with the demise of all those girlfriendships that did not last.
This blog isn’t to focus on any loss in particular, but more to examine the why behind it.
I constantly ask myself, “What did I do wrong? Why am I so selfish? Why do I have such high expectations? Why are my standards so high? Why do I have hot spots/buttons that get pushed?” The answer is not always clear to me. I assume many women feel the same way about themselves and their friends. We all have something right? Here are my truths in my girlfriendships:
- I have high expectations because I believe in reciprocation. Friendships do not have to be 50/50, but there does need to be a healthy balance.
- I try to stay on the positive side of selfishness because it can be a good thing—even a necessary thing. The positive side means I am taking care of my physical, mental, and emotional well-being so I can be someone whom others want to be around. As the flight attendants always announce before take-off, “Secure your own mask first before assisting others”.
- I have standards and consider them to be much like boundaries. I live by them. To me it shows effort and that is priceless in a friendship.
What I’ve learned through the life cycles of my friendships
We all have buttons to be pushed and hot spots to be poked—tolerance levels vary indeed. My buttons and hot spots mainly revolve around respect. Respect of time. Respect of worth. Respect of effort. It is very important to me to have friends who are respectful of these things.
When my respect button is pushed, I do my darndest not to suffer in silence. I confront. It doesn’t always work out as I have planned, but in my heart I know I have been authentic and real with my girlfriends and because of that, I can sleep at night. Sleepless nights come from holding it inside. Speaking my truth helps me to clear things up. Just like my closet, my kitchen, and my truck, I like things neat and organized.
Ultimately, it comes down to the individual and how that person chooses to sustain the friendship. Confrontation is important to all relationships, but for the sake of this blog, it is vital to girlfriendships. I know that my words have resonated in many ears by the positive response I have had—even with men!
Can you speak your authentic truth with your girlfriends? And on the other side, are you someone who will listen to your girlfriend’s constructive criticism and use it to clear away what has built up so you can be closer? Those are really the only two options. We either own it and clear it up or avoid it and leave, knowing that there are certain friends for certain seasons.
I love that you were with me today. See you next week!