I’m just back from the Romance Writer’s of America annual conference. It was in San Antonio this year. I attended swank parties. Danced. Listened to reputable and knowledgeable speakers talk to me about society and books and markets. I heard data and financial reports and marketing initiatives. I verbally confirmed two upcoming deals consisting of five books. And while all of that is why I went, all of it is vitally important, the stand out to me was the two hours I spent in a half round booth, sitting between Patricia Potter and Tim, with Lynn Kerstan next to Pat, sharing a bottle of wine and artichoke dip, with a 360 degree view of San Antonio spread before us as we revolved around the tower we were in. A life long memory was made that afternoon. To add to the years of memories I share with Pat and Lynn.
It’s those memories, the strength I gain from those two ladies, that see me through life’s crises. We don’t even have to speak of things that hurt. Our eyes meet and we just know. And are comforted.
As women, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces, cousins – as family members, we tend to those we were born to. And those we married into. In the society in which I grew up, I always had a sense that friendship was secondary to all of those other roles. I had a sense of guilt for being committed to friendship – and so I really wasn’t. Not by deed. My heart was there.
Life has taught me differently. Some friends will come and go. Some aren’t true friends. They’ll stab us on their way out the door. But when we are lucky enough to have true friends, to make heart to heart connections with those who sit beside us not because they were born to it, but simply because they chose to be there, we are rich beyond measure.
I am lucky enough to be so blessed. And I truly believe that if our doors are open, we can continue to be blessed every day that we are alive. By the friendships we’ve cultivated through years, and by new friendships that walk into our lives. This is the core of life – the heart connections we make. We need not feel guilty about them anymore than we feel guilty for breathing. We’d be fools to pretend we don’t need them. It’s not a choice between family and friends. It’s not an either/or. Having one doesn’t diminish our need for the other.
What do you all think? Have you ever struggled with this priority thing or am I the only one? Do you have friends that are vital parts of your lives?
I’ve recently started an open friendship on Pinterest. It’s not to sell anything. It’s just there to build friendship awareness, friendship energy. If you’d like to join, just to soak up a little of the energy, please feel free. If you have a quote or a picture to post, feel free to do that, too. The board is here: http://www.pinterest.com/tarataylorquinn/friendship/. I hope to see you there!