Choices. We all make them, every single day. Some are as mundane as what shirt will I wear today or what should I make for breakfast. Others choices have greater impact on our lives and the direction in which we are headed. We come across many crossroads and paths throughout our lives and we must choose which direction to follow. Some decisions are easy, others take a while to think about and weigh the options. Regardless, once the choice is made, we set off in our chosen direction and the alternate route is closed off, at least from that particular point of entrance.
Sometimes I wonder about the choices that we make to bring us to where we are today. My musings generally have to do with choices that were outside of my control. Typically, this is in the form of nostalgia. Imagine your closest friend. The one with whom you can share everything in complete honesty without worry of judgment. Someone who shares your joy and your pain, your ups and your downs. Someone who shares your faith and in who you see God. Now multiply that by 6. That was my family the last year or so of college. We were the closest of friends. It's difficult to describe such a deep friendship, such an amazing dynamic, unless you've experienced it. There is truly nothing like it. I cherished it and reveled in it until the end. I'll never understand why we were ripped apart through petty jealousy and stupid hormones. But we were. Fractured and splintered, small pieces of what once was. I can't say that I am sad, because I am blessed to have known such friendship and love for the time in which it was mine. It has changed me for the better.
There was another group of friends very similar to ours. We were all friends, sort of an extended family. But there were two cores. Mine split apart. The other, the one that I started out being a part of freshman year, has stayed strong. I am so thankful for that, that they have managed to overcome everything and remain strong. It is a true blessing. I don't go on Facebook much these days, I got over it after we spent countless hours on it when it first came out as a college network. (and that was before apps and the other gadgets and games it now boasts) I have pictures from my core, from the good times, the memories. And I love them. Sometimes it hurts, but I can still think of the good times fondly. The beautiful pictures of new encounters and adventures amongst the other core of friends, the ones still intact and strong, makes me smile while simultaneously pulling at my heart strings. Bittersweet. Nostalgia. Communication amongst old friends is an interesting thing. Interesting to see which communications people work to renew, choose to keep, allow to dwindle, or which they seemingly refuse to acknowledge.
I have been blessed to have many friends over the years. I have many acquaintance with whom I love to meet. While on occasion there have been larger groups, I have always had a small circle of truly intimate friends. I get along with many people, quite happily so, but have always seemed to keep a smaller circle of those closest to me. It's not intentional or by design, it just how it seems to work out. And, truth be told, I am happy. I deeply cherish those I hold closest. Quality, not quantity, is what fills my life and warms my heart. I would rather have one very dear friend than 100 mild acquaintances. But sometimes I see friends who have many, many close friends (or what appear to be close friends) and I wonder if I've done something wrong. It leads me to the what ifs, a game which I but rarely indulge, for it is typically without purpose. In discussing certain wedding plans, there are quite a number of close friends of both myself and fiance who will be invited. But I have noticed that I have only a few friends from high school and college with whom I am truly close and have invited. I see others who have dozens of friends from these chapters of their lives and I wonder if maybe I'm wrong somehow...or maybe they just function differently than I do.
I believe that God brings people into our lives when we need them or when they need us. Everyone has something to share, something to teach us. If we are smart we will embrace these opportunities as often as we can. People pass in and out of each others lives, leaving their footprints behind as a mark. And from these people, the few, true souls we are meant to share our lives with, remain with us. That is not to say that some people are bad or unimportant, just that everyone has those people with whom they are meant to develop deep and meaningful relationships. By definition such friendships cannot exist with everyone. It would diminish their importance and purpose. Someone once described our lives as a theatrical production in which we get to fill the audience. We get to choose who is in the front row of our lives, who is in the back, and who isn't even inside the theatre. It's quite an interesting concept, one which I have thought about on many an occasion. The front row cannot hold an infinite number of people, nor should it. Some seats rotate, others remain constant, yet others may still be open waiting to be filled. No ones front row has the same number of seats. After all, each life is as unique as a snowflake, thus the architecture of our personal theatre is unique in its style and design. Relationships are not perfect, life would be boring if they were. These front row relationships are the most important in my life. I know who is in my front row. Who is in yours?