Julie Blue

Finding Your Flock

Julie StanleyComment

I've been very lucky when it comes to friendships. Life has somehow brought me to the most true-blue friends a girl could ask for. Recently I met up with two of girlfriends of mine for lunch which turned into a four hour long gab fest filled with soul-filling conversation. Good food, good laughs, and good inspiration, those friend dates doesn't happen often and I savor the moments I get to have them!

What I think I value most about those four hour long kind of conversations is that there is someone who can look at me and say, "I know. I get it and I'm right there with you." It doesn't matter if it's about personal struggles, hilarious happenings, excitements, frustrations, careers questions, or whatnot, there's nothing like having someone else with you in that boat. 

At the time I didn't really see this, but most of our childhood we grew up plodding along with our lunch sacks and backpacks with the rest of our pack, all knowing exactly how the other felt. We got it. Coloring was cool. Recess was awesome. Math was hard. Pizza parties were the bomb.  Sure, in high school, maybe even middle school, there's some different ground shifts as everyone tries to discover themselves--sports, music, arts, social circles, and whatnot "defined" who we were and most of the time you could find a bubble that fit with your own even if that bubble included only two people. 

If you went to college, you might have gotten to go someplace where you felt like you finally found a place you belonged. "My people!" you cried as you went racing open armed to likeminded folks who got you. For me that would be the folks that really appreciated calendars and to-lists, late night rehearsals, and entertainment as your livelihood, not just a hobby. 

But then school ended and you get out into the world of adulthood and we all struggle. I'm beginning to see that that's what your twenties is all about: the struggle. You learn how to work hard, you learn your limitations, when to say "no," how much you can actually handle on your plate, and more relationship info that you thought you could possible know in one lifetime. Most importantly, you learn how your plans will change and that you won't always know what's coming down the pike. If you're a planner, just let go of your perfect life layout now because you are in for a world of hurt when plans (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f)  don't work out right away or in that order. It'll all be alright though because that's what your twenties are for, teaching you how to go with the flow. Welcome to Adulthood, little ones. She can be tricky. 

What I didn't anticipate in adulthood was how hard it would be to find friends again. You actually have to work at it, especially if you work a lot. And are married. Maybe married and long distance. Hypothetically, of course. 

I know people who still live near they're very best friends, some even have kids at the same time and now their kids are friends. Nuts, right? I don't know, maybe you're a person who has that--congrats! It sounds beautiful. Me? Well, I grew up in a land of performers so of course all my friends moved to follow their dreams, it was the natural course for entertainers. Don't get me wrong, I'm super pumped for each and everyone of them and all the wonderful things they're doing! It's amazing and I love to brag on them whenever I get the chance! It's just, I miss them. I miss my flock.

So you can tell it's in my nature that when these stellar friends cross my path, I tend to hold on to them like a life raft because I know how much their friendship enriches my life. And yeah, I hope I might get to make their lives a little more full, too. This summer I'm having to say "see ya later" to my dear friend, Megan. 

I've known for a while that she would be moving on and this summer she and her husband are moving to Colorado! It's all so exciting and wonderful! I can't wait to hear her stories about the new job and her new home! She's so excited to follower her dream in a brand new city. It's awesome. Mostly I'm super stoked to have a place to crash when fall rolls around--CO in the fall? Sounds gorgeous to me!

Between facetime, text messages, email, and social media, I think we'll be set in keeping up with one another. Still. I'm going to miss having her near by for lunch dates and afternoon walks at work. 

It may get difficult to keep your flock of friends together after some time. Jobs, marriage, kids, school, work, dinner, it all starts getting so crazy that long distance friendships can be very difficult. Megan moving away just reminded me how much bigger my friend GPS is getting, growing further away from me each year. I'm more determined than ever to close the gap with a more frequent phone calls, snail mail and quick "how ya doing" texts and anything else I can think to do. 

So if you've got some long distance girlfriends out that, check in on them and say hey, let them know you're thinking of them. When you find the friends that mean the most, that get you, you've got to make sure you hold on to those awesome relationships. They really put a bright side on your day. 

Miss Megan I'm going to miss you so! I'm so thankful for our friendship and that we were able to get so close these last few years. You're such a positive ray of sunshine and Colorado is so stinkin' lucky to have you. Can't wait for the first catch-up date and hear how it's all going!