Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have many friends. In fact, due to the vast age difference between my two older brothers and me, I have friendships that have strong bonds that most people usually associate with family members. Among my friends there are a few extraordinary people whom I consider my “best friends.” With a few notable exceptions, my best friends are people I have known since childhood. These friends are distinguished from my other friends in several ways: (1) regardless of how much time passes between our get togethers, we are instantly comfortable in each other’s presence, as if no time had passed; (2) there is a level of intimacy in our conversation and activities that results only from many shared experiences (some of which are known only to us!); and (3) often, we communicate in “short hand,” including reverting to childhood phrases and speech patterns, to foster a sense of “we-ness” in which others cannot participate. Without naming names, I will reveal there are only a handful of special people who have the highest distinction of being considered my best friends. These individuals are the first people to know when something profoundly good or bad has happened in my life; they are the people I turn to when I need help with a difficult situation; and they are the people I chose to spend my time with, as often as possible. I usually try to avoid clichés, however, the person at the top of my list of best friends is someone I have known a relatively short amount of time (in my way of estimating time), since adulthood. My best best friend is my husband, who is not only my life partner but my business partner as well. To those people who are stunned to learn I co-own a business with my husband, I usually say it is enjoyable to be lucky enough to work with my best friend!
Starting at the end of Melissa’s post I’ll say it is great to have her as my bestie. As we have written this blog it has been interesting to see how we have different perspectives sometimes, but have a common bond, and a perspective on life and work. I’m not sure it would be possible to be in business with a spouse if one did not count that spouse as a best friend. It is not something to which I have given much thought, but giving it just a little thought, this seems to be a critical detail in making life and work successful when the two are so intertwined. Part of our friendship is based on backgrounds that are somewhat similar. We are both Florida natives, both with families that have strong southern roots. There are other similarities, as well as some differences. I have not been as fortunate as Melissa in the friend department. Though I have good friends today, I do not have the history with them that she has with some of hers. Growing up in a small town, she went to school with some of the same people starting in 1st grade all the way through high school. I did not have this experience but am fortunate to have a few friends from high school or earlier. Like Melissa mentioned, it is an interesting phenomenon to spend time with them and easily fall into a very comfortable zone. In no way do I know what they have experienced since we last spent large amounts of time together as I have some friends I see infrequently. Regardless, we engage ourselves quickly in the common experiences that maintain the bond. Celebrate your friends!