Day 3: Gratitude for never-failing friendships

Gratitude

This morning consisted of me working the Fit Foodie 5K with my other part time job at Sandy Feet Events.  I had such a great time with the team, exploring food, watching the presenters, and interacting with the runners!  I had such a nice surprise running into some old friends from USD–Austin, Emily, Rosy, Candace, and Eddie.  Some of them I haven’t seen in weeks, months, and maybe even since graduation, so it definitely made my morning to see them!

Candace is an old friend of mine who I was involved in the SEARCH retreat with during the same semester.  We led small groups and shared witnesses, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable as we told personal stories to the Search community.  Candace and I have been meaning to contact each other and catch up over a happy hour for quite a few months now, but haven’t gotten around to doing so.  Well, that just meant that I had to use the opportunity to ask Candace this question of gratitude.  Candace has such a beautiful heart and it was truly awesome to be able to have this moment together to reconnect.

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Candace and me earlier today at the Fit Foodie 5K

When I asked what she was grateful for, she spoke of of her treasured friendships.  After recently having a close friend suffer through a medical emergency and with changes and transitions post-grad, she mentioned that she has been focusing her attention on friends who put as much effort into the friendship as she does.  Without these friendships and the inner strength she found by focusing on those important people, she would not be where she is today.

While listening to Candace, I really was in awe.  Of course she was the perfect person to ask of this question of gratitude.  Candace is incredibly bright, kindhearted, and her strength inspires me.  Her words spoke to me completely.

Since graduation, friendships have always been on my mind.  While I am incredibly blessed to have a core group of girlfriends from college (Emily, Amanda, Lacey–I love you girls!), from high school (Jenny, Sarah, Denice, Su, and Tonhu–xoxo and see you all soon!), and other amazing friends who are now in other parts of the country, we don’t live in the same city anymore, and that changes things.  It has changed my community, especially in San Diego.  I don’t care what anyone else says, it can be extremely difficult to find new friends post-grad–more specifically ones that you completely and utterly connect with. There have been new friends and old friends who have come in and out of my life–friendships that I have questioned whether or not I should hold on to.  I previously wrote about choosing clean company; well, that is easier said than done, and the people I surround myself with is something I consider daily.

I am incredibly grateful for those friends of mine whose friendships I never question–those friends who invest in me. When you and your friends are equals and there is a strong level of reciprocity, it makes a world of a difference. My friends are my rocks, my support, and I am forever indebted to them for lifting me up.  For now, I would love to share with you a passage from a book I am rereading, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything:

True friends are hard to come by, Paul said, and they take work.  And patience.  ‘There are a small number of people who, for whatever reason, easily make and keep friends.  But the vast majority of the human race has to ask for friendship and be patient in waiting for it to come.  When we imagine friendships, we tend to imagine things happening instantly.  But like anything that’s rich and wonderful, you grow into it.’

A huge hug to Candace for sharing and an even bigger hug to all of my friends!

Janine

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