Day 21: On Friendship and Tattoos

There is one thing I know for sure: I will never get a tattoo.

I’m not opposed, do let me say. It’s just that I am not sure enough of anything in this life to have it permanently tattooed on my body. Except for this, of which I am positive: My friends mean the world to me. It comes as kind of a surprising insight to me, at this stage in life. At 14? Sure. But at 52?

Oh, yeah.

I have been blessed with long, deep friendships that still today, many years and many miles later, continue to shape and form and mold the person I am becoming. We gather together once or twice a year, our group of childhood girlfriends who are scattered like seeds across the East Coast—we, the Wise Woman. These weekends reconnect us to each other and to our inner selves, the people we are underneath the layers of sediment life has deposited there. We laugh a lot, and we celebrate the differences in our lives and our personalities.

I have been having dreams filled with these women the past few weeks. I know it is time for a visit, a re-calibration.

the wise women

Another great joy in my life is the constant presence of so many of my dearest college friends. One is a business partner I see on a daily basis; two others live within 5 miles. Our children have grown up together, our husbands are friends, we gather for football games and graduation parties and Sunday night dinners. My life is rich and joyful, and I owe much of that to these incredible women who walk the path with me, day after day, year after year.

And then I look around at my life and see it populated with so many new people who give it texture and goodness. Some I met through this blog, or theirs, connections that both astonish and thrill me. Others are friendships formed through my husband, whom I met later in life. Some are gifts via my daughter—young women I adore, Moms with whom I share a special bond. And many, many came my way through work. (This is another fact that surprises me.) The job brought us together, yes, but these connections transcend business relationships. These are truly friends.

This is why we are here, don’t you think? To find each other, as days go by? To bring strength and encouragement and laughter, at the very moment it’s needed, in that very place, in that very life.

My friends are the sunshine in my life, of that I am sure.

But I’m still not getting a tattoo.

30 Days of Grace

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