When I was younger and watching the TV show, Friends, I always thought it would be amazing to have the kind of relationships that those characters had. They had fun, were silly, but also cared about each other deeply. They accepted each others’ quirks and always tried to have each others’ backs. I loved how comfortable they were with each other.
Growing up my family moved. A lot. The good thing about that was that it taught me to be flexible and adaptable. I learned how to get along with most people. I developed really good people skills.
The bad thing about moving was I was never able to develop those life long friendships that I saw everywhere. Kids who had known each other their entire lives; who had a long history together. I kind of envied that but was always grateful to those who included me despite my being the ‘new kid’. They were the ones who made it all easier.
When I got married, I moved away from my family to start a new life. And this wasn’t as scary as it seemed. I was good at moving.
What I wasn’t prepared for was once I was out of school and working, the dynamics of making friends became different and more difficult. I relied on my husband’s friends and that was okay for a while but I soon realized that they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I socialized with coworkers and I had some fun times and made some good friends but something was still missing.
But I hadn’t achieved that long ago dream of having a group of friends who felt as close as family. Who shared my interests and accepted my quirkiness.
Fast forward many years and a few jobs later. I eventually got a job in a large chain bookstore. I was working with books! Any of you who have read this blog for a while may have noticed that books are kind of my passion. This bookstore was a new one in a new building and I got to help set it up while meeting other book lovers. For the first time I was having discussions about the books and authors I loved. I also discovered that many of the people there were also closet writers like me. Once we realized that we all wrote in isolation, we formed a writing group. We also formed many book groups of different genres. These were my people!
I felt very connected to three others in particular. This was when the new Lord of the Rings movies were coming out and we discovered that we loved these stories and decided to go watch the marathon together. And that was the start of my group of ‘Friends’.
The four of us just clicked despite the fact that we spanned four decades. Each of us represented the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. It didn’t matter. We were silly but could also talk about issues about which we felt deeply. And we laughed. A lot. The great deep laughter that brings tears, leaves you breathless and feeling healed and whole.
We call ourselves the Fellowship because of course we were our version of the Lord of the Rings Fellowship!
Now to the present day and more than a dozen years later these three people are my family. We still laugh a lot! We have LOTR marathons at each others’ houses. We go to Renaissance Faires together. We watch movies and eat out together. Like Bilbo and Frodo, we have adventures together. Sometimes our schedules make getting together a challenge but we keep working at it and make time for us.
They are my greatest friends and I now have the friendship I dreamed of all those years ago. We have shared all the ups and downs that we as humans go through and have been there for each other.
Whenever I spend time with the Fellowship, I feel like I’m recharged.
I am incredibly grateful that we found each other and continue to be the best of friends. So many times we have talked about our bond and how strange and wonderful it is. We know this is an incredibly rare thing and never take it for granted.
I hope you have people like this in your lives. Whether they are related to you by blood or you find each other along the way, make sure you let them know how much they mean to you.
And may you all have wonderful adventures together. Remember to laugh! A lot!
(The featured photo is a picture of the paver that we designed to honor our Fellowship and is at the Pennsylvania Renaissance fairgrounds.)