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Friendship keeps all afloat navigating life’s waves

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There is something to be said about those types of friendships when you click with someone and form that special kind of relationship that doesn’t wilt and wither away with time or space.

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Opinion

There is something to be said about those types of friendships when you click with someone and form that special kind of relationship that doesn’t wilt and wither away with time or space.

I’m talking about the kind of friendship where no matter how much life has passed or which direction it takes you in, you can pick up right where you’ve left off — because it is constant and, even in the face of change, the relationship still fits.

I have a couple of friends like that and, boy, do I feel lucky.

As I get older and whiz through life trying to balance motherhood, relationship, career and my own self, I realize just how important and impactful these friendships are.

I realize a great part of my own success is because I have the support of good women who have helped me grow and become the person that I am, and are helping me become the person I want to be. These are the people who are there in your best times and the ones who are there in your worst.

In 2015, a few days after my grandmother died, my friend Lindsay Zalizniak stopped by one afternoon with lunch. She was my work bestie, and now that we no longer work together, she is just one of my very good friends.

On that day, her company was a welcome reprieve from my afternoon of solitude at home (on maternity leave) with my baby. Visually, we were a perfect contrast, she in her business casual office attire, and me in my ratty old sweatpants. But, our vibe, as always, was in sync.

She took it upon herself to be there for me and with me, even though I didn’t ask. She just knew this was one of those moments when I needed a friend, someone to sit with me in my grief and just be. I don’t even remember the conversation we had or what she brought for lunch, but I remember I wasn’t alone during one of my darkest days.

This is what we expect of our friends, and yet, if we step back and really look at it, these simple acts of friendship and love are usually quite grand. I don’t know if we talk about that enough or if it just becomes so normal and comfortable we forget just how important these people are to us.

Friendship is such a wonderful thing, and yet, the older we get, it seems it becomes harder to do.

We are busy and so often set in our routines. Cultivating a new platonic relationship seems awkward and in some ways a bit embarrassing. (I can’t quite explain why. Perhaps it’s because you’re putting yourself out there, hoping the other person is wanting and willing to be friends with you, too. What if they don’t?)

However, my advice is: shoot your shot; try for friendships with people whose company you enjoy.

Perhaps you’ll gain a new friend or maybe a familiar acquaintance. Perhaps all you’ll gain from is a conversation over lunch or coffee, and the realization you and the other person don’t click beyond that.

That’s OK, too.

Not everyone is going to be a best friend, but sharing time with good people sure makes life better.

Twitter: @ShelleyACook

shelley.cook@freepress.mb.ca

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook
Columnist, Manager of Reader Bridge project

Shelley is a born and raised Winnipegger. She is a proud member of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.

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