June 23rd, 2010

e looking into distance

Middling on friends...

jeannineatkins made a comment yesterday about friends, and it got me thinking about the various friendships in my life and what makes them strong. When I was in junior high, I desperately wanted a 'kindred spirit', just like Anne found in Diana. I think it's interesting to consider this as an adult, however -- at age 13-14, I figured a kindred spirit was someone who was like me, someone who saw the world very much like I did.

But when I look at Anne and Diana, I see two very distinct people with views that are quite different and dreams which even move in opposite directions (beyond the basic dream of happiness -- I mean more how to reach that happiness). Anyway, my first 'kindred spirit' was a girl I knew in high school, a girl who was very much like me at that time. We were definitely close -- best friends. It was good for me, but as we grew (through college and beyond), our interests began to diverge, and our friendship shifted from 'kindred spirit' type to a regular good friendship.

Now that I'm older (and hopefully a bit wiser), I realize that's typical. A true kindred spirit, imo, is someone who lets you grow in your way as they grow in their way -- but it doesn't affect the bond between you except to perhaps strengthen it. My husband is certainly a kindred spirit, as is my mom, and my dearest friend L. I feel blessed to have these three with whom I'm especially close -- I can bare any part of my soul/heart to them and it won't weaken our friendship; they take me as I am.

On top of that, I have a multitude of other good friends -- women (and even a few men) who accept me and love me and challenge me and encourage me -- and hopefully I do the same for them. There's more than one way to find a kindred spirit, I think -- and more than one type even. I have no doubt that I'll discover and be blessed with others as I grow older.

What do you think? What makes a kindred spirit for you?
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