How to Maintain Friendships: Passion {Guest Post}

It is amazing, but I have been able to maintain grade school friendships, as well as incorporate new friends from college and "grown up" life--all in to one fabulous circle... How? It's simple... Passion. 

Friends! How many of us have them? Well according to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest I have about 1072 "friends" and counting, but the friends that really matter are the ones that you can pick up the phone and call and they'll be there when you need them.

This month I celebrated 20 years of friendship with a few of my favorite gals. It is amazing to me that an 8th grade relationship can still be as vibrant as it was back in the 90s...let's be honest, some marriages don't last this long. 

I think the one thing that makes my girlfriends stick together is that we all have a passion for the same things. Our lives are mini mirrors of each other's and we tend to gravitate towards the same likes and dislikes. I can find a piece of me in all of my friends, whether it is their style, their hobbies, their career choices, or even the way they talk! 

I prefer to only remember the good times that we have as friends, but there have been some rough moments just like any relationship. I can say with full confidence that we take those moments and use them to make our bond stronger. We never have to repeat the same "fight", because no one ever likes the way we feel when it's happening. 

Our friendships have stood the test of time, through marriages, kids, and relocations. As the first married person in our circle, it was difficult in the beginning to blend my married life with the life of my single/dating friends. We've all been in the situation where our friends call us to go out, or go on a girls weekend and we say "no" and look like the party pooper. The great thing about my friends, is they respected my marriage and understood my priorities had changed. I may not have been able to speak to them everyday, hang out every weekend or head out to the mid week happy hour, but what they could count on was being able to pick up the phone even if we hadn't spoken in weeks and for our conversation to be as fluid as if we had just spoken the day before. 

I consider myself the "glue" of many of our circles; I am not sure how I did it, but I have successfully merged my childhood friends, my college friends and my married friends into one great friendship. I recently moved from the east coast to the west coast, and worried that all those external friendships would fade away, but when the friends from each sector planned a trip to come visit me together, I knew that they still had the same passion for the friendship that I did! 

Writer, Edna Buchanan once said, "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves". I couldn't have chosen a better "Family".

Leeann J. Sands