It’s Important to Have Friends

You can’t put a price on friendship.
And I was reminded of that this weekend.

After high school, I went off to college.
And slowly but surely I lost touch with the friends I had grown so close with over the previous four years.
I’ve learned that I’m the type of person who finds it easier to “lose touch” with those I am separated from, rather than accept that our friendship  must be redefined by our distance.
I don’t deal well with separation,
so I just don’t deal at all.
Instead, I abandon friendships once they change.
It’s not my most admirable quality.

While I was in college, my bestest high school friend in the whole universe suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away.
I was shattered.
I pulled away.
Shut down.
Put a thicker barrier between myself and friends that were a part of my previous life–the life that represented my time with her.

I made excuses:
We’re just so different now.
I’m at a different stage of life.

In the years that would follow, I got a bit better.
I made new friends. Rekindled a few old relationships. Opened my heart a little more.
But I was still cautious.
I was married now, and I thought that since I had him, I didn’t really need anyone else.

I went on occasional girls nights. Mani/pedi trips. Random lunches.
But when it came time to pouring out my heart and soul, crying over life’s disappointments, and complaining about the latest drama–Ben was always the lending ear.
And that’s great.
He is, and always will be my best friend–my confidant–my rock.

But as I’ve gotten older,
and become a Mom,
and a teacher,
and a volunteer,
and basically, an adult…
I’ve learned that there are some things, some of life’s challenges, that reassuring nods from you husband cannot comfort.

Take pregnancy, for example.

Boy is my husband ever understanding. And supportive. And loving.
But does he really understand? Can he really relate to my fragile emotional state?
Of course not–and he’ll be the first to admit that.

Pregnancy this go around really took its toll on me.
Physically and emotionally.
And perhaps my overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and defeat have opened my heart.
Have made me more vulnerable to true friendship.
Have allowed me to say yes to those offering a lending hand.

You see, I’ve had friends all along.
But there have been limited 3 hour phone conversations,
and venting sessions,
and uncontrollable laughter,
and inside jokes.

Until recently.
This pregnancy has revealed how blessed I am–with true friends.

And I’ve learned that I need them.
To bring me lunch when I’m too sick to move.
To love and nurture my son like he is their own.
To surprise me with personal and thoughtful gifts on my birthday.
To listen to me as I express my worries–my fears that I’ve lost my grip on the life I once had such control over.
To tell me that they’ve been there before, tell me that these feelings are normal.
To remind me that I am, in fact, a good Mom–and I know what is best for my kiddo.

These friends have revealed themselves completely over the last 5 months.
Even when I pulled away, when I retreated into the comfort of my dark room and warm covers–they pulled me out.
They stayed up till the wee hours of the night listening. They put off their plans for the day to take extra time on the phone with me. They sent random texts of encouragement.
They took the time to get to know the real me when I was ready to share it with them.
And they could never know just how grateful I am for their love and support.

Friends do matter.
And even when we grow up,
and get married,
and start a family,
and get ridiculously busy and distracted with everyday life…
even especially then,
we need true friends.
Old friends.
And new friends.

New friends like the ones I met this weekend at Creative Estates.
Friends that I had only known through a computer screen,
but within moments of meeting in real life it was as if we had known each other forever.
I could get all mushy gushy about the connections and relationships I built this past weekend,
but I’ll spare you the details and just say that…

I have no plans to abandon or run from these friendships–no matter the distance.
Thank you for reminding me what matters.
And for making me laugh till I nearly pee’d my pants.
Especially this headband girl,
and this camera plushie girl,
and this polka dot pants girl,
and this lifelong bestie,
and this inspiring chic,
and this long legged hotty,
and this camera strap girl,
and this proud Momma
and that’s not even scratching the surface of the fab women I met this weekend.

Source: google.com via Ashley on Pinterest

S

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. love! been missing your posts! hope pregnancy is going well!

    http://lilmisssweeney.blogspot.com/

    http://lilmisssweeney.tumblr.com/

  2. so sweet. you look SO cute with that baby belly.

  3. Kirtley a says:

    Im so glad you met so any ladies. They are friendships you’ll have forever.

  4. Danyiel J says:

    That’s awesome and what girls to have as friends. If I do say so myself, I believe that is the first bump picture and you look as amazing as ever. Looks like you are feeling pretty good and that is great!

  5. I could have written your post except for your great ending, I’m still in the middle part. Thanks for sharing! :o)

  6. Beautiful post Ashley! So glad I got to meet you and get to know you better. You are even more gorgeous, sweet, funny, cute, and real in person!

  7. You called me a long legged hottie!! HAHA love it!! This post made me teary eyed! I love you and I am so blessed to have met you. I had so much fun meeting you, having lunch & unbelievable hot chocolate. Thanks for finding me my new favorite dress and just being you, friend! xo

  8. Great post and you look adorable! <3

  9. This is a great post, and makes me sad I missed all the fun. Hopefully there is always next year!

    I’m sorry that I missed a chance to meet you face to face, but I’m so glad to see this post.

    Thanks for always inspiring me to blog my best!

    Megan

  10. Ashley…I have so missed your blog posts. You have helped me through so many unhappy days and sad time, and even helped the happy times seem more happy! I hope you know that you are truly a treasure and there is someone out there that looks EVERY day to see if you post something new. I have missed your posts tremendously! You have given me so much encouragement and inspiration, thank you! You are amazing!!!!!

  11. Love you sweet girl. The memories made at CE were some of the best in my life. You are so genuine and fun to be around! Sweatpants Mafia forever. 😉

    xo

  12. Very much a needed post. This can speak to so many because everyone has had a friend. no matter who you are or where you are. love the blog. keep up the good work.

  13. polka-dotted pants girl. can that be my new nickname?!

    love you. SO blessed that i was able to spend SO much time with you this weekend. you are beautiful. INSIDE AND OUT!

  14. Love the baby bump! I’ve felt the same way as far as hubby hearing it all. Working on it.
    Looks like you guys had a blast. Hoping to go to CE next year.xoxox

  15. Thanks for the sweet post. You have been greatly missed. BTW…you look beautiful! You may not feel it…but you look gorgeous! Ah. The things we do for our sweet babies. Pregnancy is never easy, but please know that you are a great momma, fabulous wife, and wonderful lady!

  16. headband girl here! hiya! this whole post was da bomb dot com, but you are a million times more. thanks for the inspiration and for the support – and for this past weekend of hilarious memories and inside jokes. i love you and totally am glad that we have this opportunity to be friends forever! love YOU!

    p.s. camera plushie. i die.

  17. Great post and a really great pic!

  18. awwww wish i could have gone to meet all of you lovely ladies!!

  19. seriously star struck to be gracing your blog! so nice to have met you this weekend!

  20. Ashley,
    You are adorable!!! It was such an amazing privilege to meet you!! 🙂 🙂 You seriously are the best momma ever. 😉
    PLUS
    its okay to be short. 🙂
    Love,
    Elisabeth 🙂

  21. Miss you Ash. 2-13. Whenever you want to reach out for me, I’ll be here waiting. And I’ll never stop trying to reach out to you. Love you!

  22. Ashley,

    I love your blog, I just recently discovered it and well I can’t stop reading now!
    I think you are so sweet and are such a great mom! I look forward to reading to your next post!

  23. I saw your blog post in my blogger and I was like ‘It’s important to have friends’ by who? OMG it’s little miss mama… You woman are the reason I started blogging. I hope everything is going well with your little guys and that maybe you can pop up a little more often. You’re definately missed around these parts. Also those hour long conversations with friends are the best. I love having good friends and I don’t know where I would be without them…

  24. Hey- you look so cute in this picture! I was wondering if you could do some more posts on dressing the part, the prego part that is. Like you, I’m 5’1″ (I like to call it “fun size”)and pregnant (baby boy due in august) and I’m having a hard time find outfits that are cute and fit right for petite pregnant ladies. Any help and ideas would be AWESOME! Thanks love your blog!

    Charlene

  25. Great post as usual! I was so excited to see a new blog post from you. I can relate to this so much bc recently we moved from a place where I have been my whole life to a new state where I know no one, and it’s those few friends that continue to reach out to me even though I’m not there that make me so happy. I always say you know a true friend when you can go months without seeing each other and when you finally do, you can pick right back up where you left off.

  26. It was so wonderful meeting you! Words can not express how beautiful you are in and out! I loved bumping bellies with you and that our babies kissed 🙂 Much love to you, dear friend! xo

  27. air greenwood says:

    I love this post. I am currently in a state of pulling back, sticking to myself and learning from the hurt I have had in the past couple of years. I do have a few close and very old friends in my life, thank goodness…but other than that, I am cautious. Unfortunately in the area I live in, I have went out on a limb, overextended myself & my time & many other things in hopes of supporting other women, even those in the same industry…and it only backfired. They used me, treated me very poorly and clearly never saw me as a person or friend. Just competition or a roadblock. Its so sad that people dont invest in themselves as people more, so that they may invest in others and their relationships…I know I will get back to normal but for now, I am accepting of it all.

    So glad you posted this, that you had a great weekend & cheers to all of us with amazing husbands/besties. I love my husband and the fact that he totally loves me all the way, crazy and nerdy and OCD and all of it..we are lucky ladies. 🙂

  28. I also struggle with asking for help. I don’t like to bother people or feel like I am burdening them. But I like when friends ask for my help. I am happy to help them. I am sure they would feel the same way. I forget that sometimes.

    xoxo,

    misty

  29. Thanks for the sweet reminder that we do need friends. After my five year relationship ended with my ex, I was torn apart. I thought, I don’t need him. I can do this. I can be on my own. I will be fine. Everything will be OK. He’ll see that I don’t need him. But deep down, I felt alone and torn from the rest of our society. I felt as though I had no friends. I thought this way because with the time I spent with him, I was away from my girl friends and in some ways drifted apart, our agendas became overly busy with school and life, and lost touch. But from what I learned, best friends will always be there no matter the distance or the time of day. We can easily pick up the phone and just talk for someone to make us laugh and remember the good ol’ happy times.

  30. This very subject of friendship has been on my mind lately. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on my blog soon too.

  31. Ahhhhhh I can relate to you more than you know! This pregnancy is really doing it’s thang and I don’t like it one bit! Emotions like crazy and not sure where to put them 🙂

  32. You are amazing and will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for being a friend. This was an excellent post.

  33. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh i love this. and you. and DI (but not the thrift store…the other DI) <3 <3 <3

  34. What an amazing post!! You aren’t the only one that has trouble keeping up with friendships… I feel you with that sister. But you are right that friends, girlfriends, are beyond important.

  35. Wait till you get old like me and your friends begin to thin out do to age and illness. So hang on to those precious friends. An old girl scout song, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold”. I hope you are feeling well. Thanks for the blog.

  36. Can I just photoshop my self into that picture and this post?!! What a fun experience! 🙂 I think sometimes when you have such an awesome husband you forget how important it is to have good girl friends. I’m glad you got to have such a good time, and oh my gosh—could your baby bump be any cuter?!

  37. Love your baby belly and really miss your post.

  38. I’ve been kind of a quite reader for a while now. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve thought about you in your blogging absence and hoped you were doing well. Glad to see you surface and completely understand the need to step away for a while.

    Thanks for encouraging me to open up to friends.

  39. I hear ya… Hubs are the best at trying to understand, but sometimes you just need a girlfriend’s shoulder to cry on! 🙂 Glad to hear you had a nice time!

  40. so so very true….love your posts 😀 so glad to see this

  41. I’ve missed you so much, your words, your thoughts, sweet, beautiful, amazing, YOU. It makes me happy to hear about your spending time with such wonderful women who can lift you up!!! As woman, we need to do that more often. Big hugs for your girl and light and love your way. Your precious heart is unstoppable!!!

  42. Ok so I love that picture, and I think when they are GREAT friends it doesn’t matter how far away you are. You have such beautiful friends. 🙂 And I love the picture did you guys plan on outfits I know they don’t match but they seem to all go. Maybe it is just because there are so many different styles. Anyway great post I do think it is super important to have Great friends!

  43. oh girl, don’t get me started on the importance of friends. When I had just moved a few years ago and feeling low that i didn’t have a good friend to vent to locally, i created private blog called, MY chosen Few, where i gathered my 5 closest friends (2 from high school, 2 from college, 1 from married life) and would vent to them all the frustrations i had felt, and it really relieved my lonliness. It was also fun to “introduce” those friends to each other, and as I’d vent, they’d offer words of encouragement in the comments specific to me. For 2 years, I clung onto that, until I came out of the funk I was in. THrough it all, I’d cry to my husband saying I just needed ONE close friend. Eventually, it came. He is so supportive of my female emotional state, and “gets” how important friends are to me.

    p.s .I see that C.Jane is your top referrer, looking at her blog to see if she posted about you….send me a link if so….anxious to read!

  44. This was beautifully written.
    Friendships are important.

  45. You are so right! Girlfriends are special and have a unique way of understanding that a boyfriend or husband can not. Girlfriends, just know. I too have had close friends come and go, and yes it does happen when I have had a boyfriend. Some have been friendships that I am too late to reconnect with, and others have that unique understanding. I am so thankful for the very few girlfriends I have. And though I am thankful and grateful for them, I still strive for ones that are closer to me for those face to face conversations, movie nights, dinner dates, etc. which I lack. All of ‘my girls’ are far if not out of state. What do I do to make new when I work in an all male industry? I feel as if I have lost my friendship bug since graduating from college. lol. I also hope to gain friends through blogging, but even find it hard to find bloggers in the Michigan area. Do you have any advice from personal experience? As much as reconnecting is great, I have found that it has to be a two-way street or it is not going to be the friendship you hope for.

    Natalie

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