31 days. 31 posts. Word count to be determined.
I'm very excited to begin writing this month on a topic that is both dear and difficult to me. Like two sides of a coin, or the comedy/tragedy masks sitting side by side, I have experienced both the happy and the sad parts of friendships--sometimes in the same day!
I have thought for a couple of years now how I could best write about friendship in general, and maybe a bit of my own experience in particular, but what kept me quiet was fear. Not just fear of being sued for libel (ha ha, you think I'm kidding...), but fear of hurting feelings, of dredging up pain from the past, of violating someone's privacy. But it's time to write about what I've learned, because I've seen the pain of broken friendships tear people up inside. And even though I have no delusions of grandeur here at this tiny little blog that is an old lady in Internet years, I know that eventually, someday, someone who needs to read what I have written will find it here and feel encouraged and strengthened and blessed by God.
I have moved around my entire life--in fact, our most recent move was my 16th. The longest place I've ever lived was 7 1/2 years, and the shortest was just under a year. It goes without saying that I have been the New Girl pretty often. It never really gets easier. So, I'm writing from a place full of "the feels" - loneliness from missing good friends, a few tears from missing my college daughter (who is also my friend), happiness for the friends I have here so far, and a fun night to celebrate a new friend's birthday just this week.
If you have friends, or want more friends, I hope this blog series will offer you encouragement, hope, resources, and of course some fun thrown in. Having fun with friends is one of life's greatest pleasures.
A note about specifics like names and locations:
People who know me know where I've lived and who my friends are, and they may recognize situations I will describe here no matter how much I disguise them. And disguise them I must. In some cases I'll combine two or three similar incidents or persons, because believe it or not I've had the same things happen to me more than once. People who know me know that I am handling this with grace and kindness. This is not a place for my own personal vindication. This is a place of kindness and encouragement, and, I hope, healing as well.
In short, most names and locations and situations will be changed to protect everyone, because the goal of writing about friendship isn't to make myself out to be a saint, or point fingers at every single person who has hurt me in my life. My goal is to show what I have learned about God, myself, and relationships--and to glorify the work of God in my life and in my friends' lives. So yes, names are going to be changed in about 95% of cases. The remaining 5% are a few of my friends who have already talked about me online and so I'll return the favor ("All good things, all good things," to channel a bit of Frozen's Olaf.). So please, no defamation or libel lawsuits. If you want to contact me, my email is freshbrewedwriter (at) gmail.com.
This is the landing page for the entire series, and I will link each day's post here:
Day 1: Introduction
Day 2: Part 1: What does the Bible say?
Day 3: An Elementary School Friendship Story
Day 4: Quotations: Part 1
Day 5: Why Friendship?
Day 6: Book: Nobody's Cuter than You
Day 7: Secrets
Day 8: Knitting
Day 9: What does the Bible say? (Part 2)
Day 10: Friends for a Season
Day 11: Quotations: Part 2
Day 12: Books about Friendship
Day 13: Malt Attack! (a chocolate story)
Day 14: Friendship Across the Miles
Day 15: Online Friends are Not Make-Believe
Day 16: What does the Bible say? (Part 3)
Day 17: If a tree falls in your yard...
Day 18: Quotations: Part 3
Day 19: Hospitality
Day 20: Junior High Hurts
Day 21: When a Friendship Feels Like an Attack
Day 22: Forgiveness
Day 23: What does the Bible say? (Part 4)
Day 24: I Want to Be Your Friend
Day 25: Quotations: Part 4
Day 26: Imbalance in Friendship
Day 27: Sandpaper Friends
Day 28: Friendship Matchmaker
Day 29: Being a Good Friend
Day 30: What does the Bible say? (Part 5: Jesus)
Day 31: Conclusion and Series Wrap-Up
If you would like to learn more about writing for 31 days in a row, please visit www.write31days.com and learn more about it. I chose the "Too Awesome to Categorize" category for my own blog this month, and I'm blog #11 in the list!
Previous 31 Day Series:
2014: #31Days of Books
2013: #31Days of Inspiring Quotations
2011: #31Days of Writing