Word of the year

Annching Wang is a clothing designer who makes beautiful clothes from sustainable fabrics. Her label is called Avery by Wang, if you're interested. I receive a newsletter from her by email. In the one she just sent, she spoke about her "word of the year"—"bloom," because her business grew and flowered.

When I read that, I realized what my word of the year for 2012 is: "friendship."

I am playing in Lisa's Hotcakes with two wonderful friends and my spouse, who is also my best friend. There were never auditions for the band. We started playing with our friend T just because we wanted to give it a try, and we liked it so much we kept playing. And when we asked among friends if anyone wanted to try singing with us, our friend G came over, and the result was magic. And not only has the band done quite well for its first year; playing together has allowed the friendship among all of us to grow. That friendship has been tested as well! You can't have a band without a few disagreements and rough times. But so far we have come through it all even stronger.

There is a woman who used to work at the grocery store where I shop every week. It's the kind of place where I get to know the people who work there, at least their names. And whenever she would be at cash, we would chat. She seemed like such a cool person. Last spring, I took a chance. I gave her my email address and asked if she wanted to meet up for coffee. I realize in hindsight that it sounded like a pickup line, but it wasn't. She took a chance as well. Since then, we have formed an amazing friendship. In just a few months, we have reached a trust level and depth of sharing that usually take years. I am so grateful for her! I will do my part so that our friendship continues to grow.

And then in the autumn, there was the best high school class reunion ever. I truly enjoyed seeing all the people who came. But there was more to it. There's a classmate with whom I've been friends since high school. We hung out with the same people and went to the same parties. She and I have kept up over the years, but only by infrequent emails and the occasional card. She had encouraged me to make the trip for the reunion. And since I came in a day early, we arranged to spend Saturday together. As soon as she pulled up and got out of the car, we knew that something was different, and better, between us. We spent the day driving hither and yon, doing a bit of shopping, having lunch, sipping coffee, and chatting non-stop for all the time we were in the car. I have always counted her among my friends even though she is far away. Now I count her among my best friends. And I wish she weren't so far away!

There was so much more. The woman who runs the book club and I grew closer. I had another reunion with a friend from back in our first band days whom I had not seen for many years. I spent a quick but lovely weekend with very good friends in San Francisco and met someone whom I had previously known only online and by phone. I kept up (when possible) with a friend from counselling school and two from tech writing school. I made a new friend in the first fashion course I took and another in the second course. I spent time with many other people whom I know in and around Vancouver as well as friend who drove all the way from Calgary. I got on the phone with some friends who are far away.

One of my favourite parts of being volunteer coordinator for last spring's Ladies Rock Camp Vancouver was spending time with some very cool women. I also made new connections through camp, including meeting and spending time with someone whose music I admire greatly. When you can go from fan to friend, that's pretty special!

I don't leave family out of friendship. I got to spend quality time this summer with my mom, my sister and brother-in-law, two of my cousins (briefly but it was still very nice), and Sweetie's uncle and aunt, who are wonderful people and whom I consider to be my family as well (and I know it works the other way).

I don't leave my Sweetie out of this. We both love the time we get to spend together. We really do have an wonderful friendship at the heart of our relationship.

It's funny. I knew all this was true, and I've been grateful for it all year long. But it wasn't until Annching sent her own word of the year that I was prompted to think of mine. Thank you, Annching. And thank you all! You've all been part of this year being one of the best ever.

1 comment:

MgS said...

Friendships are always worth the investment!