birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Friends Forevermore

What is essential? Friends. I can absolutely say with full conviction and beyond, that friends are crucial and absolutely necessary to everyone's existence. I don't know where I'd be, I don't know who I'd be, I don't know what I'd be...without my friends. They are everything to me. Everything. And they come to me from all aspects of my life...high school, college, film school, parents of my kids' friends, teacher friends, writer friends, friends of my Dad, friends of my Mom, the list goes on. I am lucky to have the friends I have. I've been told that I am a very loyal friend which I know to be true. I don't know any other way to be.

Family's important too. It's more primal, and essential in it's own way. It has been my experience that they're not entirely reliable. Many times, they have failed me. They have disappointed me. They haven't been there when I thought they would be.

Of course, no friendship worth their salt is without the ebs and flows of any relationship. As I listen to my daughters tell me about friends they can't connect to anymore, who are driving them insane, who've completely changed, who've avoid them on social media. I remember being their age and going through the same thing and the realization that maybe my friends had a different agenda than I did. Maybe they didn't want to be friends forever. Maybe they would leave town and not tell me. Maybe they would flirt with my boyfriend. Maybe they were way more competitive than I thought. And I would take it personally. What did I do wrong? What did I say? It was my fault, definitely. Then I had an epiphany. I realized that was easier to have different friends for different needs. No one friend could completely be that one person I wanted them to be. Maybe I made myself less vulnerable that way, but it worked for me. Oh, I've lost many friends along the way, yet one of the joys of getting old, is that time does heal so much and I've rekindled friendships with old friends I never in my life thought I'd ever see again.

After I left my husband, I picked up more friends to my ever growing circle of friends. More women than me. Men as friends was always more complicated. I have a small inner circle of close friends and a larger outer circle of friends, not as close as the inner. I've come to accept that I'm not going to get 50% with each friend, but that's okay. Recently, an old friend, failed to offer her condolences to me after my mother died. I waited until I couldn't stand it anymore and let her know how disappointed I was. She felt horrible, and tried to reassure me how much she cared about me...but I still felt like crap. I'm still on the mend with her...I honestly don't know whether our friendship is sustainable, but I'll hang in there with her. She's an essential friend. I'm not ready to lose her yet. And I am a loyal friend.

Would The Real Stranger Please Stand Up?

What Is Essence Anyway?