Gosh, that's a loaded question isn't it?
When I was little my Nana (my Mum's mum) told me that if you were rich, you might have enough true friends to fit on the fingers of one hand.
At the time, a little girl with a million friends ever swapping and changing, I couldn't believe what she said. It was incredible to me that somone would be lucky to have just 5 true friends in their life?!
As I got older and friends dropped by the wayside of life. I remembered what Nana said and I have to agree with her.
In this day and age with things like facebook around, we have hundreds of 'friends', but who are the true ones?
Who are the ones that stand beside you when you get sick? That come back to you after a fight? That will flick you an email when they know you are feeling down? Or pick up the phone or drop off a meal?
I have always been a what I call a 'pleaser'. I was always too scared to go against what people thought in case they didn't want to be my friend. I didn't realise that we can't always get on with everyone, or that we may have different expectations leading to different types of friendships. I have changed.
It left me lonely many times as I realised I gave more to a friendship than I received back. And when I went against what I believed in.
As I got older, I also left behind people who perhaps thought that way about me? That they gave more to me than I did to them. I feel sorry I couldn't be what they needed from me, but not sorry that I was true to myself.
And some people that I felt were negative influences on me. Some of them not voluntarily either.
Some of them I tried to cling to. And I find myself now years on, still sad about the friendship I've lost. The hope I had for them and us as friends. Even when I feel comfortable with the things I said, and know I did nothing 'wrong', it hurts to loose friends that I was once so close to.
Today as I sit here typing this post, I think back to the people in my life. I am thankful for the 4 people I can count on my hand as true friends today. One who I've known all her life. One I've known since we were at high school (and I thought she was trying to steal my boyfriend! LOL). One who I have known for 13.5 years and married. And one who I've known for a much shorter time that I met through scrapbooking and that is by far the last thing that keeps us friends now. People that would drop anything for me and viceversa. In fact we have many times already. They ring me up even if I haven't rung them in weeks. They stand by me even when I frustrate the living daylights out of them. They know the worst about me and forgive me for the mistakes I make and love me for the person I am. And who would be there in a heartbeat if the worst happened.
And so from that point of view, I am rich indeed. I have people I can count on. And to be honest watching the world today, this type of richness is by far the most important for me. I am so very grateful for them in my life.
I truely hope that you are rich as well!