Circles of Friends

Venn diagrams are awesome. I like to picture the minutiae of any situation in terms of how it would look in a Venn, or multiple Venns. Sometimes the intersections look like the whirling lines of a Spirograph circle, other times they are easier to notice. Lately I’ve been thinking about friendships, both their density and diversity.

Many people have circles of friends packed with family and a vibrant crew of old and new members. Other people’s circles are less densely packed but still necessary to the one who’s living within that circle. For today, I’m thinking about the diversity of our friendships, because that’s where the depth and flavor of our friendships happily coexist. We might have family, close friends, acquaintances – and then we add the friends we have online, and the stranger/friends with whom we may have superficial relationships, but ones that are still rewarding.

Our online friends are real in the sense that we feel a connection with them, wonder how they’re doing, ask about the newest events in their lives. Ask any Twitter follower or YouTuber about their favorite sites, and they will speak with warmth akin to how they feel about their loved ones. I am quite aware that the fondness I feel for my YouTube creators is one dimensional, based on an admiration for their talent and message. I don’t know who they are or what they’re like “for real”, but I am glad they create their works. It adds meaning to my life. I suppose it’s like people who watch The Walking Dead or any other long-standing program on TV. We become attached to the characters, though I would hope we don’t expect to see zombies walking down the sidewalk looking to nibble on our brains in real life.

I add to my friendship appreciation the people who work at my often frequented establishments. For me, it’s my local coffee emporium. I am habituated to mochas; the whipped cream with chocolate droozle adds a dimension to my day that making it myself would not. I am not wasting my money, necessarily, on a calorie-laden indulgence. Well, I am, but I am aware that I am doing so. I purchase my little cup of whipped-cream and caffeinated yumminess partially for the flavor of the beverage, but also for the people who sell it to me. I know when they get promoted, I know when they’re having a good morning, and I know when they’ve been out sick. Likewise, they know my schedule. When I hadn’t come to the counter for a week, they figured I was out of town. When I got my hair cut, they complimented me on it. They kickstart my day by connecting me to it. I am grateful for their good nature and their ability to whip up a delicious beverage.

The rest of my day may go in a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns, but I get it off to a good start by greeting “my” people at the coffee emporium. They even gave me a free mocha one day when the machine had been broken previously. They may be wise marketers, but that was also a lovely gesture.

Think about your friendships both in terms of their density and diversity. Chances are you have more friends than you think about. All are beneficial, adding to the Spirograph-like Venn diagrams of your days; their intersecting point is you.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Lauren
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 13:52:00

    I lovely coffee store like such as well. I don’t go everyday (I have a fancy-shmancy keurig at home) and the gentleman who serves me always says “see you tomorrow!” 🙂

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