In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December, so while everybody else is now busy with the stuff you do on the 25th I am hanging out in my pj´s, eating leftover smörgåsbord and watching the snow fall. Tonight is the eve of the returners in Sweden, those who have left their original city and moved elsewhere. We meet up in the bars and restaurants, catching up, hopefully running into some people we want to see and avoiding those we are happy to avoid.
I am meeting up with the person that has known me and been my friend for the longest time, Maria. We got to know each other during confirmation camp when we were 14 years old, and we have been with each other through thick and thin, crisis, moving, boyfriends, studies, family and basically everything else.
It is a very special type of friendship that forms when you have known a person for that long, in our case over then years (are we really that old???). I know her 14-year old persona and she knows mine, and we have known the people we have been and stopped being, and the person inside that never ceased to exist.
The thing with such relationships is that I don´t have to doubt that she really likes me, I mean she´s been with me for this long! 🙂 We have seen the good and the bad happen, and with this deep friendship there are many things that are easier to accept with each other I believe. I don´t get annoyed with her as easily because I know her and her background, the events that made her who she is and what she has done in her life. Rather, I appreciate all of that.
In times of trouble she has been there, and she´s never farther than a phone call away (even though we sometimes play phone tag for weeks) when I am feeling down or need support. She manages to make me think new thoughts just because she has another perspective and she knows me well enough to be able to give me concrete advice.
The deep and lasting friendships can handle that we don´t see each other for months at a time. But we have a core together, memories together, and the ambition to really make something in life that unites us.
If there is one thing a young woman in leadership needs, I think it is the friends, the sisters, the forgiving , accepting and inspiring people around us that supports us when we fall, inspire us when we are out of thoughts and hold us when life is too rough for us to handle.
And you know what? They look good too. This is us, summer of 2010.