“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”
As a kid, my friends and I hung out on my block until the streetlights signaled it was time to go home. We ran, played, dreamed of our futures—of becoming a movie star or professional baseball player—and debated the big issues, like what car was better a Corvette or the IROC Z-28 (come on, it was Long Island in the ’80s). As we became teenagers, we wore #44 lip gloss and were singlehandedly responsible for the declining ozone layer, thanks to our penchant for big hair and Aqua Net hairspray. I love those friends.
When I graduated college, I had a new set of friends. We embarked on the adventures of living in The City and having a share house in the Hamptons. What a blessed time in my life. We experienced so many firsts together—our first REAL loves (we all met our husbands during those years) and our first real struggles. We were each other’s bridesmaids and shared in the births of our children. I love those friends.
When I moved back to Long Island and commuted into The City, I had work friends and train friends. I think only people from Long Island can understand the impact of a train friend. You can’t imagine the stuff shared between people that sit together one hour a day, five days a week for five-10-25 years. I love those friends.
Time ticks along and friends move away to other states and we become busy. We change careers; we stop commuting; we become engrossed in our children’s activities; we discover different interests; and soon our time together goes from 24 hours a day to a girls’ weekend once a year. I would be lying if I said I don’t feel a loss.
During this time when my old friends were leading busy lives, I did a lot of things solo. I entered triathlons by myself, joined the gym and ran by myself. While there was some empowerment in that, there was also some loneliness. When I ran, I would regularly pass two other solo runners. At the time, I never dreamed there would be a day when all three of us would be running together. Yet, time moved forward, and after chatting with each other at various events around town, we took the leap and embarked on our first run together. That was three years ago, and these days I couldn’t imagine running without them. Our runs are special.
We laugh, we cry, we dream. Funny thing is that meeting these friends opened me up to meeting other friends with whom I share mutual bonds—my neighbors, with whom I battle snow storms, and other sports parents, with whom I sit in the bleachers cheering our children to victory. My current staff, who help make this magazine great, they too are my friends. I love these friends.
My sisters are my friends. They weren’t always; there was a time when the age difference between us was so great that we had no common friendship thread. Yet now in our 40s and 50s, my sisters are truly my best friends. I love them dearly.
I recognize now that time—the very thing that disrupts friendships—is also the very thing that creates space for new ones if we let it.
This month’s issue is focused on the power of friendship. I implore you to make time for your old friends, because they are the foundation of who you are, and make time for your new friends, because they will help you grow and become who you want to be. Make new friends, but keep the old. In my opinion, they both are gold.