Last week I had the opportunity to meet up with a dear friend. She and I have been friends for almost 20 years and though we live in separate states, we continue to make every effort we can to stay in touch on a really deep level. She is one that I confide in and share everything with. And, she’s a safe friend to do that with given that she is not around here and hasn’t formed her own opinions of the situations in my life.
Anyhow, last week we spent over four hours sitting at a Bob Evans restaurant that was a halfway meeting point for both of our drives. (Thank you dear waitress for tolerating us. We hope your tip showed our appreciation.) In the course of our conversation we laughed at how many times we tend to quote each other and share the wisdom provided by the other. People who have never even met her say things like, “Well, What does Suzanne think you should do?” and “Didn’t your friend Suzanne once suggest this or that?” What a gift.
At the end of our visits I am always energized and encouraged. I have spent the visit sharing, heeding advice and learning. She is a wise soul. But, the thing that I treasure most about her is what she pointed out to me years ago.
On one of our lengthy phone conversations, I went on and on telling her about the melodrama that I call my life and she input a few “un-huhs” and “oh I see”s. I rambled on and on and after I hung up, I wondered why she would even be my friend. Why would someone let me go on like that? When I asked her about it, she simply replied, “I’m a listener.” Seriously?! A Listener? Some people are listeners and they are comfortable in that role? What a light bulb moment for me. I’m a talker (& writer, obviously) and others are listeners. Isn’t that a blessing? I am so appreciative of others who have different gifts and talents. She’s a listener. I’m a talker. Some listeners may shake their heads at talkers and think, “Why would she share that?”, but I hope not. I hope that we can both learn from the other. I hope that my talking and sharing encourages someone who listens and I promise you that your listening encourages me. Thank you sweet listeners of the world!