"In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends".
I liked it so much I put it on my refrigerator and for the last few weeks have been thinking about my friends.
Most of my friends before I married DrH were associated with my work. When you spend 40 hours a week for years on end, you create a friendship of convenience. Having a baby and no longer working made it difficult to continue those friendships that were based on mutual circumstances. Would we have been friends outside of work if we didn't have work to unite us? I don't know.
I had another friend that I had known for a decade. We were roommates in college. We went through periods were we saw each other frequently, and then periods of not so frequent visits. For the two years before DrH and I married we were really close. We had developed a common hobby together, long distance running and we were training partners. For over a year we saw each other 3-4 times a week! However, once my situation changed from "friend who is unmarried and lonely" to "friend who found love with a Dr" our relationship changed.
I have spent countless hours analyzing our friendship over the course of the time that we have known each other. I was usually the one making the arrangements to visit, calling. I always met her wherever and whenever it was most convenient for her. When I needed things to change to maintain our connection she dropped out. For the two years we were running partners I drove 20 minutes to her house 3-4 times a week at 4:30 am. She had a husband and child, a job (so did I), but I didn't really mind. As long as I was willing to come to her, it worked. When I needed her to met me halfway, it no longer worked.
I can count the number of times we have spoken since I've married. When I was an unemployed stay at home mom married to a poor medical student I stopped hearing from her even though we lived in the same city. That was precisely the same moment that I could have used a friend, and she was no where to be found. In my prosperity she was there, and should I return to that same town in a prosperous new way she would probably turn up again.
The friendships we have made in our time of adversity and poverty will be the friendships that I will always be able to trust regardless of our situation in life.
Two and a half years ago a medical student and his family moved to our town to finish their 3rd and 4th year of school. We formed an immediate bond with this family. They have since moved to a nearby town for internship year and we have still maintained our friendship. This weekend we went out and had dinner together. Us and our 6 kids combined. She is expecting their 3rd child in three weeks, so our next outing will really be fun!
When I think back over our medical school/internship/residency years these are the friends that I will associate with this time. In fact, they are the only medical friends we mutually share. These are the friends that we will go out of our way to see for years.
Some friendships are convenient, some are fleeting, and some will last forever.