By Sandra Wilkins
Finding friends can be a tricky business. You have to dip your toes into those murky waters of the unknown and decide if it’s safe to jump in. You have to see if the other person has your type of warped sense of humor or you have to decide if they’re the more serious type. After much splashing about, I’ve found that the creative types—writers, musicians, and artists—are more prone to see the world the way I do. But, that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other types of people. The world would be a dull place if that was the case. I believe the more friends you have, the prettier life is.
Writing and home educating my daughters are solitary endeavors. Sure, there are those occasional outings so I can hawk my wares or “socialize” my kids so they won’t be too weird, but basically I’m at it on my own. Research, creativity, writing and teaching are all pretty much up to me.
Friends and a helpful spouse can lighten your burdens or bring humor into your life. I think that’s why all of the stories I’ve written center around friendships. A true friend is there for the good times and the bad. For example, I’m an excellent listener, but sometimes I need to express myself, too. A good friend should be able to do both.
It was only after several years of solitude and a bout with depression that I realized how lonely I was. Thankfully someone suggested I reach out for help and another person listened and joked with me in the following years when I needed it most. I trust they know how much I appreciate them. I also hope I have been able to return the favor to them. My life is so different now. Joy, sunshine, and optimism are back in my vocabulary even when the occasional gray day slides past.
Robin Williams’ tragic death struck me particularly hard. I didn’t know the man, but I admired his brilliance. His light will no longer shine for the rest of us. The ripple of anyone’s death is felt by more people than the deceased could ever imagine—whether they are famous or not.
If you suspect someone you know is hurting beyond those blue days, befriend them. Ask them if they need to talk. It’s amazing how verbalizing and getting all those dark thoughts out of your head can brighten your life. If it seems like they’re in a deep dungeon they can’t climb out of, encourage them to seek professional help. It really does lift that midnight cloak off of a person’s soul. Depression doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. Most importantly, if you are the person who just can’t get past the profound sadness, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ve been on your own long enough.
My desire is that we can help each other to stand upright, side by side, and support one another in friendship—whether it’s with old or new acquaintances. So, instead of letting the weeds of indifference or jealousy choke out the beauty in a field of wildflowers, let’s all bloom together. The gorgeous hues and shapes can open in their own unique way. After all, it’s more spectacular together.
Sandra Wilkins is busy writing another series while home educating her two daughters. Ada’s Heart, Rose’s Hope and Gwen’s Honor are her first three published wholesome historical romances. Go to www.sandrawilkins.com to find out more about her and her books.