That’s the title of a song by The Replacements. In my younger years, music was extremely important to me-as it was to my best friend. And I tend to think in song titles, hence this one. So today I want to share some thoughts around friendship and the value of connecting.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I decided to start designing greeting cards. And after some digging, I realized that it all began when I was a teenager. And I have to thank my best friend for that (see, I wasn’t just rambling).
Picture this: Timmins, 19-- (I’m not filling it in because then you’ll know my exact age).
R. and I had been best friends for a little over 2 years. We’d seen each other through bad perms. And we’d traveled to England together.
But then my family had to move. I knew I didn’t want our friendship to end, and thankfully, neither did she. We stayed in touch through snail mail. There was no other choice-because there was no texting back then. No smart phones. Or Zoom. Just old fashioned paper, pen, and stamps.
So we started writing letters. And sending cards. And phoning each other quite often. And sending gifts. Spending Reading Week together. Next thing I knew, 25 years had passed and we both had husbands and mortgages. Her daughter is my biggest fan. And then another decade passed.
I’m sure you won’t find it surprising when I tell you that maintaining this kind of friendship takes work. And energy.
Despite the distance, we managed to stay in touch and create the kind of relationship that (I think) will last a lifetime. Friendships are work, and depending on how you value the friendship reflects the effort you’ll put into its maintenance. I can tell you for a fact I didn’t stay friends with anyone from university. Or college.
So here’s my point: this friendship is exactly why the greeting cards began. Because as the years passed, friendship and connection became extremely important to me. It’s what I’m good at. But I also love typography. And being a graphic designer led me to eventually (well, it took a really long time) figure out that friendship and connecting through printed cards are my thing. The cards are just the tool I use to connect.
Those letters and cards to R. is when it began.
For women, connecting with female friends tends to be a fairly high priority. And it’s no wonder; a great deal of research has discovered that having strong friendships helps us cope with and get through life’s challenges. Unfortunately, women also get busier and busier as the years pass....as children are born, parents age, and life becomes more demanding.
My hope in creating these cards is that despite the time and distance, women will want to reconnect with their friends. Sadly, we women can let life get in the way, and often, friendships that were once so essential take a backseat.
I am not willing to do that. My female friends have got me through storms and have brought tremendous joy into my life. I want other women to remember their friends, their youth, the shared experiences. Most of all, I want them to LAUGH. And reminisce about the good old days.
And that’s why you’ll see a shift in my posts towards friendship and connection. Because I have finally realized that that’s the thing that makes my world go’round.