As we blindly sift our way through the cornmaze that is life, we come across people who matter to us more than most. These people make us feel safe, they make us feel loved, they make us feel like we are important. They make us feel like we are a part of something sacred and we speak a language that can’t be found in any book. It’s a fireworks finale followed by free dippin’ dots kind of wonderful. We call them friends.
They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some friends sneak up on you in Spanish class your sophomore year of high school, other friends were made because of the company your parents kept, and others are found because of assigned seating, sports teams, jobs, or whoever you’re dating. Some friends are seasonal and some friends have faded away with time. Some friends come into your life in disguise and it takes a minute for you to realize that hating each other isn’t working. And then there are those friends that still have yet to be discovered. They are the sparkles in what would otherwise be a very dull world.
Friendships are very much love stories. Real, honest, grown up friends are people you come to love, not despite the fact you know every little thing about them but BECAUSE of it. You see, some fairytales are about friends because in this great big world, having someone on your side for no other reason than the fact that they have decided you’re a bit of alright in their book is something magical. It’s something rare and to be treated as such. You find these people who you would defend before yourself and vice versa. They aren’t your blood which makes it all the more special because it’s a choice from the start. It’s like finding that dress that fits just right or that t-shirt that’s just the right amount of soft. It’s an unspoken understanding of mutual respect and admiration where there is equal give and take. When you find friends like that, it’s like they found your glass slipper or woke you from a deep sleep or rescued you because you’ve found this person who fits into your puzzle and they complete you in a colossal Jerry Maguire kind of way that can never be replicated. My friends are my village, my heart, and my fortress.
Friendships, like any other relationship, take work. There are ebbs and flows. Your friends essentially become your family and because of that there will inevitably be days you’d love to smack em upside the head. But what outweighs that are the days you’ve never been happier they are on your side. Trust me, you’re gonna want people on your team during this, at times, Inferno of an adventure. You’ll gain some and lose some along the way but hold on strong to the good ones.
If you are really really lucky, your family are your friends. I am extremely fortunate in that I am very close with my family. I think it has a lot to do with the lack of technology throughout our childhood, a minivan, and family dinners. We weren’t so easily capable of reaching out to others. Let’s be real, only one person could be on the phone at a time and the phone was attached to the wall with an 8 foot cord. So even if you wrapped the cord around four walls and hid under the dining room table, your conversation was usually within earshot of at least one other person in the house. Private conversation wasn’t as easy to find as it is today. So we had eachother and I am crazy lucky my mother gave birth to four other people I consider to be quite remarkable. The odds, as it turns out, were ever in my favor.
Be choosy, be loyal, and be honest. Be their rock, be their shield, be their champion, be their Kleenex, be their pillow, be their sounding board, be their sunshine in the storm, and their rainbow in the chaos. Expect the same in return. Quality over quantity. One amazing friend will always be better than several fair-weather friends. You will only get what you put into any relationship. Don’t keep people in your life if they are constantly bringing you down, making you feel bad about yourself, or cease to add value to your life. Don’t forget they aren’t perfect either, so cut them some slack every once in awhile.
To all of you who are my friends, thank you. You know who you are and my life wouldn’t be nearly as fun, complete, or shiny without you. Can I get an AMEN!?