I’ve been alive for 27 years and thankfully have had my fair share of friends, all of whom have shaped me into the fun-loving, music-chasing, occasionally looney toon of a woman that I am today. I have always valued my friends and have prided myself on picking good ones – as my mother always preached, “You are the company that you keep.”
What real friendship looks like in my eyes has changed as I’ve changed. In elementary school, my BFF was always there to run with me when the boys would chase us around the playground and to defend my sticker earrings when another 7-year-old who wore REAL earrings (her parents were pretty progressive) teased me when one of my Christmas trees fell off. In middle school, OH MIDDLE SCHOOL, my BFFs were girls I cheered with because obviously, we had everything in common. With high school came a lot of major life decisions, of which my core circle of friends floated through with naïve ease and lots of laughter.
College welcomed a new set of friends who became some of the most important people in my life – we went through break-ups, internships, family changes, more break–ups, weddings. It all happened and the more that happened the closer we became. Life after college has introduced new friends and strengthened the classics, and it’s been fun and scary and everything in between to do life together.
Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about friendships.
So what does real friendship look like?
- Calling in the middle of the night because he still hasn’t called and you’re upset.
- Texting the millionth “Are you sure I’m okay?” message when you start to panic about life and need a little affirmation.
- Picking up right where you left off, every time.
- Sitting on the couch for hours talking through anything and everything without a time limit.
- Having them look you in the eye and say, “I love you but you’re being ridiculous.”
- Ordering pizza and watching Netflix because you need a night to turn your brain off.
- Keeping in touch through all means possible because your friendship matters more than your location.
- Dropping everything to celebrate the good stuff and to work through the tough stuff.
- Picking you up from the airport and immediately listing everything you’ve missed while trying to decide where to eat.
- Noticing when you lose weight/trim your hair/finally stop biting your fingernails.
- Pushing you to be a better human being.
- Knowing you in and out and in between and loving you more because of it.
- Giving advice only when you ask and without judgment.
- Praying for each other and meaning it.
- Having them look you in the eye and say “I’m proud of you. You got this.”
What does real friendship look like to you?