I've been pondering something lately. When you're little, your family is your everything. They're your built-in support system, the people you can always turn to, the ones who are always going to love you no matter what. In light of some things that have happened recently in my life and in my friends' lives, my eyes have been so completely opened to just how important friendships are in life.
The thing about strangers is that they don't have to choose to get to know you. They don't have to like you, pretend to like you, care about you; they don't have to do anything. I'm a big believer in the idea that nothing really happens by chance, and that people stumble upon certain people for certain reasons. Friends are the family you choose, but they're also the people who choose you as their family. And I never really thought about it that way.
As the years pass us by, it becomes more clear to me and my friends just who'll be sticking around. I can list a handful of girls right off the bat that I'd call the instant someone broke my heart, and I know they'd show up at my door, bottle of wine in hand (or two), within an hour. Your best friends are the ones who know almost every single thing you've ever worried about. Whether it be a boy or what skirt you're going to wear out. They just know.
They know how you'll react to specific information, what situations make you nervous, what people they need to keep you away from, and they know the things that make you smile (cupcakes), laugh (yoga cats), cry (The Notebook), and so on and so forth. When you're happy, they're happy for you; when you're hurting, they're hurting for you.
When we all went to college, I remember being worried that our being separated was going to be the end of it all. Years worth of friendship all gone out the window, and I don't really know why I felt that way. Because so quickly I figured out that growing apart wasn't even an option. Some of my closest friends and I are miles and miles apart, and yet when we're home and together again for the holidays it's like nothing has changed. If you ask me, distance is the test of true friendship. Earlier this week I was going through something, and one of my friends in New York texted me just to say "Hey, I'm thinking of you and I'm so lucky to have you in my life!" Didn't even know what was going on with me, honestly we probably hadn't talked in the past two weeks before that either. But that was the amazing thing about it. I swear there's something in the universe that keeps us all connected somehow. And thank God for whatever it is!
They say, "A friend is like a good bra. Hard to find, supportive, comfortable, always lifts you up, makes you feel better, and is always close to your heart." It's a funny line, right? But it's also so true. It's taken me twenty years to find my real, going to be around forever friends. I suspect a few more are to come along the way, but if they don't that's fine too. I've kind of got my hands full already... (kidding, but not really.) The thing that gets hard about friendships when you're older is that they're work. Real work. You'll fight with them, laugh with them, and do some of the dumbest things with them.
For those of us without sisters, your girlfriends are your sisters. Especially nowadays, I'm so thankful for that. They keep me sane, and they tell the truth... even if it hurts. That's the measure of true friends, they'll help to make you the best you you can be. Keep them close, always.