Friends

Tonight I’m thinking about the importance of friends.

(I talked to one of my oldest and bestest earlier which of course means that I’m thinking about friends.)

I’ve said this here and elsewhere but there’s something tremendous about being able to be completely yourself with other people. They know your warts but they also believe in the best parts of you.

That’s necessary. It’s so easy to get mired in what does not matter, to get far from your dreams, to feel lost.

Friends know how to light the lamps. They remind you of who you can be. Who you are.

Or if they don’t, they should.

To me, interpersonal relationships are best when they make us better. Not that we should surround ourselves with people who are never satisfied or who judge us unnecessarily. But people who simply want the best for us. Who aren’t tied up in jealousies or what they need from us or fear in themselves.

Friends should love you but they should also tell you when you’ve wandered away from yourself. Sometimes that requires an uncomfortable degree of honesty. But more I think it just requires listening.

There are obstacles. Despite our increased connectivity, I do think distance is one of these. I love my friends in other places. But if I’m in a really rough place or vice versa, how much can we do for each other?

I think this means that we have to build communities near us, too. It doesn’t matter where my best friends live–they will always be that to me. But I also need that local support system.

I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like some new friends. Not because I am at all unhappy with the people in my life but because it seems like a good and healthy thing. Typically I make friends through school but there are so many avenues. Through volunteering. Through shared interests. Through projects. 

And not everyone needs to be friends in the same way. Needs be said. The point is to have a core group of people who fulfill those needs in a variety of ways. And to do the same for them.

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