Love Notes: Friends Edition
Friendships can be some of the greatest love stories of all. They can define us more than any romantic partner and can be relationships as unconditional as family. Throughout the years we fight, we drink, we cry, we commiserate, we celebrate. But these are the first connections to others we actually choose, a voluntary commitment that is not for the simple purpose of staving off loneliness. The best friendships form mirrors of who we are and who we want to be. The most exciting part being that they can form at any time anywhere evolving to improve our lives without us truly acknowledging the impact.
We never actually say how important these people are in our lives.
There is a special kind of intimacy that we share with old friends from home, who we’ve grown physically and emotionally with. Friendships built on conquering the most awkward early stages of life to crying through engagement announcements, babies, first grey hairs. We may all live in different parts of the world but our WhatsApp group chats keep us connected, sharing our lives. Those weekend get togethers that are planned 6 months in advance are what keep us going throughout the year. When our lives can realign and we can again make some memories together
Friends made at university on that very first day when you’re at your most vulnerable surrounded by complete strangers but you’re all forced together by chance. Every one of us terrified but pretending we aren’t, then after a couple of drinks and rounds of ‘never have I ever’ gradually things start to change and a place that seemed so daunting has started to feel like home. Bonds forming that will fortify us throughout all nighters in the library for that dreaded final deadline, or provide us a shoulder to cry on when things become dauntingly insurmountable. We have danced at each others’ sides and together we stumbled our way through university, making it - just about alive - through to adulthood.
Friendships are somehow easier to forge when we are young. When we are all a lot more open to new experiences and there is always time for new connections. However there are the special people along the way that somehow worm themselves into our lives and hearts. We may meet at work, friends of friends, or simply just by chance because we answered an ad for a new roommate. The most unexpected can be the most worthwhile.
Then again there are the friendships that we know will last. That withstand distance and time and no matter if you haven't seen each other in a year, when you meet up, it’s like you saw each other last week. You spend hours and hours chatting and crying with laughter. That friend that you message when you need advice, who tell you exactly what you need to hear but maybe not what you want to. Those special relationships we have with those we see every day and never run out of things to say. Maybe it’s living together and the simplicity of knowing each other’s shower schedule and how you each take your tea. The best of all, the friends that you can sit in complete silence with, knowing that nothing needs to be said, just being in each other’s company is enough.
The unconditional love we receive from our friends is as fulfilling, if not more, than romantic love. These are the people that love you and continue to do so no matter how many embarrassing things you do, or how many times you mess up. They will be there to celebrate your birthdays, promotions and achievements. Just as they will be there to console you when life knocks you down. They will buy you a glass of wine when you've had a hard week at work, they will bring the tissues and ice cream when you get dumped, they will hold your hand when you are feeling low and tell you everything is going to be all right because they will make it that way. Warts and all acceptance is a thing of true beauty, and this security is so often provided by our friends.
The most valuable currency we will ever have is our time. When outside pressures feel tantamount to walking through fire those are the moments we should spend freely and openly for our friendships