An Ode To All the Friends

I want you to try something for me, and think back on the friends you had ten years ago. Come on, jog that memory. Now let's try going back five years. How's that look? Now try two years ago. Whoa. What do your relationships look like from then until now? If I had to say, I'd be willing to bet that your friendship palette today is a world of difference from ten, five or even two years ago.

That's because maybe the person who used to know your deepest, darkest secrets now only pops up in your life in the form of a Facebook post "like." And in the meantime, your neighbor of three months has practically become another parent to your kids because you're just that close. But why does it happen that way?

Relationships, like people, are in a constant state of change. Sometimes friendships are like a rubber band that stretches apart and comes back together, and sometimes they just fizzle and dissolve without any fault or ill-will. And you know what? That's perfectly okay. The saying rings true: some people come into your life for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime.

But here is my ode to all of the friends. Because whether it's for a moment or for a lifetime, these connections are what fill our lives with color and purpose.

Who I have lost touch with, but miss terribly. Just know that I think of you often, and love finding out the bits and pieces of what you are up to now. I hope that one day, I’ll muster up the courage to reach out, in hopes that it won’t feel forced or awkward.

To the ones I’ve reconnected with. We may not have been close back then, but life has a crazy way of bringing the most unlikely people together for another go-around. Nowadays, I feel like we could have endless conversations over coffee, and I truly hope that we do.

Who have never made me feel guilty about my success. Thank you for celebrating with me when I feel that compulsive need to downgrade my accomplishments. Thank you for making me take a step back to appreciate my hard work and to let out a happy squeal without any fear of judgment.

To the ones that have shown unwavering kindness. In the times where I'm feeling bitter toward everyone and everything, you have brought me back to reality without even knowing. Thank you for reminding me that people who are kind to others without any motive or expectation really are out there.

Who hug me when I cry. When the floodgates break and my tears come rushing, I've had you. When I've been at my most vulnerable, you don't judge, you don't try to find a fix-- you are just there. And that is everything that I've needed.

To the ones who tell me to suck it up. Thank you listening to me wallow in my own self-pity, and then turning around and telling me to buck up. It may not always be what I want to hear, but I eventually appreciate the kick in the pants to carry on.

Who have appreciated my help. There are plenty of friends who ask for advice, yet never really plan on taking it. Thank you for truly valuing my insight and taking my advice to heart. I hope it helps give you the courage to act on whatever it is that's on your mind. I'm here for you, friend!

To the ones who hand me the glass of wine. Whether it's accompanied by celebration, tears, stress, or just for the sake of sitting and chatting, you know a little extra somethin'-somethin' is in order! You're the real MVP!

And to the ones who have always been there. Happy dances, ugly cries, rom-coms, sweatpants, late nights, tacky outfits, too many drinks-- you've weathered it all in the name of friendship. I could go on and on about how special you are to me, but I know that you already get it. You are one of the "lifetime" friends, and I can't wait to see what the rest of this crazy rollercoaster has in store.