That's What Friends Are For...
3 things I’ve learned about friendship over the years.
You can’t get everything from any one person in your life.
A very wise person told me this when I was just fifteen, and I never forgot it. This concept has influenced the way I look at nearly all of my relationships. No one can give you everything, particularly not friends. If you aren’t willing to overlook someone’s faults, you will not maintain many friendships in your life. You can’t expect someone to “be there for you, no matter what.” We are all human and have our own needs. In the end, it really is true that you can only rely on yourself. I’m not saying that when you get in a pickle, your best friend shouldn’t be there to help you...but not everyone is your best friend. Also, on the day to day, (even including your best friend), not everyone is your confidant for everything, not everyone is your good time, and not everyone is the best advice giver for every situation. You can probably think of the friend that you adventure with, the friend you have wine nights with, and the friend you invite to church on Sunday. People fit within our lives in their own unique ways, and that’s something to celebrate--not stress over.
Friends should naturally bring out the best in you.
Seems like an obvious question to ask, but it is generally overlooked. I didn’t notice this much until one day, my mom said, “You know, you just seem like your best yourself when you’re with X. Anytime you come home, you’re so relaxed and happy.” She was right. Such a simple, age-old concept, but it’s undeniably one of the best things about friendship. It should enhance your relationship with yourself. It should be an outlet of expression. If you’re being honest with yourself, do you feel relaxed and happy after hanging out with your friends? If not, start protecting your energy, and remember, if you are receiving good energy, give all you can in return.
Just as you drift apart, you can drift back together.
I talked about this a little in my “making friends in your 20s” post, but it’s worth repeating. Just because you haven’t talked to someone since high school, doesn’t mean you can’t ever speak to them again or the door is shut. Reach out to them! It’s only awkward if you make it awkward. By adulthood, everyone should understand that people may not be in our lives for every season, but reforming an old connection is possible. Some of my strongest friendships are with those that came back into my life from a long time ago. When we “got back together” I would think, “damn, this person just gets me.” Shared history is usually a gift, and should be treated as such in a lot of cases.
These photos were taken with my ride or die, Victoria Miller, just days before I moved to Chicago. We had the perfect morning together. We shot these photos with the lovely Ashley Krause, had breakfast at Ritter’s (our favorite diner), popped champagne before 12 noon on her balcony, and talked about our dreams for the future. I wish everyone a friend like Tori. The love she has shown me makes this life much sweeter. Thanks for being one of my soulmates.