As all living things need water, so do friendships need nurturing. My mom told me once to always prioritize my friendships over romance, because it’s the friends who will be there for you when the romance stumbles, or when it needs celebration. Jane Austen said “there is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature”, and that’s exactly how I feel, too. Human relationships mean different things to different people, and sometimes we align and often we don’t. So, when you find that certain soul that you DO align with, nourish it.
When I was in college, I worried that I didn’t have enough friends. I considered joining a sorority, so I could collect a few more, like Hummels or stamps. Hilarious, and a little pitiful, thinking like that! Then I opened my eyes, and saw my best friend, Wendy. She and I were Trouble, capital T, Trouble. Everybody knew it. And those popular girls with the cute sweatshirts, grouped in lumps at The Corner Bar or Spring Garden? They were a little jealous, and a little scared. As well they should have been, as Wendy and I would have done absolutely anything for each other, and did. We have matching tattoos, committed minor criminal acts together, and were venomous and vindictive to any unfortunate who slighted the other. Perhaps a little crazy, but we didn’t care – we were having too much fun. Wendy is still my dearest friend, and I would still do anything for her.
Your friends will tell you when you’re being full of crap. They will make you laugh until you cry or wet your pants, and they will not complain when you sob and snot all over their shoulders. If they see your boyfriend out with another woman, they won’t let it slide, and if they think you’ve developed dangerous or unhealthy patterns, they will help you break them. And in return, you will do the same for them. That’s friendship, and it will save your life, again and again.