Today I heard "That's what friends are for" on the radio, and this is the first time I'm probably saying this "out loud" but that song always makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I know it probably sounds so cheesy and uncharacteristic of me, but those who really know me won't find it surprising. If you really listen to the lyrics, they are so heartfelt, sincere and sweet. I personally don't know where I would be without my friends- the ones I have now and anyone along the way who has made a big impact in my life.
Friends are like the better version of you when you need them to be, and the devil on your shoulder when you are all feeling a bit mischievous. They are your personal crutches when you feel to weak too deal with yourself or with life, but they will be the first to push you off that metaphorical 100 foot drop because you are too afraid to willingly jump. You can tell them things you normally would think best to keep to yourself, without being afraid that they will judge, and the times they do, they are quick to apologize. They'll tell you when that guy you think is so wonderful is an asshole, but be the happiest person in the world if he proves them wrong. If they happened to be right, they are close enough to say "I told you so" but they have enough love and compassion not to.
When I was younger, I had such high expectations of my friends, partly because I too felt the need to live up to those expectations myself. I would be the first one there in times of crisis, and answer calls and pages (yes, no mobile phones yet!) with lightning speed. I felt as if we all had to do everything together, all the time. Growing up, I didn't really have a lot of friends outside of my gymnastics life. I was hardly ever at school after school hours because I went straight to the gym, so when I finally had my own set of friends when my gymnast life was over, I took it REALLY seriously.
There have, of course, been many disappointments in my life when it comes to friends. Some people I thought we're so great in my earlier years turned out to be not so great after all. But I've been through my fair share of ups and downs even with my best friends and what I started to realize more and more is that your real friends won't always be there, I mean, they have their own shit to deal with too right, BUT they will be there when it matters most. They seem to have this radar that can sense when something serious is going on and no matter where they are in the world, they'll make their presence felt.
With the bustle and bustle of life, it gets harder and harder to keep up with friends as we get older, but the ones most important to me finds ways to meet up at least every few weeks to catch up, or stay in touch through the internet or mobile phone almost daily, most of the time a few times through out the day. The daily workings of some friendships might change, but if the nature of it stays the same, which is mutual respect, love and wanting the best for each other, then it doesn't matter that you don't see each other every waking hour of the day. As you get older, quality > quantity.
Of course, I do have those friends I could travel with for months, probably live in the same apartment building as and talk to everyday. Well, those ones, that's on another level of special.
So to the friends I've known for most of my life,the ones I met later on in life and made me wonder why I hadn't met them sooner, those who I met in the most unexpected places, those half way across the world, the ones who know everything going on every second of my day, those who don't know what the hell is going on in my life but always want the best for me, the ones that came and went leaving me with important life lessons, the only "boy friends" that never broke my heart, the twins to my soul.... you know who you are...
Life would totally suck without you.