Can we talk about friends? Let’s! Because I adore mine. I can’t really explain to you how much of a downer I am to be around right now. But my friends, they like me anyway. When people ask how things are going and I answer, I’m beginning to recognize a universal response that looks a lot like pity… because it is pity. Yesterday, one of my lovely friends kept saying, “I don’t like that story” after, well, every story I told. And I couldn’t blame her.
But here’s the thing, by the end of the evening of hanging out with my fabulous friends, we were all laughing our heads off. These friends of mine? They all have some mighty reasons for sadness right now so we get together and laugh instead. That is what good friends give each other, a reason to laugh in the middle of sad.
One of my friend’s guaranteed recipe for stress relief is to go to a grocery store and squish the loaves of bread. This same friend has been known to chase down and then give a dressing down to drivers who tear too fast through her kid-packed neighborhood. She is a self-described crazy lady but she is so good for my soul. I giggle every time I walk down the bread aisle. I don’t actually need to squeeze the bread myself or chase down reckless drivers. Thinking of her doing it is enough to relieve my stress. She has personality in spades. Every once in a while, a shovel full of that personality is just what I need.
Another of my friends is the kind of put together that is the envy of all women but she lets us into the cracks of her facade. She is endearingly and encouragingly flawed and way too hard on herself for it. She is so worth encouraging and so giftedly present and listening in every crisis.
Then there’s L. She says, “hey lady.” And you feel as though you’ve just gotten a compliment. She loves fiercely and loyally and you’d do anything to be on the list of those she defends. She is the kind of ambitious that makes everyone suddenly want a nap. Girl has crazy midas touch skills. Everything she touches comes out brilliantly better than it was before.
I suppose it’s possible to have a full life without friends but that would be like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips – still good but mysteriously missing something.
My chocolatety chippy friends make it easier for me to breathe and dive back into my life. They are the very best therapy. With them I love my family more, work harder, and remember what is important and align accordingly. Could I do those things without them? I never want to know.