{best friends}

Last week I mentioned that life has a way of handing me conversation after conversation on the same subject - carefully dancing around it, nudging me toward it without coming out and saying: Whitney you ought to deal with this. And normally I notice it, feeling one part shocked by coincidence and another part relieved that, yes, all we twenty something's are on the same page. 

Lately there has been a lot of talk around friendships between my friends and me (convenient people to have it with, I tell ya) and it seems that we're all trying to sort through this post-graduate world very carefully. Aware now, more than ever, how badly we yearn for deeper relationships, and yet, contrastingly, how independent we are - savoring our rare alone time and wanting to create our own worlds, establish ourselves. 

So how do you find a balance? And how do you know which of these relationships are as real and true as the ones you made in high school and college? Who can you let in to your heart? 

I was recently talking with my owly-wise friend, Maggie, about it. I was frustrated by a situation and called her and said: Mag, I need you to speak truth to me. Why is this bothering me so much? 

She told me two things. 

One, I already knew but needed to be reminded: I have a tendency to not give up on friendships (or anything- e.g. even unsalvageable DIY projects). Which, as Maggie so kindly told me, is wonderful when they're life-giving. But when they're no longer good and pure, unfortunately, is often when I really dig my heels in. It can't not work. This is a project and I will fix it! And get an A! Plus! (<<< that's my brain) 

But Maggie said you have to ask yourself this question: is this friendship depleting me? Or completing me? Because those that deplete, stress and exhaust us are not worth fighting for. The ones that are fulfilling - that both parties care deeply for one another and want to invest - are the ones you fight for even when they get rocky. 

And it's important to differentiate between the two.

Do you cut the other people out? Certainly not (unless they're truly hurtful). But because our hearts are tender and time is precious, it can help us invest wisely and understand that when the friendship isn't growing like we'd like it to, maybe it doesn't mean we try harder, but instead appreciate the friendship for what it is. Whether that be just a fun friend, or a try-new-restaurants friend or a perfect-for-work-friend, we need and crave different levels of friendship. And not everyone can be the come-in-to-the-deep-corners-of-your-heart-friend. That is a special spot, you know.

As my mom often reminds me: the very best, deep, true friendships are once in a lifetime. And if you're lucky enough to find more than one in a lifetime, you are very lucky.

I most certainly agree, Muff. :)