I’ve always believed that people come into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime.
There are some people who enter your life for a short period of time. They’re there during the summer to go lay out by the pool, go to concerts, or be outdoors with. They’re there during the winter to hit the slopes, make hot cocoa, or snuggle up with. And once the season closes, you may not see them again until the next.
There are some people who slide into our lives right when you need them the most. When you’re going through a rough patch, hit a few speed bumps, they’re there to hold your hand and see you through. And as soon as you’re able to walk on your own again, they fall away as quickly as they appeared.
Then, there are the people that are in it until the very end. That unconditionally love you no matter what mistakes you make. Against insurmountable odds, they remain steadfast and complete throughout.
Each of these categories of friendship are important – they serve their purpose and we wouldn’t be human without them.
But, it’s those lifetime friends that truly make a difference.
They’re the people we can turn to no matter what is going on. They’re not only the people you can call at four in the morning when you’ve had a little too much to drink and have accidently dropped your keys down the elevator shaft (hypothetically, of course), but they’re the ones that know you, inside and out, and love you despite all of your flaws.
They love you, for you.
It amazes me how these deep connections are made and how, despite thoughts and wishes, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are stages to achieve this level of intimacy.
After you’re introduced, you go through the acquaintance stage. You’re just trying to get to know each other – feel each other out. You are still putting your “best face forward” as you don’t want to be too forthcoming too quickly. You begin to develop a low level of trust.
Slowly, you become friends. You enjoy each other’s company, love doing things together, and if you get in a little spat, it’s not the end of the world. You bounce back and recover. Your trust in the person is increasing and you begin diving into topics that are a bit stickier – your past, memories, events that have caused both pain and happiness.
Many people get stuck at this stage and mistake it for the highest level of intimacy. In fact, some of these relationships do last a lifetime as they are, without experiencing the deeper connection.
If you’re lucky enough, a few times in your lifetime, you will be blessed with the experience if this intimate, deep connection. With complete and utter transparency, you are able to share anything and everything with this person. You’re not afraid to be open and honest and you’re secure in the relationship. This isn’t a “oh, I hope they’ll still be my friend after tonight,” kind of relationship. It doesn’t matter what happens “tonight,” they’ll be your friend through it all.
To have someone stand by you regardless of circumstance, is magical. They’re there for you even if they’d rather be anywhere else.
It’s those kinds of friendships. Those kinds of intimate relationships that add utmost meaning and value to everything we do, every single day. It doesn’t matter how far apart you are, how long you’ve gone without talking, the second you see them, hear their voice, it feels like they’re right there and you talked to them yesterday.
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” – Unknown
I have been blessed with several of these indescribably close relationships, and I hope for many more to come. Have you? What do you consider a “best friend?”