Yesterday was one of those days that leaves you in that nearly incomprehensible state of shock. No time to process the pace at which the waves of change crash into you. These are the moments when you take stock. You look around to see who you can lean on, ask for grounding, and trust to be there to help you navigate when "It's all happening" faster than you can even summarize the previous hour.
My best friend, Julia has seen hard times. She's known me 22 years, and we had a talk of truth so soul-baring it hurts to recall without cringing. Talks like this shift something without you knowing until hours later, but unplanned tests like these root a friendship or break it. I feel beyond blessed. Blessed to have her and a few others, who have proved invaluable. At the end of that frightful and exhilarating day, Julia sent me this song..."Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit. Folksy harmonies, girl-empowerment fun music. It's no doubt our theme song this year. I bought the entire album. I listen to it now, as I type.
A day like such, is when you find out who, if anyone, really is in your corner. You may even find NEW friendly souls just appear from thin air. I feel beyond blessed for the women (and men) friends I have.
I don't want throngs, I need trusty. The mistral that ensues in times like these serve as a gust of exposure. It either blows people away or reveals their true intentions and loyalty, like windblown sand reveals the beauty of a shimmering shell. In honor of those friends of mine, and friends of that nature everywhere, I offer this list:
She is your companion, your forever friend, your true chosen-sister in life if:
1. She lifts you. I have a rule for myself with all my friends, a motto: "leave them in a better place/mood/mindset than you found them." Sometimes that's merely listening. (see #5) A real friend isn't jealous or competitive. If something good happens, she beams pride. A true friend won't think: "why not me?" She thinks: 'Wow, yay you!" That's maturity and love.
2.She won't bail when things get ugly. We all do dumb things, date idiots, lose sight of the plot or need our little denials. A true friend doesn't condone or encourage poor decisions, and she will not, at any point, ever punish or condemn you for being human. No silent treatments, no games. She never knows when the tables will turn, and support in your worst times is priceless and even more rare.
3. She will admit/forgive mistakes. We all make them, sometimes most with our closest loved ones because they are "safer." Accountability and speedy apologies go a long way. I've always preferred an incredibly awkward talk and cleared air over stonewalling. Learn to detect this one quickly and moon-walk if it's not present.
4. She will tell you the TRUTH. If you asked if you've gained weight, if you ask if you're being irrational, if you ask if she's mad at you, if she is hurt, just needs space or HELP, she will speak honestly. True friends are the only ones you can trust to not sugarcoat because they would expect the same.
5. She knows silent support is a superpower. She knows when you've gone too quiet. She knows that maybe you accompanying her to a hard event as small as a family gathering or as big as a court hearing will give her strength. She shows up without asking, or even after many refusals during a quietly sad moment that needs no words, but your presence.
I thank you, my loving dear friends, the ones that lay in my bed, or bring me coffee, or call because they "feel something is off", or send me care packages, or make me laugh, or keep pestering me when I go into "burrow-mode", or let me cry, or tell me my eyelashes are off, or simply just stand a little closer when the mean people in life get to be too much.