know there are names you used to scrawl across Christmas cards — that don’t get written down on cards anymore.
Names of friends whose number you once knew by heart, whose laugh you’d still know anywhere, whose presence in a room made you feel known — but somehow, life, or you, or them, or something, moved and moved on — and there’s this always wishing the story had unfolded another way and a story you wish you could get back — or change.
I know because I miss faces and names and friends whose now only come to meet me down bittersweet long lanes of memories.
Sometimes you think a friend will walk with you till you reach forever — but they were only meant to walk with you till you reached the end of a season that’s grown you both into different people.
And you look in the mirror at the person you’ve now become — and you’ve grown into a person that’s committed to make space for people to come. Because you realize: We imitate the habits of the five people we are most intimate with.
Because you know it now more than ever: The fragility of friendships begs that we handle time together with care.
That we make time for friends because time and life together is a fragile thing.
You know it now, especially this time of year, and it really means something to you:
Lacking friends is as bad for the heart as smoking is. Loneliness causes you to live eight years less.
Friendship literally helps you breathe. More friends, less stress. What keeps us strong is the strength of our bonds. The best, proven supplement is supplementing everything with friendship.
And sure, you can always count on death and taxes —- but where are the people you can count on? Who are your people who will show up when everything’s going downhill?
You need your 5 ride or die, your Moai — your people who gather for safety and support, advocacy and accountability, courage and connection.
Life has enough traps of its own; everyone needs friends who are a safety net.
It’s never too late to have your own Moai — it’s never too late to pull out some cheese boards, lay out some slices of fresh goodness and invite some people over and create a circle of safe.
Whatever the story you tell yourself in your head about friendship — it’s never too late to rewrite the story you tell yourself in your head, about you and friendship.
How to Rewrite the Story of Your Friendships
“I am not good at friendships” —-> I am committed to daily practicing the art of friendship
“I can’t find friends” —-> I can find interests that let me show interest in people, and I can find ways every single day to show up for just one person
“I don’t have time for friends” —-> When I make time for friends, I get more time to live, more time to enjoy my life
“I don’t trust anyone to be a friend” —-> I can always have boundaries, and I can always find ways to be safe
“I have been hurt by friends” —> I have been hurt deeply because I have loved deeply. Only hard hearts never hurt. Only what’s buried never breaks.
The only way to never hurt is to never share your heart. Keeping your heart guarded, keeps your joy imprisoned. The risk of hurt is worth the reward of friendship.
“No one understands me enough to be a good friend” —-> No one person can understand everything, but when enough different friends together stand with you, you you feel understood.
“I’m too broken for friendships” —-> I am not alone in my brokenness and vulnerability is the key to intimacy.
“I don’t belong at the table of friends” —-> I always belong at some table — I just need the courage to build that table.
I tell that tentative face staring back at me in the mirror what I really want her to know about friendship, even now:
Like they say: Friendship doesn’t mean you have to be interesting enough, you simply have to be interested enough.“Curious people discover friendships everywhere. Ask thoughtful questions and life will answer you with thoughtful friendships.”
Curious people discover friendships everywhere. Ask thoughtful questions and life will answer you with thoughtful friendships.
Friendship is less about having a lot in common, and more about having a commitment to care about someone’s common, every day life.
People committed to growth — grow friendships.
And time is the dialect of all friendship.
And there is still time, especially now, to begin again, reach again, make space again.
Connection is its own kind of cure.
So let the snow fall. Let the holidays begin!
And let it, even now, be the best of times, the celebrating and cherishing our people, the laying out the table with bowls and boards and all the piled high goodness, and this gift of jotting down names that mean the world to us, and names of people to begin new friend stories with — your very own ride or die Moai of 5 — names and faces to invite into your world, to find a way of simply saying:
I will be your friend,
A Lifter of your chin,
A believer of your dreams,
A Circle of safe for your soul.
I will be your kind —
always deeply kind,
always a porch light on,
always a place to call home.
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