A sociology professor of mine once based an entire lecture around a single, simple sentiment on the importance of friendship that has stuck with me for the past 6 years; "Don't let anyone ever tell you that friends don't count."
Today I felt the power of this truth ten fold as I once again find myself humbled and deeply grateful for the wonderful friendships surrounding me. I often tell people I feel as if, no matter where I may be living, I somehow manage to hit the jackpot when it comes to my friends. If there ever was a reason to believe in the Universe fully having my back, it lies within the many ways in which my friends always have.
After a day filled with some unpleasantries (to say the least) here's what I know:
1. The family you make for yourself is just as important as the one you are born into; this family, if you let them, is fully capable of providing you with enough love to carry you through a lifetime. My self-made family in particular is one that continues to inspire me daily--I wish to always strive to do the same for them. As the ever so wise Ms. Bradshaw once said, "The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don't, but in the end they're the people you always come home to. Sometimes it's the family you're born into, and sometimes it's the one you make for yourself. " I am so thankful to come home to my friends and for their ability to always...always...accept me (and celebrate me! that's a key piece to the puzzle) exactly as I am.
2. I have sisters on both coasts who fiercely defend me, protect me, support me and lift me. On all things holy, grilled Cheesus included, I swear I would go to the end of the earth and back again for them. When I fully appreciate the love between us (including forcing them to participate in things like a 6-second hug...try it, it's awesome!) my heart understands what it really means to be filled.
3. Thanks in great part to my work, I also have a plethora of kind, funny, smart and generous brothers who have continuously stepped up for me. I'm not sure I could ever fully explain to them how much they mean to me...at least, not without making them massively uncomfortable. I'll save the drama for Michelle Obama, fellas, and stick to the occasional high five and homemade cookies.
4. "Some things don't matter much. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person's heart--now, that matters. The whole problem with people is...they know what matters, but they don't choose it...The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” - The Secret Life of Bees
5. A cheerful delivery of tulips to say "I'm sorry you're not having a good day" is pretty much the perfect catalyst for a sunnier tomorrow. My desk has never looked more lovely. Appreciate the little things, you know? Especially the little things.
Trust me, friends count. Friends count more than anything.