I used to think that I was a quality over quantity type of gal. That having too many friends would somehow dilute the closeness of the friendships I had. (Silly, right?) But I'm finally starting to realize that if you're purposeful in choosing the people you surround yourself with, you can never have too many friends - it's kind of like what they say about having multiple kids - your heart grows to accommodate the love you have for them. More cheerleaders, more encouragers, more accountability, more positive voices... those are all really good things.
There are friends that you grow up with and there are the friends you meet in college and there are friends that arrive in your life unexpectedly right when you need them. I am lucky enough to still have close, personal friendships with people from all three of those phases of my life.
The ones you grow up with know the good, the bad, and the ugly - they know all about where you came from and your crazy family and how awkward you were in middle school. They have the pictures to prove it. You may have had your ups and downs, but you weathered the storm. And they love you in spite of it all.
The college friends are the ones who you were with when you figured life out - you made career choices alongside them, and they've cheered you on as you went to grad school or made big moves. They may have been the first people you told that your boyfriend was "the one." You pulled all-nighters together and had dorm room dance parties. They're probably the first friends you actually got to choose, so you better hope you had the good sense between ages 18-22 to choose well. Luckily, somehow - I did.
The unexpected friends are the ones who arrive in your life unannounced, delivered for what seems like a special purpose. They relate to where you are in life, they have similar goals, they seem like people you've known for a decade even though you "met" them on Instagram or through friends of friends or struck up a conversation with them at the gym.
I have to say, perhaps I've never been more thankful for my friends than I have been in the past month. I've been incredibly blessed - I'm surrounded with strong, courageous, funny, understanding women who know exactly what to say and when to listen. And I think that's probably rare.
My friends truly make me want to be the type of people they are...
They've made me laugh out loud with a simple text.
They've shown me how deeply they care by caring well for others.
They've called me just to talk about nothing.
They've shared in joy and sadness and said the very words I needed to hear.
They've encouraged me to face my fears and see life as the adventure that it is.
They've shown me the importance of love and community and relationships and immersing yourself in a group of people who make you your best and accept you at your worst.
During my month of gratitude, I've realized that it's not only essential to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness within yourself, but it's important to let others know how grateful you are for them. Send your friends a text or even better, drop a note in the mail, and let them know they're the best.
Gratitude is contagious, so why not share it.