Two women in a car, one in the driver's seat

What would life be without friendship?

Think back to all the experiences you’ve had since early childhood. From the most mundane to the most significant moments, chances are that many of these were experienced in the company of a friend. 

As you’ve probably seen in your own life, friends come in all forms—each serving a distinct purpose in our lives. 

For me, an only child who grew up on the other side of the world from much of my family, I’ve always clung on to my friends with a certain loyalty. Whether it be a friendship forged over a mutual dislike of a professor’s lecturing style or a friendship woven so intricately that the line between friend and family becomes blurry, my devotion to my friends runs deep. 

Each one of my friends offers a particular comfort, a safe space to return to, time and time again. Friendship provides a place where I can be myself, share my anxieties and give and receive advice. It also provides a place to enjoy life with someone by your side.

Each one of my friends offers a particular comfort, a safe space to return to, time and time again.

There are the friends who make you lose track of time when you’re together—spinning hours of entertainment out of thin air and laughing at every minor occurrence. There are the friends who have seen you at your very worst, listening to you cry until the tears run dry and your throat is raw. The ones who you know would drop anything and everything to help you.

And of course, we all have the people in our lives who transcend the confines of friendship. These are the ones who will always be welcome to stay for dinner, who tag along on family vacations and who we suspect our own parents might love more than we do. I consider myself extremely blessed to be surrounded with some truly amazing friends. These are people who I can have the best time with whether we’re traveling across the country or just going for a drive to our neighborhood Target. 

Although there have been some bumps along the way in the form of toxic friends and one-sided friendships, I’ve come out on the other side with the best friends that I could have asked for, withstanding the test of time, distance and wildly enough, a year-long global pandemic. 

I’ve come out on the other side with the best friends that I could have asked for.

Despite the upsides of friendship, even the closest friends experience the occasional tear in the fabric of the relationship. Friendships can be extremely difficult to navigate. Losing a friendship can be brutal. Watching someone go from your best friend to a stranger hurts. There’s no denying that. However, there is beauty to be found in working through the blips and ups-and-downs of friendship. 

If someone’s presence in your life is worth fighting for, it’s quite simple: fight for that friendship. Letting go is normal and an inevitable facet of friendship, but for those few, select friends who make each day brighter and better, the journey is worth it. 

On this International Day of Friendship, take a moment to reflect on the types of friendship you have and the ones that have even ended. Be grateful for the friends who have traveled with you this far in the journey and celebrate the friends that are still yet to come. 

Who are the friends in your life that have helped you grow? Why are friendships worth fighting for?

Image via Frank Terry, Darling Issue No. 13

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