Putting the “Friend” in Friendship

Over the past couple of years, I’ve met so many great people and in the process,  have learned a lot about friendship and learned what I need out of a friendship and even what I won’t put up with. I’ve had the extreme fortune to have some really great friends in my life, one of whom I’ve known since 3rd grade. We’ve been through a lot together but I think it’s safe to say our friendship is stronger than ever, even though we live in different states. She’s really taught me a lot about the value of friendship and what it means to be a good friend. She’s there when I need to vent even when she has a boyfriend and is working three jobs. She’s honest when I need to hear it but never harsh. She makes me laugh like no one else can and we have so many great memories and ridiculous inside jokes we could fill a house with them.

Warning! I’m going to use Oprah as an example again here. She once said in one of her episodes of “Life Class” that people ask her a lot how Gayle feels about all of her success and doesn’t she get jealous that Oprah is one of the most known and most wealthy women in the world. And Oprah had one of the greatest responses (as she so often does) that I think I’ve ever heard. She said “absolutely not.” Why? Because Gayle has her own life and her own happiness and most importantly, she has her own success and fulfillment. So because of that, she is never anything but truly happy for Oprah and all of her success. I think this is something a lot of us struggle with and can learn from. It’s only when you’re happy with yourself and realize your own value and fulfillment that you can stop being jealous or envious. And besides, in my opinion, a true friend would never be anything but supportive and happy for you in all your endeavors anyway, no matter what those may be. For me, that’s one of the foundations of a friendship. If you can’t be happy for one another (unless you’re making choices that hurt yourself or others of course), then how can you say you truly care about each other?

We all have learning to do and I think for some this can be a hard lesson. And of course no one is perfect and we all have things to work on and ways in which we can be better friends. I am no exception to that. But I feel extremely blessed to have so many shining examples of great friends in my life (those who can make the not-so-great friends even more apparent). People who have been there when I just needed a good cry. People who have cheered me up. People who have forgiven me when I messed up. People who have always seen the best in me, even when I couldn’t see it myself. People who have never been jealous and who have never wanted anything but the best for me, just like Gayle and Oprah. People who know me better than I even know myself sometimes. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for them so I dedicate this post to all those people who have been there for me over the past 20+ years of my life, whether it be for a 10+ years or 10+ months. I love you all.

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