I’ve blogged plenty about romantic relationships here. However, until recently, I realized that I’d never thought in-depth about another set of relationships in my life: my friends. And specifically, my girlfriends.
I wasn’t great at picking friends in high school. Qualities like “dependable” and “trustworthy” and “honest” aren’t really super appealing to a teenager, especially when compared with qualities like “cool” and “popular” and “wears studded belts.” It wasn’t until I went to college and got in better touch with myself that I met a majority of the people most important to me, outside of my family and Scott (who will legally become my family in 8 days).
Friendship is a truly remarkable thing. Because, compared with family relationships–which are based on biology and blood and law and lineage–and romantic relationships–which are also based on biology (but in a different way), and also based on the law if the couple chooses to marry–there is no biological, legal, or other type of binding force that compels a friendship to occur. There are no tax breaks, no certificates, no genetics involved. A friendship is made possible completely and totally by the mutual agency of the two parties. Friendship is the purest form of love, because love and love alone is what binds two friends together.
I had my bachelorette party in Portland last weekend, which I could not have done without my BFF Katie, and I was lucky enough to have friends from around the country–Vegas, L.A., Washington state–go the distance to meet together. It was fascinating and heartwarming to see women I had known since I was 9 years old meet each other for the first time, get along, and even form new friendships amongst themselves. Each one of them went through a different stage of life with me: the 5th grade geography bee, high school swim team, my part-time job in college, even the Peace Corps. Each one of them helped me move apartments, gave me back rubs, pulled over to let me throw up out the window while driving home from a party, brought me ice cream after a break-up, wrote me a heartfelt note after the death of a friend, listened to me cry after retelling a traumatic event. I would not be who I am without these people. And it’s crazy to think, as Carrie Bradshaw says in Season 6 of Sex and the City, “What if we had never met?”
Friendship is absolutely, positively underrated. And though I’ve found a man that I love and loves me, who also happens to be my friend, that does not diminish the presence of the incredible female forces in my life that have been there for me and will continue to be there for me. There are different types of love in this life, and we need them all.