The Importance of Keeping Good Girlfriends

Last Friday, I headed down to Connecticut on my own to visit one of my girlfriends, B, who had planned out the entire weekend--we went out on Cinco de Mayo, cooked a scramble loaded with veggies for breakfast on Saturday before a 2-hour hike, skipped the art museum to snack on 'healthy' fast food and watch a couple Friends reruns before a sushi dinner, walked through beautiful neighborhoods to brunch reservations on Sunday, then wandered Elizabeth Park before treating ourselves to pedicures and juices, and stayed up late drinking tea and chatting on the couch each night. A few years ago, we met in New York, had burgers and split mac and cheese for lunch, walked through Central Park, wandered The Met, then picked out cleansers at Aesop. No matter where we are or what we're doing, it's always an enjoyable time.

B and I quickly became close friends our freshman year at university. Sophomore year, we were suite-mates and senior year we were apartment-mates. Towards the end of senior year, we'd go out for dumplings or sit in ice cream shops, reflect on the past four years, chat about our future plans, and promise to stay in touch. My four closest girlfriends are ones I met at university and all strong, independent women who I'm proud to call my best friends. B is working on her PhD, one is racking up promotions, one is planning for marriage and a mortgage, and one quit her corporate career to travel the world for a year. Although each year since university seems to drift us further apart geographically, I feel closer to each of them than ever. 

There are countless reasons why it's important to keep good girlfriends. These are some I've been thinking on:

They understand your appreciation of beautiful things. On our way to brunch, I must have stopped at every other house to snap a photo or just exclaim. B not only understood, she often did the same.

They tell you truths you need to hear. That you have something between your teeth, that you're overthinking, that your ex was loco crazy, that you need to recognize your self-worth; on any scale and at either end, they're real with you because they're your consultants, cheerleaders, and confidants.

They help you realize more about yourself and the world around you. They affirm what you know, counter what you think you know, teach you things you didn't know, and give a new and more whole perspective. This is always a good thing.

They get you through the times. They make the good times and make the bad times better.

They let you be you. Because it's a balance, and the relationship is reciprocal. They want you to be the best version of yourself and by letting you be yourself, they let you be that.