By Shaquana Rodd
Friendship is essential for every aspect of our lives rather that means being a confidant, travel partner, voice of reason, the silly friend, or simply providing advice; we all serve a purpose in the lives of those we love and depend on us to provide a source of support when needed.
Our friendship circles are inclusive as well, including male best friends, sisters, cousins, sorority sisters, college roommates, lifelong friends, and even our parents are included in this friendship spectrum. One of the greatest qualities of a good friend is honesty because even if we don’t want to hear the cold hard truth it is still what we need to hear. Add a dash of acceptance and non-judgmental and you have a recipe for a true friend because nothing beats being your true self, no performative actions required. It has been said many times, you are the company you keep. Think about your inner circle, do they bring out the best in you? Let’s explore the beautiful dynamics of friendships and how the power of friendships brings out the best in us.
There’s Power In…
Let’s face it, we’re not in college anymore and managing life responsibilities such as work, family, and friends has literally become an Olympic sport. Nevertheless, time with your closest crew seems to always serve as an avenue for release. No pressure required. There are many ways to catch up with your besties through dinner dates, a bowling or movie night, or taking group trips. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that mean the most, even if you’re just in each other’s space saying absolutely nothing, your presence is still felt. Remember we’re all simultaneously experiencing different facets of life. Let’s continue to be mindful and show grace towards one another even if we may not truly grasp the full essence of one another’s hardships.
On days when we’re juggling so much and wearing multiple hats, scheduling time away from life’s duties may be hard to do. I find that weekly group calls and group chats have helped me stay in touch with my dear friends and stay up to date with each other. Sometimes just hearing their voices and seeing their silly faces on a video call is just enough to get me through the day. Not only catching up but seeking advice and encouragement goes a long way when you feel life has been giving you a run for your money. Friends are there to remind you of your worth and capability and to push past whatever hurdles may stand in your way.
While we may be experiencing different stages in life, we also must be mindful of what our peers have previously conquered as well. I once heard an older gentleman say that “Parents are the cheat codes to life”. This rang loud and true. They have already gone through what you’re currently experiencing. We may be living in a different time and space, but experiences are still the same. Let’s not be afraid to lean on one another for advice, guidance, and understanding as we navigate life. It’s kind of trippy to think that we all should have life figured out when we’re all truly new to this. As we get older, we must keep in mind that we’ve never had this experience before so everything is still new to us but those who have and are willing to share can make navigating this terrain easier.
Unconsciously, we categorize our friend groups. There’s a friend for every situation in life: travel friends, serious friends, artsy friends, etc. This is great to know who you can turn to when in need. Sharing common interests allows you to be yourself and connect with others on a deeper level. I have found that when you are able to connect with others based on commonality, they tend to feel more comfortable being vulnerable with others. There’s power in showing up as your true self and not having to pretend or hide from others. There’s no pressure or anxiety, just pure bliss. Beautiful friendships can blossom, even in your adult years, when you are able to connect with others through things like your favorite hobbies, volunteering, or social groups. Finding your tribe is essential and gives you gratification in knowing that there are other people out there with similar interests and ideals like you. You’ll feel less alone and more connected to a tribe and purpose.
Friendships are our first introductions to maintaining relationships in life. They give us great practice in the different personalities and characteristics we’ll encounter in life. Within friendships, we see each other through so many different phases in life, relationships, job changes, family dynamics both good and bad. Bonds will be tested but making it through the fire shows just how much that bond means to you. While it is always important to be good to one another, we must also remember to be good to ourselves. Being your own best friend and advocate should always be a priority. When you are good to and for yourself, you earn the capacity to extend that same courtesy outward to others. Remember, there’s power in being a good human being. Let’s all strive to be better versions of ourselves. Cheers to Fellowship and Friendship from RVL Wellness.