Ed Sheeran's newest song, "Castle on the Hill", talks about old memories from his childhood and wanting to go back home. He reminisces over the carefree times he had when he was young, playing outside, and about the times when he was older hanging out with his friends.
At one point he starts listing some of his friends, talking about where they are in life right now and says, "these people raised me", and I was struck again by the power of friendship.
I think some people, however, don't understand the power that friendship can have. Many people value friendship when they have it but become bitter towards it once it is gone. If a friendship dissolves for one reason or another, we write about friends who betrayed us, friends who moved on or friends who forgot the forever in BFF. We act as though that friendship no longer has any value because it no longer exists or isn't as strong as it once was.
I think that is a shame.
Our relationships with people have no limit on them. The time frame for when they can impact our lives doesn't end when a friendship does. The relationship we had with them last for a lifetime, despite whether or not we are still in contact with them.
I've been blessed to have only a few really close friends in my lifetime. And I know that sounds odd, but I truly believe that having a few close friends is worth far more than having a ton of friends who you cannot trust with your deepest secrets.
Some friends have taught me to be bold in my dreams, despite the fact that I don't have the talent to back those specific ones up.
Others have taught me the value of laughter and how it's okay to laugh at myself once and a while.
Others have shown me what it means to be vulnerable and taught me that I don't have to be tough and unreachable all the time.
Many of them have taught me to branch out in one way or another and try things outside of my comfort zone.
And every single one of them has brought me unending joy because of their relationships with me.
Some of the friends I mentioned are still in my life. Some, I talk to every once in a while. And others, I haven't spoken to in years. That's the beauty of friendship, the memories and lessons I learn never die. My friendships with people truly are what has helped raise me into the person I am today.
So here's to the friend that I stopped talking to years ago, but who I will always remember as the one who sang with me in my bedroom to the Cheetah Girls.
Here's to the friend who stopped talking to me for a couple years, but came back again.
Here's to the friends I don't always see, but who are always there for me when I need support.
And here's to the friends who are always there in so many different ways- whether it be texting me throughout the week just to make sure I'm doing well and encouraging me in my faith walk.
You all played a major role in my life. And it doesn't matter where you are today, you will always be a part of me because of the way you've changed me.