I cried this morning.
I cried for no reason and for all the reasons.
Sometimes that happens.
I had been reading through an essay I wrote on friendship and with each paragraph, I felt the lump in my throat getting bigger until, eventually, I stopped reading, put my head in my hands, and sobbed.
Sometimes the fullness of it all just gets to you, you know?
Sometimes you become all too aware of how full, crazy, beautiful, hard, fragile, and amazing life is. Last weekend was one of those times.
And sometimes all those feelings about how full, crazy, beautiful, hard, fragile, and amazing life is bubble up until they pour out as tears. This morning was one of those times.
After a long weekend with longtime and faraway friends, I am feeling both full and empty at the same time. Filled up with gratitude for these friends and for the handful of other sister-friends I have. And empty with a longing for more. There just never seems to be enough time, you know?
Most of the tears were happy tears, grateful tears, cleansing tears, because I am so freaking grateful for these longtime friendships. Friendships that have lasted decades and long-distance moves. Friendships that have survived ups and downs, misunderstandings and reconciliations, hurt feelings and apologies. Friendships that are strong enough to subsist on texts and emails and Facebook messages. Friendships that seem to grow stronger, despite the lack of communication and distance between us.
But a few of the tears were also sad tears, lonely tears, poignant tears, because, as grateful as I am, I am selfish and wanting for more. I want more time together in comfortable silence because we’ve said all the words. I want to be able to call her up and say, “I’m coming over—let’s order pizza.” I want to be able to cry until we laugh and laugh until we cry without needing to plan for it months in advance. I want to know where she gets her hair colored and how messy her car is and the name of her kids’ school. I want to know all those tiny little details of life that you pick up not through conversation, but through living a life that crosses paths effortlessly and consistently.
Call me selfish, but I want that. Maybe we all do.
Deep down, I think there is a basic human need to feel seen and heard and understood. And that is just what time with good friends is—an opportunity to see, hear, and understand each other. Lord knows, we don’t always agree and our lives look very different, but those differences don’t really seem to matter. In fact, it might be what makes friendship so amazing. There is something downright magical about being with people who lift you up. People who help you be the best version of yourself. People who, at the same time, remind you that you are more than enough just as you are.
And yet like all powerful, essential, and beautiful relationships, friendship can be really hard sometimes. It’s hard to find the time for each other, hard to look past differences, hard to let ourselves be vulnerable enough to be seen and heard and understood.
Friendships are full, crazy, beautiful, hard, fragile, and amazing—just like life.
And that’s why, sometimes, I put my head in my hands and cry.
But then I grab my phone and text a friend: “I miss you.” She texts back a silly picture and “I miss you too.”
And, together, though thousands of miles apart, we smile and laugh, knowing that it might not be all that we want, but it is still more than enough.