You need people in your life that pursue and invest in you. Someone who asks how you are. Someone who sees that you aren’t fine even though you say you are. Someone who wants you to tell her something, anything, because she knows that if you aren’t telling her anything, you’re probably not telling anyone.
It’s not easy to develop relationships that are vulnerable enough to know the quirks and warning signs while being steeped with the trust it takes to confront, listen, and patiently pursue until someone is ready to talk. Sometimes that person is someone in our own home, but more often, it’s someone outside of it with just enough distance that they can be there even when those relationships are under stress. And that’s one of the reasons it’s difficult to find that someone. It requires a sacrifice of time to develop. We don’t instantly trust people. We can’t share our life story in one setting. There will always be a few gaps here and there, but people who invest well in our lives connect some dots to find threads woven together to make us who we are.
I have watched young women struggle to find that one lifelong friend who understands them and is fiercely loyal and authentic. But I find the same struggle among women of all ages. Sometimes it’s because of their own expectations of what that friend should be (and not be). They want many boxes ticked off their list without realized the other person is growing and learning, too. We develop friendships through a pursuit of trust, grace, forgiveness, and honesty.
Friendships come and go over time, but it helps when we look forward with an expectation of longevity. We can’t have it all at once. In fact, we can’t ever have it all. There’s always room for growth, and we have to be willing to engage, not just because we need someone but because they need us, too. We need each other to invite authenticity and allow accountability.
We need to ask each other how we are and be willing to answer honestly.