Wednesday, November 25th 2015
During this time of year I tend to do what a lot of people do, and that is to give thanks and think about how lucky I am. With so much other stuff going on around the world, I am thankful for the things I have and the people in my life.
One of the things I truly cherish are the friends I have. Whether it be my friends from growing up, high school, camp, college, or my work – I am lucky to have such great people in my life. Please note that I didn’t say “so many people,” but rather “great” ones. Like many things, I believe that friendships should be about quality and not quantity.
I recently moved back from living abroad for three years. While living in London, I kept in touch with my good friends from the US. Now that I’m back in New York, I am working hard to keep in touch with my friends across the pond. It’s not easy. People have busy lives, and I don’t expect my friendship with those I see on most weekends, to be the same as those who I’ve worked with, or who now live in another country. The point is that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a conscious effort to stay in touch with those who matter most.
Of course, someone that you may have been best friends with in elementary or high school, you might not have as much in common with anymore. That doesn’t mean that either of you did anything wrong, you just grew apart, and that’s okay. What I’ve realized though, is that with everyone’s busy lives, it does take time, effort and energy to stay in touch with good friends.
I attended the sleep away camp that I currently work at over the summers, and through the years I have met some pretty amazing people. I’m lucky to say that I have friends from all over the world. This, however, does not make it easy to maintain a friendship. We have to all try – whether it be emailing, Facebook, Facetime or Skype – it takes work – just like most relationships.
I recently read an article called Dear Girls, Life is too Short For Crappy Friends.
The author, Anna Lind Thomas argues that being popular and liked is overrated. I completely agree. I don’t expect young children and even teens to fully understand this, but I hope that as you grow older, you begin to realize that it’s more important to develop friendships that allow you to be true to yourself.
A lot of people who have experienced camp or a summer program in their lives will often say, “My camp friends are my best friends.” Why is this? Well, there’s something about living with other girls (or guys) for a summer that makes you instantly bond. The relationships I have with my camp friends are different than others. My camp friends have seen me first thing in the morning, they’ve seen me at my worst, and at my best. This is because we are literally together 24/7. Of course we fight, and there’s petty drama, but my camp friends know me better than anyone.
So I know that as a teen, it is hard to believe that sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to having friends. But I hope that if you take anything away from this, it’s that we need to cherish the truly great friendships we have, and not take them for granted. And like Anna Lind Thomas said, “life is too short for crappy friends.”