I recently returned from a weekend at the seaside. I am a beach gal, though my fair skin hates me for it. And this weekend at the beach not only reminded me of my love for lying on a mound of sand and doing absolutely nothing for hours; it also reminded me of my love for lying on a mound of sand and doing absolutely nothing with friends I have come to know and who have come to know me. Friends I can be me around no matter how stinky me happens to be at the moment.
I was not expecting to make friends like this when I moved to Nashville two and a half years ago. I had just come off a year abroad where I had met some amazing people and some true friends but they were what I like to call “one-offs.” People I spent time with individually moreso than in a consistent group setting. This was ok, for a year. But I was thirsty at the end of it. Thirsty for what I had had in college: a group. You know, a group.
Groups, I think, become harder and harder to come by as you distance yourself from the pre-set community culture of school. In real life, you go to work, you go to happy hour with one or two pals and the occasional party where you may recognize a handful of faces. Then you go home and pretend you don’t care you are lacking a group. That you are very grateful for the people you have met and have become friends with. That you don’t miss sitting around a living room and laughing hard at not funny things that seem hilarious simply because you love the people so much who are saying the not funny things. In the real world, you pretend you don’t miss this. But you don’t mean it. You do miss it. You ache for it.
So I was surprised and relieved when a few weeks ago I found myself sitting in a friend’s living room with seven other girls I had come to know and who had come to know me and laughing at I don’t even remember what until two in the morning. Those types of nights feed my soul like nothing else can.
And the girls in that living room are the same soul-feeders I shared a weekend with at the sea. I thank God for them. I don’t know how I made these friends. I don’t know the formula for making friends, and I don’t believe there is one. What happens is God plops beautiful people onto your path exactly when you need them. And you like them and they like you and you have friends. They’re like miracles, really.