One of the
only major reasons why I went to Dallas this year was because it’s simply the best to be able to see friends who don’t live nearby. It’s one of the bittersweet things about having long distance friendships. It’s, of course, sad to not be able to see them every day. But when you do see them? It’s a feeling that can’t be beat.
Julia is one of those friends. She’s just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. As I’ve gotten older, finding genuine friends is more challenging and also more important. It’s one thing to have a great time with a friend– enjoying dinners, laughing too hard, spending an afternoon doing nothing together. But it’s a whole different ballgame when you talk about truly connecting with someone– letting your guard down, sharing the gritty parts of life, being vulnerable.
There are all kinds of friendships out there and depending on the person/relationship, it takes work to see what kind of level you really mesh well at. I seek out the highest level, although I may not always find it.
I have a couple of litmus tests that work for me. Are you as excited to see the person as she is to see you? Do you get a burst of energy when you hear from them, even if it’s a simple text? Can you be your authentic self around her? Would you be comfortable asking her for help if you needed it? And… the big one… how willing and to what extent are you able to help her if she needs it.
I can’t be a level ten friend with all my friends. It’s impossible and would be unfair to expect that of myself. But, I have a solid group of friends whom I would literally do just about anything for. A friend’s mom is going through something and she just needs me to be there? I’m on the next train. A friend needs courage to make a difficult decision? I’m clearing my calendar to spend the whole afternoon on Skype.
One of the friends I would 100% say is a Level Ten in my book is Julia. I am beyond thankful that blogging brought us together. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I have when I’m with her and I never feel like I have to be anything but myself. We really “get” each other.
Thomas, Julia’s husband, snapped these photos. He’s so talented and even writes a great blog with all kinds of photography tips.
Even though I already miss Julia, we are heading to Alaska together later this month!!! The four of us absolutely can’t wait.