I guess you could say I've gone through a lot in the last couple of years. There's been the wonderful experience of founding Hello Parent and getting to work with an amazing, intelligent co-founder. There's also been the very unpleasant experience of watching things go a bit to shit with my home life. Neither of these chapters in my book are complete so we'll leave them be for now. The point of this article is that through the highs and lows during these two years, I've uncovered what true friendship means to me.

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Without giving away too many details, I will admit that I've made some pretty bad mistakes. When I hear people say you shouldn't live your life with regret I think "well good for you. but if I didn't regret some of the crap I've done I'm not sure I'd be classified as having a soul". We all make mistakes. We all have to move past them. It's so much easier to do that when you've got an awesome support system.

I've always had plenty of friends to go out with on the weekends. Dinner, drinking, casual conversation. It's a lovely way to spend a Friday night. I love these friends! One of the lessons I've learned about friendship is that not everyone needs to be your bestie. It's great to have casual friendships where you can go hang for an evening enjoying each other's company. The conversation never gets to heavy and it may be a month before you even speak again. There's relaxation in that kind of friendship. This the type of friendship I valued during my twenties and early thirties. Casual and fun because we had no real life problems yet.

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Then there are the friendships you need to nurture.

Throughout life I've been fortunate enough to meet 5 people that I actually would take a bullet for or give an organ to if they needed it. Another lesson I've learned about friendship...treasure these true friends like gold. There's one problem with the casual friends, they can be finicky. Referring back to those couple of shitty decisions I made over the last few years, I realized those not so close friends can become non-existent friends. When the conversation gets too heavy or they think drama may be heading down the path, some choose to keep their distance. Can't say I blame them. And because it's not a deep rooted friendship it's no real skin off my nose but it does sting to see people turn their back on you especially when you're already down on yourself but it's cool. It's cool.

However, those 5 people that love me no matter what have taught me a lot about the meaning of friendship. Things I wish I'd known 20 years ago. There are lots of friendships that come and go but there are some that last a lifetime. Don't let life get in the way of keeping those friendships strong and intact. I think it's especially important for a woman to have close girlfriends she can confide in. There's something about that girlfriend bond. Knowing that there is someone you can tell all your deepest feelings too and not be judged. Well, hold on. I should take that back. My closest friends may judge me but I always know they got my back. When push comes to shove they may say "you're a dumb bitch" but they also will support my decision and will be right there to say "I told you so!" when I fall. But they catch me. "I told you this was going to happen Amanda. But I love you. Lets get you through this". That's real sisterhood.

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Real friendship in any form, casual to bestie has value. I truly adore my friends. They help keep me sane and often times grounded. Learning that there are all different kinds of friendship and to love each friend for the part they play in my life as been a valuable lesson.