I was sad today.

I was sad, and I wanted to be alone. Being around people felt like the biggest, most monumental task and I just couldn’t muster the energy for it.

But I did see my best friend for about five seconds, mostly because I left my whole life at her house last night, as I always do. And in that five seconds, as she always does, she managed to astonish me again with what a genuinely good person she is – one of the best and most exceptional people I know wrapped up in the smallest, blondest package.

I was tired and reticent and dully depressed, trudging out the door in pajamas and last night’s Halloween makeup. And instead of wondering what was wrong with me or why I couldn’t just get it together, or why I couldn’t just be fun, she very simply and unassumingly offered up her house as a place to be sad. “You know you can always do that, right?” she said. “You know our house is always, always open to you?”

I was a mess today. I obviously wasn’t going to add anything to her day by being over. But that’s not always what friendship is about. She understands that, and I’m starting to as well.

Out of everything I’ve been blessed with in this season of my life, I’m most grateful for deeper and more genuine friendships. I’m learning what it means – and how much it means – to have friendships that mean something to you far beyond going out and grabbing lunch together and Facebook chatting. To have friends that you love not necessarily because of commonalities or shared activities, but because of conversation – because you actually know them and care about them.

And I think a huge part of that is letting your friends feel what they feel.

Let them cry. Let them complain. Let them not be okay. Let them not have it together. Let them be upset. Let them be confused. Let them be angry.

It’s wonderful to have a good time – but sometimes the best thing you can offer someone you care about is the opportunity to forgo all that.

Sometimes life is lovely. Sometimes it’s full of new experiences and excitement and adventure and just…good things. And sometimes life is hard and people fail you and experiences grow dull and you don’t know how to fix yourself and you don’t know how to even take your next step.

Let life be that way for your friends. Be a part of their whole lives, not just the parts that are enjoyable. And don’t be afraid to be sad around the people in your life, either. You’ll see your friendships grow and flourish in a way you couldn’t have imagined.

If you care about someone…let them be sad.