It hasn’t been easy to be my friend lately.

Sometimes life is stormy – mine has been. And I’ve never really been the kind of person who weathers storms well. My lack of weathering skills…sometimes it becomes a storm in itself.

I’m picturing a storm on the ocean, all wind-tossed waves and rain-splattered sand. I’ve witnessed a lot of those storms in the muggy, magic South Carolina lowcountry where I spent my childhood. And there’s this weird thing that happens during beach storms: during every single one, there are the slightest glimpses and flashes of sunlight, glinting across the waves.

Life is like that too.

Today, right in the middle of my storm, I heard a knock on the door. I ignored it at first, imagining an RA or a hall council member with some kind of request I wasn’t interested in. I figured it was something I could ignore.

But it wasn’t. Waiting as soon as I opened my door were the kind, familiar faces of three of my best friends. I hadn’t responded to texts or calls or anything else for a full 24 hours, so they did what friends do – they just showed up.

It was a simple act, nothing dramatic. And I’m not trying to say that a few hours laughing and eating junk food and watching bad TV fixed my life. I still have confusing, painful things to figure out – and it’s still my responsibility and my fault.

And I don’t mean to say that you can depend on friendship for everything. People let you down; they always do. And not everyone will be there for you when they think you will – there’s nothing like a crisis to teach you that. And ultimately, you have to get through life yourself. You certainly can’t ask anyone to do it for you.

But friendship is just like that sunlight at the beach. In the middle of the storm, it gives you enough time to take a breath, enough strength to keep fighting for one more day.

Tonight, we finally decided to develop a camera we bought months ago, on a weekend trip to Savannah. My memories of that weekend are a warm, colorful, salty blur – and they’re happy. I remember ghosts and seafood and friendship and joy, and I’m so grateful for it.

The camera we bought was from Urban Outfitters and it had a nice hipster touch added: each photo developed with its on Chinese-cookie-style fortune. As I was flipping through the stack, this one made stop and catch my breath:

There is a true and a sincere friendship between you. 

It’s true – nothing is perfect. But I am blessed.

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