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Friends Are Inconvenient

I rush in, laptop in hand and hair in a clip, late after being stuck on a call and looking for parking. Legging and sporting a makeupless face again? Cute. I grab the tape in between answering a coworker via good ole gchat, and help my friends finish hanging the last streamer in the cafe where we planned to surprise our friend for her birthday. 

As we finish decorating the little corner booth in the most attention seeking, narcissistic manner (how else are people to know a birthday is in their midst), my friends and I joke around while we wait with our birthday horns (a birthday staple). I have meetings starting in an hour and begin to get restless. One of my friends notices and says ‘thank you so much for coming, I know we’re all busy and it’s inconvenient timing’. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Birthday girl would do the exact same thing in a heartbeat for me. 

And that’s when we voiced the charming thought – friends are inconvenient.  There I said it.

In today’s rise and grind mindset, time is truly the most valuable thing you can offer someone. Friendship isn’t about grand gestures or lavish gifts (though if anyone wants to fly me to Europe or offer up a yacht trip, who am I to refuse?); it’s about showing up, fully present, in both the messy and beautiful moments of life even when the timing isn’t perfect. 

If you want to argue that point, let me gift you the introspection that you’re probably not a great friend (oof, there I said it)

In our fast-paced lives filled with obnoxious notifications and obligations, it’s easy to let moments slip by unnoticed or written off as a ‘next time’. But it’s in these seemingly insignificantly small gestures that the foundation of true friendship is laid. 

It’s showing up when their meltdown didn’t make your calendar. It’s flying in for baby showers, when you could be buying a ticket to a beach. It’s moving duties and late nights; cafe birthday lunches with the complete package of streamers and strangers singing. It’s getting up and driving at midnight to look for a friend who totaled her car by hitting a bear and doesn’t know where she is on the side of the road (true story, good times). 

There’s never going to be a convenient time to care. 

But that’s the hallmark to friendship, right? It’s making time and showing up regardless, when the chaos of the spinning world doesn’t seem to give a flip.

My best friends in life aren’t my friends simply because we have a good time together. The ones closest to me are the ones who have been there day in and day out when my world has fallen apart. That sat on the ground in silence just to be a presence when there was nothing else to say. They could have been doing quite literally anything else.  I don’t know what actives tickle your fancy, but sitting on the ground with a despresso espresso gal and nothing to say or fix it isn’t a good time in my book.

These are the people that make life rich. I love a good experience but gosh darn it put me on a curb with my favorite people and we’ll still have a good time. And maybe even a bad time if someone decides to have a breakdown – but at least we’ll be together darn it. 

In a world of low maintenance friendships that cancel at the slightest inconvenience, be the one to care a little. Be inconvenienced. Show up anyways. 

So here’s to showing up, even when it’s inconvenient. Here’s to being there for each other, no matter the circumstances. Because at the end of the day, the best things in life are inconvenient. What a privilege it is to be inconvenienced by friends. And if you currently aren’t both inconveniencing and being inconvenienced by good friends, kindly recognize that and go find your people.

*disclosure: this is entirely separate from bending over backwards for people that wouldn’t do the same. This post and intention is for cultivating good friendships with people that mutually understand the importance of friendship. 

Today I was both inconvenienced myself and inconvenienced someone else – and you know what? It feels good. Go find your people.

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