Updated usually on Mondays and/or Thursdays!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrating 17 Years

Last Sunday, I turned 17 and I spent the day with my friends, which was very exciting because I still can't remember the last time I had celebrated my birthday with friends. Maybe my 10th birthday? I knew I wanted to do something this year since I'll be in college when I turn 18 (wow...). Also, I'm sorry that we haven't been posting every week! Diana and I have been especially busy since it is first semester of senior year. I thought it would be nice to do a little reflecting about friendship for today's post, along with posting some pictures from last Sunday. Having my closest friends all in one place together was so warming and I can't imagine how boring and lonely life would be without them. I know around now is an especially stressful time, but remember that your friends are the ones who will support you.

It's probably not common, but I don't fight with my friends. I honestly don't remember the last time I had drama with a friend. I think it really is that I have really understanding, patient friends who are slow to anger and frustration. Below are 17 things that I've learned about friendship from the past 17 years of my life.


1. Not only a friend, but a role-model
Often times, my friends are the ones pushing me to a better person--more than my parents or teachers. I think it's extremely important to have friends who aren't just your best friends, but also your role-model. My friends and I have similar goals in the characteristics we want to become better at--diligence, kindness, and passion.

2. Talk it out 
This is an obvious, but friends are truly the best listeners. Whether you're emotionally hurt or mentally weary, your friends are the ones who will listen and give you advice. We all need words of comfort every now and then.

3. Starts from within
Friendship starts with you. Ask yourself what characteristic you want in your friends. Ask yourself how you want to grow from friendship. Friendship is a deep relationship that grows and cultivates overtime. It is neither shallow nor superficial.

4. Time and Effort
I know this is one that I am especially continuing to learn. It's important to make time for your friends. It's also important to make an effort to talk to the friends you don't see often. The people you make an effort to talk to regardless of distance are probably the closest. I know that when I go to college, I'll probably keep in contact with several of my closest friends, but not all of them. This leads me to my next one.

5. Not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime
I like to believe that the people in my life are there for a reason. Coincidence? Fate? I don't know. But I do know that the people in my life are absolutely amazing and are one of the largest reasons why I am who I am. Like I said in #4, I probably won't stay in contact with all my friends. It's okay to become distanced from friends. Most relationships don't last a lifetime.

6. Quality over Quantity
It doesn't matter how many friends you have if none of the relationships you have make you a better person. Not all friends will bring the best out of you.

7. Who you are should be enough
While friends should inspire you to become a better person, they shouldn't change who you are. There definitely is a difference. Regardless, your friends will love you for you.

8. Go with your Intuition
When you're deciding whether to trust someone as a friend, go with your intuition. What's your gut feeling of this person?

9. Listen More
Speak, but listen more.

10. Friends > First Loves
The typical teenager will abruptly leave their friends for their significant other. I think it's a great challenge to be mature in those situations and learn to balance both.

11. Learn about Yourself
If I've learned anything from my friendships, I've learned about myself. My friends tell me the type of person I am. My friends tell me about my best characteristics. My friends tell me how I've grown. There's so much to learn about yourself through others.

12. Be Selfless, Be Patient, Be Generous
3 very, very difficult virtues that we should keep challenging ourselves to become better at.

13. Not Limited to Humans
One of the closest friendships I have are with my dogs. I know this is a bit odd, but there is nothing quite like having a companion who is never angry with you. Animal-lovers would understand where I am coming from.

14. Consciousness
"If you realize how vital to your whole spirit--and being and character and mind and health--friendship actually is, you will take time for it. But for so many of us, we have to be in trouble before we remember what's essential. It's one of the lonelinesses of humans that you hold on desperately to things that make you miserable and you only realize what you have when you're almost about to lose it." -John O'Donohue

15. Friendship=Opportunity
A lot of things that I love are because of my friends. This blog is the simplest example. This blog really blossomed out of my friendship with Diana. And because of this blog, we've had opportunities to learn and be recognized.

16. Happiness
Friendships are healthy for the soul.

17. Friendship Expands 
I think it's really, really awesome that as we continue to live, we'll keep cultivating friendships. We may also lose some on the way, but we'll keep meeting amazing people throughout our lives who will continue to mold and shape us to become better people. There are no boundaries to friendship.

Outfit details:
Alice+Olivia floral chiffon dress
Cole Haan red heels

(Diana: Mine was not as fabulous of an outfit--the spotlight should always be on the birthday gal/guy/person--but shirt from Bear House and skirt from Francesca's)

Celebrate, laugh, and eat cake. That's important.

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