I just dropped my friend, Victoria, off at the airport this morning after spending the week together catching up, shopping, gossiping, and indulging our every whim in regards to food and booze. It was heavenly for both of us. For her, coming back to Seattle for the first time since we went to school together six years ago was a much-needed break from the constant reminders back home of her mother’s death five months ago. And for me, having her here to talk to and hang out with was exactly the kind of love and support I’ve needed since busting out on my own again into a much simpler, quieter life than I was accustomed to.
Victoria and I were fast and fierce friends from the get-go, and one of the things I love about our friendship is that unquestionable ability to resume wherever it is we last left off as if no time or distance between us has passed. After a sushi dinner on Wednesday night, Victoria and I were talking about what it would be like if, God willing, I ever have the opportunity to tour with a book. Counting up all the friends I have scattered across the country, I realized that I could probably get myself through at least 75% of the states without ever needing to stay in a hotel. I’ve got homies in Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Tucson, Portland, San Diego, and New Jersey, to name a few. You all know who you are, so consider yourselves warned: I am planning to crash on your couches at some point in the (hopefully) near future!
Compiling this list of cross-country friends gave me a very good feeling—to know not only that I have people I love and who love me back covering enough distance to propel me on a publicity tour, but more importantly, to know that I am a good enough friend to maintain life-long friendships with people who I don’t even get to see very often.
I’ve always valued the education my parents gave me by modeling good behavior in their own friendships; by watching them nurture their own relationships while I was a kid, I was able to appreciate just how important those social skills really are because I could see the benefits on a daily basis. Both of my brothers have similar social circles, consisting of both nearby friends as well as old buddies, so my parents obviously trusted that the ability to create and maintain lasting friendships was worth imprinting on us. I am so thankful for this, and I know Gabe and Dylan are as well.
Going to camp also strengthened these qualities and values for the three of us and many of our friends; learning how to share a living space with other people, keep up correspondence throughout the winter months, and best of all let loose with our peeps continues to serve us well.
Everyone knows that I am grateful to my parents for just about a million reasons, but teaching me how to be a good friend is definitely in the top three. To be loyal, to be honest, to be compassionate, and to be able to be goofy in my friendships—these were the happy tenets of my childhood.