“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

We could agree that the epitome of a great friendship is someone who can be around you without judgment. They love you no matter what. A friendship is only as good to the degree in which they support one another. If the purpose of a friendship was to build each other up and the relationship was producing the opposite effect could you call that a friendship? Does it still support the definition of friendship?

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

My closest relationships come from my childhood friends. These relationships are the most special to me because they know everything about me, and they choose to love me anyway. That’s what I call my inner circle. The inner circle is small by design. It’s built that way so that I can give it the most amount of attention possible. It takes a lot of work to maintain these relationships, but they mean the most to me, so it’s worth putting in the effort it takes to keep them healthy. Some of my childhood relationships took more work to maintain than it was worth. I realized as I got older that I only tried to keep them because of the great memories these relationships once produced even though it was a mental suck to try and keep them in the first place. As sad and difficult as it was I had to cut those relationships off.

There’s also the outer circle. Here’s where I’ve developed some really great friendships. The outer circle of friends are people who I get along with but don’t necessarily confide in. We laugh easily and can maintain niceties, but that’s are far as those connections go. Once in a while, a new person enters my family’s inner circle. It’s rare, but it has happened. These new found relationships are exciting and invigorating to us because they shouldn’t work but they do. It’s common as we get older to become set in our ways. To be open enough to let someone else into our inner circle takes courage and willingness to let other people in. Learning something new about them, helps us learn something new about ourselves.

It’s been by the help of some of my friends who have brought me through the most difficult times in my life and without their support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Which is why I believe one of the most important things we can do as we grow older is to foster a handful of people we would go to the ends of the earth for and in return they would do the same for us.