Recently, I was listening to Brandi Carlile's song "That Year" which she wrote about a friend of hers who killed himself when they were 16. The song is a beautiful tribute to friendship but also to accountability between friends. The more I listened to it, the more I thought about my own friends. I have close friends who have known me since I was 18 and still see me regularly. They knew me when I had an enormous perm, when I wore penny loafers and a shirt covered in ducks. What they know about me goes beyond the changes in my physical appearance and style. They have known me long enough to see and experience all of the versions of me there have been over the past 23 years and I know them in the same ways. There is something comforting about friendships that stand the test of time. Old friends keep you humble - they can always dig up an embarrassing picture from the past or an equally embarrassing story. But you can also look into their eyes and know that you are seen in all of your complexity. You can make mistakes. You can take humor too far. You can forget something important or fail to comfort your friend when they need it most. None of us are without fault and, sometimes, the best we can do is to accept responsibility for what we've done. Old friends know that your imperfections are nothing compared to the rest of who your are. It's faith earned.
To all my old friends who read this, I love you.
Oh...and if you don't comment, I'll find an embarrassing picture of you to post because my love knows no bounds.