All friends are different.

Some friends you grew up with.  These friends know the you before you matured, became educated and got a job.  They are the people you may not become friends with if you met them now because you have grown to have different interests and walk in different circles, but the childhood innocence you shared keep your bond strong.  These are literally friends for a lifetime.

Some friends you just hit it off with.  They may be your teammate from high school, a roommate in college or a colleague with a cubicle next to yours whose company you simply enjoy.  These friendships are defined by camaraderie.

Some friends you share an interest with.  These are classmates from college, a fellow listener at a book reading or a person you met while taking bird watching lessons.  These are friendships that grow hand in hand with your personal pursuits.

Some friends are also your colleagues.  These are people that you gossip about coworkers, complain about asshole bosses and bitch about the long hours.  These friends are your war buddies, the people with whom you exchange your stories that only co-workers can understand.

Some friends are blast from the past.  These are people you’ve known for a long time but have been friends for a much shorter period.  Whether because of nostalgia or changed personality, you randomly run into these people for the first time since high school or college and hit it off in the way you never did back when you first knew them.  These friendships are  proof that people change, and that’s a good thing.

Some friends are of the past.  You may have gone to elementary school with them or were roommates in college, but you’ve drifted apart.  If these people call you, you’ll pick up the phone, but these old friendships are proof that when people change, some things are lost.

Some friends are random.  These are people you met at a party, bumped into on the street, or got to know through a friend’s roommates’ girlfriend.  These friendships make you appreciate life because they don’t give an easy answer to “how did you two meet?”

Some friends are rivals.  These are people that you admire and you respect who are pursuing the same goals as you.  These friends push you to become better and stronger.  In these friendships, there are winners and losers.

Some friends are just Facebook friends.  These are people you barely know whom you became “friends” with by a click of a button.  These friends define our generation.

Some friends have specialized roles.  These are people you always go see movies with, always have dinner together or always talk politics.  These friendships are defined by what you do with them, not because you don’t want to do anything else with them, but because that’s just the way the friendship goes.

Some friends are mentors.  These are not necessarily the people you enjoy spending time with because they tell you things you don’t want to hear.  These friendships are awkward because you don’t know what you have in common with them, but you appreciate them because they care about you, are willing to listen and provide insight that friends you’re comfortable with either can’t or won’t.

Some friends are distant. These are people that you have spent only a short amount of time with, yet you consider them a friend because of the impact they had on your life.  These friendships are built on life-changing experiences rather than the time you’ve spent together.  You may have seen these friends once and rarely talk to them, but you always think about them.

Some friends are complicated.  These are people with whom at one point you had more than a friendship but in the aftermath, a friendship survived.  These friendships have boundaries that both sides understand cannot be crossed.

Some friends are just friends.  These are people with whom you’re hoping to have more than a friendship, but because of you, your friend or some circumstance, you can’t.  These friendships have boundaries that you can’t cross that your friend doesn’t know about.

Some friends are everything.  These are people with whom you share everything and who understand you better than you understand yourself.  They are a friend, mentor and counselor all at the same time.  These friendships you rely on.

Some friends are family.  These are people who will defend you, protect you and fight for you and will do so unconditionally and without asking a question.  These friendships are a rarity.

Some friends are not friends.  These are people you have an affection for, but the feeling is not mutual.  These friendships make you feel empty and unwanted.

Some friends were friends.  These people betrayed you, damaging the relationship irreparably and leaving you with pain and hurt.  These friendships teach you important lessons about life.

Some friends are lost and you just miss them.

But all friends make your life worth living.


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