• Audrey Cochran

A Case for Friendship

We can all think back to that friend from our treehouse days that we swore to be best friends with forever. While we had no concept of forever or the amount of commitment this promise would require, there was this seemingly innate desire inside us to be together for as long as our little minds could possibly comprehend. It's the sleepless sleepovers, the continuous conversations, the song that's on repeat all night long. Even when we were young, we could tell that we had found something good, and we never wanted to let it go. But what do we do when the moment ends, when the challenge hits, when the hurt comes? While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, my young mind had decided there was such an answer. That answer was distance. I saw distance as a protector and a punisher. Defensively, distance helped me avoid conflict and suppress my feelings. Offensively, I used distance to help me in my efforts to make others feel just as terrible and helpless as I did. My choice of distance has cost me a lot of friendships over the years, even to the point where I hadn't held a close friendship with someone for more than a few years at a time.

I can still remember the first real fight I had with Dani. It was in our first apartment together. While I can't recall all the words that were said, I remember starting to build up my wall against her right then and there. Again, I chose to distance myself from a dear friend, at least as much as I could in a shared apartment. It wasn't long before our mutual friends noticed, but rather than taking sides, they fought for our friendship, even when we weren't willing. With their help, Dani and I started to learn what real and long-lasting friendship takes. The cost was higher than either of us bargained for and we had to decide if our friendship was worth it. With time, we boldly decided that we (the always late to the bus, workout avoiding, late-night talking, crafting, faith-building, low to no budget, cookie dough obsessed, Project Runway loving duo) were in fact worth every penny. My friendship with Dani has taught me so many things over the years, but one truth that particularly sticks out is that love endures all things. She has shown me that valuable and enduring friendship is possible--that it doesn't have to stop when the moment ends, or when the challenge hits, or when the hurt comes. We know and accept that life will throw us curveballs and that we will even throw some at each other. But we can forgive. We can learn. We can grow. Love endures all things.

What I'm saying here is that I know true and lasting friendship isn't easy. Not everyone has it. If you don't have it yet, don't give up striving for it. And if you do have it, I know and appreciate how hard you work to get there and stay there. Your friendship is worth fighting for, worth growing in, and worth celebrating. I offer forever friends sessions to help celebrate these friendships that can often go overlooked. These sessions are memorable and fun experiences that produce beautiful photos, which can serve as reminders to be grateful for one another. Let's decide to encourage one another, celebrate the little things, and be grateful for the ones who love us through this crazy life.

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