Friendship has always been something I’ve held dear to my heart. Since quarantine started, it’s become an even greater necessity, a normalcy to return to while everything else is falling apart.
One of the reasons I find friendship to be so important these days is because my friends and I are able to lean on each other. As terrified as we are, as helpless as we feel, we always know for sure that we have each other. Whenever I’m feeling unsure or just need someone to talk to, my friends are always ready to lend an ear. Even if you don’t want to tell your friends something, it’s always nice knowing that they’re there for you when you need it.
When experiencing tough times like these, it’s nice to have people who know what you’re going through, people that can relate to the struggles you’re facing. Of course, not everyone in quarantine is encountering the same conditions as one another, but we’re all struggling with our share. Whatever the case may be, when someone can feel the emotions you’re feeling — pain, boredom, entrapment, sorrow — it makes experiencing them a bit easier.
On a lighter note, quarantine can be boring. Actually, let me rephrase: quarantine can be extremely, mind-numbingly, insanely boring. Even as an introvert who barely left the house, to begin with, this is just too much. Thankfully, my friends and I never cease to entertain ourselves, even through screens. From Zoom game-nights as the worst Pictionary players of all time (“Green? Leaf? Huh?! How on earth is that ‘peas?!’”) and sore losers who refuse to play Codenames a second time because we lost the last round (“This game sucks!”) to having random conversations on Snapchat that’ll have us laughing until tears roll down our cheeks (“Well this conversation was long overdue. Only took us ten years”), we always leave each other with a smile. Even when it feels as though I never will again, my friends have an uncanny ability to make one appear on my face.
Lastly and most importantly, my friends help me to forget about my stress and everything that’s going on in the world, especially in the worst of times. Friendship to me is the light at the end of an endlessly dark tunnel, something that reminds me to breathe, that allows me to breathe. It’s the hand I reach for when I’m drowning, the blanket that wraps around me when I’m trembling. It’s comforting knowing that there are some things that, despite everything, haven’t changed.
I am so grateful for my friends, now more than ever. For all the weird Instagram DMs, texts telling me that the moon is out, sob-worthy music recommendations, sunset/sunrise snaps and endless world-travelling plans that may or may not be completely unrealistic. They keep me strong — not to mention sane — and I can only hope that I do the same for them.