Brought on by too many episodes of Friends and Sex and the City, somewhere along the line I developed this fantasy of what weekends with friends would be like when I was in my 20s. If television taught me anything, these days would be filled with mimosa brunches, perfectly curated outfits, and lots of spontaneous travel as a group. I would learn how to actually wear lipstick, pair wine with dinner, and walk gracefully in high heels.
Reality has it so that many of my closest friends live hours away and Sunday brunches together are a luxury planned weeks in advance. Still, I wouldn’t trade these real, honest, pick-up-where-we-left-off-last-month friendships for closer zip codes (or professional wardrobe styling). Â There is something about the relationships you have with the people who knew you during the time you changed most – as you grew up, at your most awkward, finding your voice, testing the waters of personal style, breaking the rules, and making your first mistakes. These are the people who will be able to hear what you mean no matter what you say, and they are the people you need to reach out to when you’ve answered the same questions so many times, you’re no longer sure of your stale answers. They meet you where you’re at, and you do the same.
A few weeks ago, as summer was coming to a close, my friend Ashley planned a weekend in the northwoods to celebrate her golden birthday. There were margaritas and champagne, glamorous dinners on the summer porch, and cozy campfires at night. It was everything I imagined my friends and I would be doing at 28, but even better because it was us, and it was real. No laugh-tracks or hairdressers needed.