Tag Archives: friends

An Ode to Friendships

As 2017 comes to a close and I prepare for the last crappy dinner party of the year, I wanted to write a post about how thankful I am for my friendships.

There’s this saying that friendships are either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’m sure you can think of a friend who was only in your life long enough to teach you something or to show you the way {reason}. Maybe you have a friendship that lasted only while you were employed at the same place, attending the same school, or playing on the same sports team {season}. And many of us are lucky enough to have friendships that’ve lasted through it all and those friends that will stand by you no matter what {lifetime}.

As I was lamenting the end of a friendship while sitting on my therapist’s couch a while back, she told me, “Ashley, what if you still had all of the friends you’d ever made? How would you have time for all of them? You wouldn’t! And they wouldn’t all have time for you.” She’s right (as she typically is). Yes, it is sad when a friendship ends. Two-fold silver lining, though:

  1. Maybe you learned something from that friend {reason} or maybe he/she made your life better while you were together for that period of time {season}
  2. I remember all of the wonderful friendships I still have!

And with all of those wonderful friendships I have, we do some really wonderful things together. Here are some of my favorites:

Crappy Dinner Parties

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Strangers Becoming Friends

One of my go-to podcasts is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, a weekly show discussing the week’s news with three comedians. Paula Poundstone is one of the best comedians on the show; she’s goofy and always has hilarious, random comments. She started a new podcast, Live from the Poundstone Institute, where they talk about various studies, including inviting the researchers to explain the results and how the study was conducted. I listened to an episode while traveling in Costa Rica and one of the studies was about how when you talk to a stranger, it makes you happier. As a millennial (barely, like 5%) and yogi, I’m always on the pursuit for happiness, so I was instantly intrigued by this study. The researcher in charge explained that they had three groups:

  1. they were told to do what they normally do on the train (which, in this day and age, is probably listen to podcasts and music with headphones in, and not talk to anyone) aka the control group
  2. they were told explicitly not to talk to anyone
  3. this group was told to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to them on the train.

The conclusion of the study was that the group who talked with strangers was happier than the other people.

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The Best Friends A Girl Could Ask For

There are many things I miss about Hong Kong, but most often I miss my gorgeous group of girlfriends. They were my family and the people I could count on the most. Whether it was someone to gab over drinks with at 4:00 on a Tuesday, gals to go out with for free vodka on a Saturday night, or friends to hike up a mountain with on Sunday morning, my friends were always there for me.

I desperately miss these friends on my weekends in Chicago when I struggle with what to do with two free nights. I knew in Hong Kong that every Saturday night was ladies’ night. I didn’t have to think about what to do or worry that I’d be all alone; I always had them.

Of course I’ve made friends in Chicago, but there’s something about the lovely group of friends I made in Hong Kong that’s unbeatable. Most of us lived thousands of miles from our families and trekked to Asia only to have each other. If one of us was busy, we had the rest to rely on. When we made plans, it was in a group chat so everyone could join in and know the plan.

So as Thanksgiving nears, I want to give a shout-out to the loveliest friends a girl could ask for. Thanks for making my life in Hong Kong sweeter, more enjoyable, and something I miss each and every day. And thank you for still being wonderful even though it’s been two years and we’re thousands of miles apart xoxo