She knows my whole heart. And she does not judge me for any of it.

She is a friend of mind.  She gather me, man.  The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.  It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

There are days when I want to literally curl up into my Inbox and just wait. I could find a cozy spot between the sent items and saved drafts and just wait. I would even settle for making a bed with the piles of junk mail and deleted items. Just To Wait.

Life might be easier this way, if all we were expected to do with our days was wait to hear from our best friend. A friend who gets us completely.

My best friend and I email each other almost every day. Sometimes I have great difficulty in coping with the fact that we have the adjective “Long Distance” attached to our friendship for what could be a very long time. But we have a bond that I cannot explain. She Knows Me. I Know Her. And at the end of each day we cling to that understanding.

Our emails are a mess. A Literal Mess. Sure, you could uncover the paragraphs. The punctuation. The breaks and beginnings. But our hearts are splattered all over the messages. I sometimes think after I send an email to her that I should recieve a notification that says “Mailbox over size limit” because we pack so much emotion, hope, desperation, questions & answers, and an overwhelming love for life into each email. No gigabyte or megabyte seems justifiable.

Someone asked me the other day what was the best thing about my friendship with her. “She knows my whole heart,”  I said. “And she doesn’t judge me for any of it.”

I guess as we grow older we learn what is important and not so important when it comes to friendship. I once thought friendship was all about quantity. Lots of friends on the playground. Plenty of friends to sit next to at lunch. Too many friends on Facebook. Always people to text message. But sometimes having so many friends can make us feel so little in this world. Insignificant, as we cling to our generic messages and irrelevant friend requests.

I now see that friendship is about something much deeper than numbers like “7” or “12.”

My mother always warned me not to pick and choose my friends like colors out of a crayon box. She feared the ease I found in becoming bored with one and moving onto the next in such a natural manner. I always replied that it was best to have a lot of friends. “A lot of friends, Hannah?” she would ask. “Or real friends?”

She waited for me to learn (in the way no parent ever hopes for: The Hard Way) that friends, real friends, are there without question. They are not be seeking out the next best route to make us feel worthless or weak. Friends, real friends, are loyal to a fault. They lend relevance to the cliche “catching you when you fall,” as they know when to stop walking next to us and start walking close behind. Arms Out. Ready for the Catch. Friend, real friends, never give us a reason to ask if our secrets are safe with them. We trust the second that the deepest intimacies of our souls reach their ears they are tucked straight into the heart. Locked and Keyed. And there they stay.

Friends, real friends, let us Wallow, Cry, Scream, Be Mad at the World. They accept broken hearts and bad moods as currency to our friendship on some days. But they are real friends because they know when to tell us to snap out of it, to straighten ourselves up and get back out there in the world. Friends, real friends, know when our sadness is no longer an excuse for missing out on life, when our delusions have gone too far and when we need to smarten up before the World deals us a harsh lesson. Friends, real friends, are the kind who rejoice in our victories. We count on them. To Celebrate. To Commend. To Be Proud. They also give reality checks and bring us back down to earth when we get ahead of ourselves.

Friends, real friends, help us to uncover things that we were not meant to find on our own. Sometimes diligence. Other times passion. Sometimes kindness. Other times persistence. Friends, real friends, are a saving grace in a world that seemingly becomes scarier every single day. Because this world comes with a lot of potential for pain: bullies on the playground, broken hearts on the concrete, broken dreams in the gutters.

Sometimes there are no better words than this to describe a true friend: No matter where you are, in your hometown or a big city, someone, somewhere knows your heart. They know the pieces. They know the stories. They know the struggles. And they choose not to judge you for the mess that you are. Someone, somewhere, carries you in their heart wherever they go. And that will always surpass carrying around a number like “1,700 Facebook friends” or “300 followers.”

Someone, somewhere, never made you a number. An obligation. A project. A chore. They simply made you a friend and, in a world that seemingly requires so much to be happy, it became all you never knew you were even missing in life.

30 thoughts on “She knows my whole heart. And she does not judge me for any of it.

  1. As always, you have an amazing way with words. I’m a girl of few friends, because I too, learned just how fake a lot of friends are. And how there’s nothing quite like a true-to-the-heart email sitting in your inbox from your best friend.

    1. Nicole, it is quite possibly one of my favorite feelings. I knock technology a lot because it tends to make a lot of interactions fake or what I deem to be “cop out” friendships but those emails get me through some days. Isn’t it crazy how many fake friendships we need to sort through until we figure out that it is not about finding the friends that will treat us right, it is about realizing for ourselves that we need to be treated right.


      Hannah Katy

  2. Absolutely perfect. I am also a girl of few friends as I think I’ve touched on in a few posts, as it seems, sadly, so many people in this world will drop you based on something trivial or selfish… but I am working REALLY hard on finding those people who are going to be the real deal, who will “know my whole heart” and not have an ounce of judgment 🙂

    It’s times like this I wish we lived closer, miss 🙂

    1. You are working so hard love and I know it is all going to pay off. And yes, I do wish we lived closer. Because I feel like we would be the best of friends and we would have coffee dates on a regular basis!


      Hannah Katy

  3. ash – lovely quote. toni morrison is a terrific if odd writer. you somehow always seem to write on a topic that’s currently important to me. or maybe you’re just good at writing about topics that are important throughout life. anyway i agree friends do not have to be numerous and one of every shade. sometimes it’s better to have a few good friends that really understand you. on the other hand, sometimes you have to realize when you are entering a different season of your life and some of those “best” friends instead just become “good” friends. who still love you and you love them. but things can change even when you don’t want them to. great post!

    1. You are so right, that is another post in itself! Its funny when we actually stop to examine our friendships, the ones that have stayed strong and the ones that have fizzled. And why.

      And I really just try to write about things that anyone can find useful. Me, especially. I ask myself what is on my heart and I am constantly amazed to find that it is on the hearts of many others as well. It is such a wonder to me and I am so thankful for this blog because of it.


      Hannah Katy

  4. BeFri, I love everything about this whole post. Sat in the ROC and cried half the morning after reading this cause I missed you so much. I love how beautifully you describe our emails, they mean so much to me and I know they will continue for a long time. So thankful that you are part of my life. Love you.

    1. I love you too St. End. I am so lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for being the person that you… it gave me the momentum to write this post for you.

      Boston Donuts? So SOoON?


      Hannah Katy

  5. I’ve always thought that way about wanting true friends even if it was just a few….rather than a lot of friends. It’s also a great feeling knowing you’re appreciated & on the same levels with your true friends.

  6. I agree that the quality of friend is better than quantity! And I think that sometimes, when you have a long-distance relationship, you know each other so much better… Because you really can fit a lot of thoughts and feelings into an email. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of a true friend!

  7. How long have you had this friend for, Hannah?

    My experience is that it takes a long time to grow an old (true!) friend.

    Just recently, I was disappointed by a (“friend” ) person that I had known for a year (silly me was thinking that a year might be enough to judge – and sometimes it is, but in this case, it wasn’t)… she didn’t get me, she didn’t gather the pieces of my soul, and she even judged me for something that I had nothing to do with… it’s easy to be a friend in good times, but you only prove yourself in bad times.

    I am still seeking out those friendships that you described above and I am happy to call a small circle of friends TRUE friends.

    1. That is awesome, San. I am glad you have those true friends to turn to. And you are definitely on to something, often in those tough times is when we realize if a friend is true or not.

      Celia and I have only been this close for less than a year actually. Strange, but we instantly connected and got each other on a deep level. And it continues to get even stronger with our distance from one another. I am so blessed.


      Hannah Katy

  8. I love hearing love story friendships like this. I could not live without my go-to gal. I have found it more difficult to find this person post marriage and children, but they exist and when you find them, don’t let them go. My gal pal gets me… and I’m pretty sure that my husband thinks we are secret lesbians, we get along that well. Honestly, I have felt like shopping for friends has been just as important as it was to shop for a mate (as in husband). You don’t want to settle… don’t want to lead on friends with whom you don’t click… you want your parents to like them.

    It’s like a marriage without sex.

  9. Beautiful writing here, lady. You hit the nail on my head and made me so thankful for the few friends I have like this. The soul sister friends who we wait to hear from, no matter how far apart physically we are. Those are the best kind of friends, and I am so thankful we both have them.

  10. There are no words to describe how much I wholeheartedly agree with every word in this post. I also am a girl of few friends in a world of too many numbers. I especially love what you said about friends being able to celebrate with each other and rejoice in our victories. I have found recently that with a few “true” friends, rejoicing is a constant emotion we share with each other in times of new homes, new jobs, marriages, and new babies. Meanwhile the “numbers” lean towards jealousy and bitterness. Sharing joy is a quality I have come to truly appreciate in my friends, and a quality I always want to put forth in my friendships.

    1. Very insightful. Thanks for giving me some of your knowledge through this comment. I think sharing joy is absolutely key. And true, I have noticed a lot that often the numbers are the ones all wrapped up not wanting the best for you.. Thank you for your own words of wisdom.


      Hannah Katy

  11. Hannah,

    2 things: 1. I’m glad I can claim a small part in your best friend-ship with Celia. 2. I think I know where you got the phrase, “the mess that you are.”

    Once again, a beautiful reflection. Friendship is precious, no doubt. Thanks for reminding all of us of that. ❤

    everyone has their own bonds in life.. and friends are the only ones who shares not only a part of our lives but including us..
    and it is totally a great feel to read the feel i share with my friend.. could relate it with me..
    Thanks for giving me that feel.. 🙂

  13. I was looking for this quote when I stumbled upon your blog. A friend of mine, Ikhlas, blogged this quote on Tumblr and dedicated it to our friendship, and reading through what you wrote…it really hit home because I used to be the one who always wanted (and was always granted) the most friends on the playground. Recently I had a falling out with a few people who I thought were my friends all these years…but we both found out that real friends don’t find pleasure in your flaws or in your troubles. She stuck it out for me through the all the drama and I’m grateful that through all the pains of betrayal, I could now tell a gem from a rock. I really liked this line from your post:

    “They are not be seeking out the next best route to make us feel worthless or weak. Friends, real friends, are loyal to a fault. ”

    Thanks for the great writing. You totally made my day.

    P.s. Do you mind me reblogging this post?

    Farina A. Jabar

    1. Go ahead and reblog away! I would love for you to send me the link to it, and also the link to your friend’s tumblr is you could!

      Thanks so much.

      I am really happy this quote was able to take you in and give you comfort and a little shelter. That is what my words exist for. And I am so thankful that you have learned the art of telling rocks from gems, I had a really hard time discovering it myself but I am learning always. I hope you keep reading! Would love to hear from you again.

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