Yesterday my dad reminded me that I had been in Santa Barbara a month–a whole month! And yet in some ways it seems like way longer than a month. SO MUCH has happened that I’ve simply lost track, and I’ve been horrible about keeping it all on my calendar to look back on. But in the past few days I’ve had some amazing times with FRIENDS–real, live friends–here in SB! I’ve said several times now over the past month that I hate becoming friends but I love being friends. There’s a big distinction to be made between the two. Becoming friends takes work and often times requires a certain level of propriety (e.g. I have to ask how you’re doing before I share how am I; there’s only a certain amount of venting that’s “allowed” before you become too much of a burden). But being friends means you can let loose a little bit; you can relax into the friendship, trusting that the other person isn’t going anywhere, even if you have multiple bad days in a row. Over the past three days, I’ve had three encounters with three different women–all of whom are now my FRIENDS. And I couldn’t be more thankful! Of course, I’m still IMMENSELY thankful for my friends from Asbury, whom are worth more than their weight in gold, but it’s nice having friends here to have dinner or froyo with, get hugs from, or relax and watch a show with. So much good stuff! This is truly the embodiment of the little ditty, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.” My heart is full tonight as I reflect on the truly deep, rich friendships I’ve made already.