Whispers of shadow danced across my hands as I sat typing one day in January. I looked out the window to find the source of this half-dream disco light dancing across my desk. The sun had broken through the gray and was lighting up tiny snowflakes, swirling like dust caught in a golden-hour glow.

My first thought was to grab the camera. My next thought brushed the first aside—the lens couldn’t capture this interplay of elements. Instead, I simply leaned back in my chair and watched the delicate coincidence of sunshine and snowfall. In the end, there was no need to share this rare moment to make it powerful.

I am one who craves human connection, one who thinks most folks are downright charming. I am in awe of my friends and grateful for their generosity in sharing their lives with me. With that said, I also think there is great wisdom in working hard to become your own best friend.

"A friend awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you." - John O'Donohue

At first, this notion might sounds narcissistic or lonely, but becoming your own best confidant, coffee date and cheerleader really means cultivating stillness and confidence to navigate the myriad emotions of life.

Being your own best friend means allowing for quiet moments to witness the world and savor it without distraction. It means finding joy in funny memories and smiling even if strangers wonder about your inside joke.

Being your own best comrade requires presence—the same you’d give a dear friend during a long overdue catch-up. How are you? Do you need rest, fresh air, a long stretch, chocolate? It requires listening and kind words. It means taking time to reconnect more than once a year.

If you’re not sure exactly where to begin in building this unique friendship, start by taking yourself on a date. Turn off your phone and go window shopping, browse a bookstore, catch a film, or visit a gallery. The key is to enjoy your own company. Refrain from checking messages or calling anyone. Instead, listen to your own thoughts. Ask yourself get-to-know-you questions. What painting did I like and why? What did I think about the end of the movie?

This may sound silly or uncomfortable at first, but when you take time to cultivate a relationship with yourself and learn to love your own company, you begin to notice small daily wonders—like sunshine and snowfall—that make life lovely. These moments become small affirmations that no matter where you are and no matter who might not be with you, you can still find wonderful companionship all on your own.

___________________________________

Becky Burton is a freelance writer and hopeful adventurer. Her most recent accomplishment is a 160-page love letter to New York, otherwise known as her first novel, The Audacious Magpie. She describes her blog as "a little spot of sunshine on the Internet." Through everything she creates, she seeks to celebrate the wonderful privilege of being human.

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