I was walking through downtown, under the rain, to get to my office just hours after returning from a business trip. Nothing bothering me, an extra bounce in my step and a grin from ear to ear. I could feel my hair frizzing up, my designer shoes getting wet but for so many reasons, it didn’t bother me. I was consumed with happy thoughts of the brief escape with my best friend. Strolling along without a care in the world, I felt sheer bliss. The adventure began at the doorstep of her house. She entered the taxi and we embarked on the best journey of our lifelong friendship. We giggled like school girls excited to spend some quality time together away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not knowing how valuable this time away would mean to me. Hallelujah, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Despite the fact that I was traveling to work, the last minute decision for her to join me was the best gift ever. Sometimes life puts a distance between friends, imposing a temporary separation from those we love the most. Keep in mind, we were inseparable for years before we became a long drive apart with many other sobering obstacles that kept us momentarily divided. This would be the first vacation together since we met in college many moons ago. Although we have been best friends forever, this was the first time we shared a plane ride and lived under one roof for more than a day! Let me tell you, if you really want to get to know someone, share a hotel room with them. I should warn you, I’ve got a little OCD with a side of anal retentive and lots of perfectionism weighing me down. I have very little, if any, tolerance for clutter, messiness or untidiness. I’m incapable, so I thought, of accepting anything less than neat and perfect. Okay now imagine bunking with the polar opposite of me. Clean freak coupled with little Miss. Messy who doesn’t care if she spreads out her make-up, wipes lipstick on towels and throws clothes all over the room. An explosion of sorts. A whirlwind of craziness moving around the room spreading chaos while shouting over my music as I lovingly stare at her: “This is me!”. I sat silently in my corner of the room working while she smiled and went about her business. When it was time to go, Ta-Da, the mess was stuffed into her ginormous red suitcase. Poof, All gone! Our adventures required me to play the role of a personal photographer stopping every thirty seconds to photograph her in front of a door or wall because the hundred photos we took the day before were not sufficient and also the role of guardian angel to ‘Lil Princess escorting her through malls and airports of female-deprived men gawking at her. Now if this same scenario took place with any other living human being on this green earth, be sure, there would be a problem. But for whatever reason, I could only look at this beautiful girl with nothing but kind eyes, love and adoration. Her compassionate heart melts my soul. I found myself only concerned with her comfort. This crazy nut case I call my soul mate. No matter how many months or years pass without seeing her, the moment we meet, we simply pick up where we left off. We start our rambling spree, jumping from topic to topic, with bursts of laughter in between sips of wine, phone interruptions and bathroom breaks. My gut splitting with pain because all I can do is laugh to express my joy. You want to bottle the moment in order to preserve it forever. Best friends make you feel good about who you are and your choices. They always want what’s best for you and see the good in everything you do. What I learned about my friend in those four days was that I truly adore her. What I learned about myself is that I will sacrifice for those I love. What I learned about life is that change is possible. Statistics say that people who have good friends live longer. They provide support, help you through adversity, advise you to make healthy choices, look out for your well being, offer a shoulder to cry on as well as many other stress relieving factors that add years to your life. So I encourage you to meet up with your kindred spirit today, plan a vacation together or simply meet for a drink. If you don’t have a best friend, go out and find one! They come with many benefits.