I read the other night an interview with Angelina Jolie and something she said rang a chord with me. When asked about her polarizing persona, she said “I think anybody that makes a decision about where they stand is going to cause strong opinions about them.

But I think that’s what you should be hoping for in life, so I take that as a very good sign. That some people support me and some people really don’t like me tells me that I’m making decisions and I’m standing strong for something I believe in.

I’m making choices in life. And that’s the right thing to do.”

Maybe to some standing up for what you believe in without fear of judgment or possible repercussions is not an earth shattering thing. But to me it is. It’s like the climbing of Mount Everest of personality traits…so big, so hard, so unattainable. It’s also so beautiful.

I love people that are not afraid of taking a stand and saying what they believe in, especially if they know that their opinion will be unpopular. Angie (yah, we’re close like that!) is the extreme of this trait. She’s not only NOT afraid; she relishes it and counts it as proof of her success.

Now, I’m not saying that she’s my idol, she’s done enough crazy things for me to hesitate in my public announcements of worship BUT you’ve got to admit, she’s fearless, giving and devours life with incredible gusto.

You might be thinking (as I was when I was writing this) that it’s easy to respect someone that stands up for something you agree with but what about when they’re standing up for or saying something that is abhorrent to you? Do you still respect them for their courage or hate them for their opinion? I don’t know.

For me, I try to stick as close to the First Amendment defending side as possible but I’m still human and when I hear something that I find wrong or hurtful, I cringe and judge and…yup even hate.In the end, I think I’m like most people, I’m always struggling between climbing Mount Everest (which I wish I had the courage to do more often) and holding back from standing up for what I believe in for fear of being judged or worse…hated.

Someone once told me that the friends you make when you are young are the closest friends you will ever have. And I always believed that. Especially as I got older and realized how hard it was to develop the kind of strong and long lasting friendships that I had made when I was young.

Maybe it’s because when we are young we have more innocent lives and less complicated interests…no husbands, no children, no jobs. Usually, the young are more optimistic and idealistic. These qualities foster relationships that if initiated later in life may not have bloomed.

But what happens when you don’t have any of those old friends around? Even if you have a great family life, you need female connections to share your life with, to laugh with, to cry with and to grow with. Girlfriends are a must!

So you’re forced to develop close female relationships in much more complex grown-up environments..at work, in the neighborhood, through your mommy groups or play dates. Each of these have their advantages and flaws and it’s hard to know who to trust, who to open up to and most importantly, who to invest your limited time and energy on. It’s a gamble.

You know that most of these friendships will not last. You know you will be disappointed or you will disappoint at some point in these new endeavors. So is it worth it?

The answer is a resounding YES!! Because even though these friendships may not be the SAME as old friendships they can still be wonderful, warm and loving in their own way. And they are worth it!