At 26, I would rarely associate convenience with friendship, at least not the kind of friendship you grow old with. People drift in and out of jobs, or dive headfirst into careers meant to change the world, or go off to other corners of the world to find themselves, or start families. Priorities change, and proximity becomes this elusive thing. Your responsibility to one another shrinks through the years, not because your concern diminishes, but because at a certain age, there is only so much you can do. "It doesn't always have to be active, the way you care for another person," I told my older brother (aka my former roommate and one of my best friends, now a dad and a full-fledged adult) over a fish-curry-and-beer dinner a few days ago. "You can care for someone else by letting him figure things out on his own, especially when that's what he needs to do."

I don't really know what I'm trying to say except this: A happy, successful friendship, much like any other happy, successful relationship, needs work. And it's okay if it gets tough sometimes. It's okay if you have to try. It's okay, the fact that there is nothing convenient about it.

I hope we never get tired of going out of our way for one another.