Some days I feel like the world is simply a backdrop for them to take pictures of one another. They are constantly posing, clicking, arranging, directing one another, then huddling and giggling over the results.
At first, I thought it was simply youthful narcissism: today's version of preening in the mirror. But, beyond that, there is an element of encouraging one another: look where we are, see how good we look, don't we own the street?
It reminded me of how many times I pushed my own limits because I had a friend to share it with. My best friends in life have been people who I could trust, talk, and laugh with; kindred souls who I shared experiences with and who challenged me when I became a bit stuffy.
We built stories and told tales, a library filled with anecdotes of close times happily shared with friends over the years.
A good friend keeps me from taking myself or life too seriously, and gives me the ideas and encouragement to stray out of the box and into new fields of experience. And, classically, friendship-induced bravado is central to approaching a girl I'd never consider as being in my league otherwise (no matter how tall).
So, on the road to becoming confident adults, we not only need mentors to show the way, we need our friends along for the journey.