They say that in times of crisis you truly learn who your friends are. I always used to think this meant that, when the shit hits the fan, that you find out which people are your friends and which people aren’t. But it’s not that simple. It’s about learning who your friends really are. People are defined by how they act and react–by what they do, rather than by what they say–and moments of crisis are when you glimpse behind the words and get to truly learn who a person is.

During this year I’ve learned that there are many types of friends. There are people you thought were friends, but are not. There are friends who forgive friends, and friends who don’t. There are friends who find themselves swept up in the current: some who get pulled towards you, some who get dragged away. There are friends who hold you up and, sometimes, friends who let you down again. A crisis forces people to act and, often, to choose.

We are reflected in the company we keep; both by the choices we make, and by the choices our friends make. Who your friends are tells you something about who you are. Friendships may start as a product of circumstance, but circumstances change and friendships are tested through these changes. The fracture lines from a crisis don’t spread out in an orderly fashion, conveniently grouping relationships together: they cross each other at seemingly random tangents, but eventually things will settle and you will be able to see which side of the crack people have jumped towards.

Friendship is a complex beast. It’s just about who you like and who likes you. It’s a fractured mirror that reflects back at you in a hundred different ways.

But, mostly, it’s awesome.