What’s a friend?
Yes, I am writing this after 15 hours of being out of the house — morning job, studying, afternoon-night job that ended up taking 7 hours and it was the most stressful day in my life. I am exhausted, yet so much more aware of what being a real friend is. Here’s what I mean.
Lately, I’ve come to see that a real friend is someone you are not afraid to tell something to — meaning, you won’t feel like you’re bothering them, or saying something stupid or weird for fear of judgment.
You know what else? Friendship is 2-sided. Yes, I have considered the fact that you don’t need to talk to someone 24/7 to be best friends. I have also considered the fact that I love talking, and most of my friends do not in that same way — I think that’s just how guys are. I have also considered the fact that texting isn’t really a bother for me, but some people really hate it/suck at it.
But I have noticed things — for some of my friends, any form of contact, even a snapchat, is a pretty big step. They’re just really independent, and I get that, and honestly — I’m okay with that. I always talk about the cost/benefit of a friendship…if it’s worth it to you, even if it’s hard sometimes, then it’s worth it, you don’t have to justify anything to anyone else but yourself. Anyway, I have also noticed some friends who text me about something exciting in their life, like meeting a girl they really like or doing something random like going to a fun music festival. I have noticed friends who actually want to take time out of their day to talk to me (and this is like, barely a few). Unfortunately, I’m also thinking of friends who have not once reached out to me since moving out here, it’s all been from me and it is not a great feeling.
You know what else? I do like having friends I can ask for advice from. But honestly, when they have almost never asked for help back…ouch. It’s almost more so the fact that they’re not willing to open up to me and expose any vulnerabilities. No, I don’t expect that with just anyone I meet. But if you consider someone best friends, there has to be some sort of opening, even if it’s small. When I am constantly pouring out my heart (okay, cheesy, but you know what I mean) and I get nothing in return, I feel useless, distrusted, and unimportant. Like, do I really matter to you if you’re not sharing a single part of your life with me? Here’s where actually doing what you say matters, and I want everything I say to be a true representation of my values/beliefs.
I don’t have a lot of friends. I can count the ones I actually want to visit on one hand (plus one finger or two). In college, you get a lot of acquaintances. In my college experience, I started out with a lot of friends, but it just kept dwindling as I went on. But you know what, I’m ok. I know I’ll make more friends — sometimes I get anxious about this, but I know that things will be okay. I’m enjoying this time of alone-ness currently, but I don’t think I’d like to do this forever.
I suppose I’ve never had a true best friend. Someone who you tell that you’re going to your university’s softball game…and they come along even if they don’t like it, they just want to hangout and try something new. Someone who you will never hesitate to call up. Someone who will laugh at all your jokes and encourage you to try new things. Someone who might go to a comedy show with you, a concert, a craft festival, etc. Someone who will listen to you and not constantly offer unwanted advice, but will also help you keep your head on straight and aren’t afraid to challenge you. I just see so many people out there with friends who often have more than one (WOW!) common interests, and I don’t get it! But I’m not going to give up. People have said they admire my passion…but at some point, I want to be around people who share the same feelings, and connect on a deeper level than “hey, you’re standing in the same fan section as me”.
I think I’m gaining a lot of these insights on my own, but I’m also seeing it with the way my roommate is with her friends, and how I even consider us friends! Even though we’re so different…such opposite jobs, different races, she’s about 15 years older — but we get along very well — what matters is how we are as people, not how we look or the trivial things we do. She will actually sit there and just listen to me vent sometimes…and not even butt in and try to offer help until I ask (ha, this is something I have to work on myself). Also, sometimes we gossip about boys and stuff and it just feels nice, because I also didn’t have too many girl friends.
So, here — if you really can’t respond to a friend or talk to a friend for a whole day because you’re that busy…(maybe unless you’re having 15 hour days…) rethink things. And if you’re that “friend” on the other side…rethink things. It’s hard to let go, it’s hard to understand that friends can’t always be friends forever…it’s really hard when you feel alone in that, because all your friends are still friends without you.
Before I give up, I’m going to try a few more times. I am, too, guilty of being a bad friend at times. Other people could be going through something I don’t understand or they just don’t want me to know everything — and that’s okay. I could be snubbing old friends…oh no! But see, at some point you cross that fine line into not being friends anymore. Or is it more of a grey area because people have such unique personalities?
Alright, well this was a bit disorganized. I’m so tired — I had a drink today with 4 espresso shots, which is a lot for me! Ahh! So, as I struggle through my hardest week yet, I am looking for comfort from friends who seem so distant, and I don’t want to be disappointed if I cannot find this comfort — so, isn’t it easier to just pretend that everything is okay? But, that’s not honesty and my policy is always to know, rather than to misunderstand. So that brings me to something I’ve been playing with in my head for awhile:
I am going to struggle very hard with understanding my past friendships as I move back home — many of them still have their home bases right outside of Philadelphia. I have not been home for more than 2 weeks at a time since 3 summers ago (which is only a little bit after we started fading away from each other), so it’s going to feel weird. Is it time to just really let go, or could I try one more time and just ask why we’re not friends anymore? I want to know! I had so many “friends” I realize now that I was maybe never truly friends with. We were just in the same place at the same time, and that is a very painful realization. I was a wild child/jerk, and it was probably hard to be around me, but they tried, and I appreciate that so much today. This is something to tackle later, however, when I have more sleep.
Life is hard, but I’m just going to continue to appreciate every small moment I am given. I’m going to stop looking so far ahead and worrying, and just enjoy life and all the wonderful blessings I’ve been given — I am only here for a few more months, far away from my past and my old friends, and I’m going to use this time to grow and try to become better everyday. I am also going to stop looking so far back and regretting things because I know I’m different now, and I prove it with more than just my words. Not sure how this relates to friendships, but I think this is all helping me feel better about the state of things. Good night!