As February is a time to think about the love you have in your life, I was struck the other day by the meaning of friendship. This year I spent Valentine’s Day with some amazing people who I’m very lucky to have in my life and while none of those people are the loves of my life, at least one of them is my soul mate in another way. She’s a great friend, one of the all time best and what I would do without her, I do not know.
Lately I’ve been having a hard time with the word “friend”. I’ve been let down and disappointed by my fair share of “friends” in my time and I was thinking about the evolution of the friendships I’ve had throughout my life. I of course had friends when I was very young, but they were the kind of friends who I played Barbies with. In my young head we had a connection, but it wasn’t real. They were the people who kept me busy when I had nothing else to do.
In Junior High and the early part of High School, I again had friends, but many of them proved to be people that I most definitely can and do live without. It wasn’t until about junior year of High School that I began meeting people who became real friends to me. Some of those people, I don’t believe I will ever be able to live without. As I entered college, I kept in touch with these people and they made my life bearable. For those of you who know me, you know that my freshman year of college was less than bearable at times. I am still extremely close with these people today. I also met some wonderful people in college that I can’t see myself ever drifting away from. I just hope that they feel the same way.
There are at least five people in this world that know every mundane detail of my life. I have let them all into my soul for reasons that any of you would know immediately if you met them. I am proud to call three of them my roommates and they are people that I absolutely believe will be lifelong friends of mine. These five people, however, possess the qualities that I believe are required to be a friend. These qualities have only become apparent to me in the last few years and I think that if it had not been for the various bad friends that I have had I would not be able to appreciate the good ones. So for that reason I am eternally grateful to all the people who have let me down and stomped on my emotions.
The people mentioned above that I have let in completely are trustworthy, fun, caring, but above all they listen. I don’t know where I would be without their shoulders to cry on. The most important quality that these people possess is that they are all willing to put the needs of those around them before their own. I have absolutely no doubt that I could call any of these five people right now due to something as trivial as a bad dye job and they would travel the many miles between us simply because I needed them. As trivial as my problems might be, the only important factor is that I need them and I have no doubt that they would be there.
These five people that I have singled out are not my only friends, they just happen to be the ones that I have really let in. I have so many more wonderful people in my life that I am so grateful to have. I hope that I am as good of a friend to these people as they are to me. I want to believe that I am. I try so hard, because I know how valuable and necessary it is to have a great friend in your life.
I’m glad that I have kept the friends that I have and burned the bridges between me and those that I don’t deem worthy of my time. That may sound harsh, but I am at a point in my life where I am happy and it is largely due to those that I have chosen to surround myself with. I thank God everyday for these people and I hope that they never leave my side. For now I will continue to be a good friend and while I may meet people who will take advantage of me and let me down, I will know that at any point I may meet someone who will change my life for the better.
I’m new to this blog thing, but I’m going to try to make it a habit to end each entry with a quote. I couldn’t decide on one for this entry, so I’m going to leave you with two:
"The only way to have a friend is to be one."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."
~ Dale Carnegie
~ Dale Carnegie