Next to family, my friends are the most important connection in all aspects of my life. These are the individuals who know my most intricate thoughts, ideologies, quirks, loves, loathes, heartbreaks, and aspirations. No two friends are exactly the same, and I enjoy the uniqueness instilled in each of them. I may even go as far as saying that I am a collector of people, I am particular to an extreme in the fact I have a connection that is unique for each person who comes into my life, and I am unwavering in my loyalty towards each of them. These are the people who I can rely upon unconditionally. I have never been one to look at the number of things I have, and the same applies to the amount of people in my life. With being selective comes the undeniable truth that I am individualistic and enjoy being by myself, however, for the people who have stuck with my social particulars, these are the ones who have stayed.
I can count on my fingers how many people I consider “in it for the long run” and still have a few fingers left over. As I have mentioned the number of people is not what matters, it is the time you spend with an individual that makes you who you are. Some consider me antisocial, I was never “popular” or “cool” nor did I want to be. I saw those people walk down the halls in school pretending to be someone people expected of them and not who they really are. I became cautious of the many whispers I would hear about their apparent friends, and then see the same people going up to tell her how “pretty and liked” she is. I was an outsider, always getting peeks in because people like to be loud with their “secrets” when they are really wanting to hurt those around them. I grew numb to the antics, and I did not want any part of the lives of most the kids I grew up with. So when you ask yourself about how a friendship went so wrong, ask the question, what does a friendship mean to yourself?
For me, friendship is a full-time commitment. If I have the commitment to accept a person into my life, this has a significant meaning to the impact made on both sides. What makes him or her someone I can trust? Will I be able to lean on them when I am not at my full working potential? How do I help him or her become a stronger person? How do we motivate each other? What are we passionate about? What makes us, us? These questions have different answers for each person. My best friend, Rachel, we have been friends since birth, our moms were pregnant together, and we grew up two doors down from each other, (Coming soon: The Block). Rachel knows me through and through and the same goes for me knowing her. We have ups and downs, and it is a relationship I can count on unconditionally. No matter how much time passes, we can pick up right where we left off. It is a genuine love. It is the strongest friendship I will ever have, I know it. As for my more recent connections, each have different qualities: Jaimie, we met freshman year of college and grew to know each other as the ultimate study buddy and life/career coach, she is fierce and always has a goal in mind, we motivate each other by asking the crucial questions about goals, futures, and successes; Karina, we also met freshman year and joined the same sorority, she reminds me that it is okay to be emotional, and take a step back to admire the comical things about life, she has a way with words that feeds the soul with pure joy, we are able to tell the other to dig a little deeper and find what truly is in our heart, K^2; Claudia, along with Karina we are a trio of fun, we also are in the same sorority, and we were bonded at the hip freshman year, Hershel and Clauds is our nickname, over the past three years, we have discovered that it is okay to grow apart a bit, yet she is the person I can turn to for just about anything and she makes me my favorite cake. These are my girls, they understand me to an entirely different level. Friends are meant to impact you and come into your life for a reason, I hold each of them close to my heart and will continue to knit our friendships closer throughout the years to come. I could go through more names and say how each have entered my life for different reasons; yet for those who are true and here to stay, they know why we are connected.
A reality I have not prepared for is the fact that people may fall out of this sort of friendship. It is rare, and I am almost never wrong to let someone into my life, yet what happens when I make a mistake? What happens when I am fooled? What happens when I have to let go? This is not suppose to happen, this is not suppose to hurt, this is not suppose to be the consumption of my thoughts when I think of someone. However, this is the reality, and I face this head on. I come to terms that I made a mistake, I put my trust in the wrong person. This is not the time to be vengeful or callous. It is the time to be real and dig deep into what became so skewed, learn, then move on. Respect is my ultimate expectation I hold each person in my life to, and once that is broken, I can see little to nothing left. It may be harsh, yet it is important to be respectful to myself and to others, and I know I deserve nothing less. It is important to be honest with yourself, and I hold myself to this fact. It may be hard and it may take time to repair the space that is now empty, yet it is necessary to stay true to the person I am, so I will have to let you go. It is a raw wound ripped wide open and it hurts and sears and feels like fiery hole, but its the first step to moving towards a better you. Learn from the mistake, take the time to heal, and be there for the people who are still in your wings to help you fly.
Friendship is not meant to be easy; it is another person who you take the time to grow with and help in anyway you can possible. It is the fun of finding that unconditional love, creating a nickname, staying up late dancing to a shared playlist, and laughing until you cannot breathe that makes the time and effort needed to build this relationship all the worth while. It is the time it takes to call and pick up, go over just to say hi, sit at the table for hours, talk about life, and sometimes to just be silent to build up this staying power one has in your life. It is time well spent, and when asked who matters most, I do not guess, I know.