Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I'm Learning About Frienship

In my life, I've had some really, really bad friends. Ones who steal money from me, abandon me when I need them most, and ones that just use me to get something in return.

It hasn't been until this whole Seek Healthy Relationships mission that I've truly started to see what makes friendship such a beautiful thing. Because we all know how much I love lists, here's a small list of what true friendship is (and don't worry, I'm still learning).

My sister and I. She pushed me pretty hard.
7) They push you to be better than you currently are.
My teacher friend saw potential in me and roped me into this public speaking gig. My other friends pushed me to submit my resume to the newspaper. Your friends should always seek the best for you, and if you're afraid to take the first steps, they'll know how to support and challenge you so that you, too, want the best for yourself.

Some of my very, very good friends.
6) They don't have to be remotely anywhere near your age.
I have friends who haven't graduated high school yet. I have friends who are in their 80's. I have friends in-between those age gaps. We don't have a generation gap, we find mutual ground, a mutual respect for each other, and bond over snowboarding, or our hatred of our jobs, our love of animals, or our fucked up pasts.

5) They help take care of you.
My little friend, Allie and I before I left NC
There are times in your life where you can't take care of yourself. Whether it's because you're puking from drinking too much, you can't carry your food to the couch because you're on crutches, you're curled up in the fetal position crying for days, or your dog has gotten seriously sick and you can't afford his vet bills. True friends will help you. They will spot you money, they will break and enter with you so you can get your stuff back from a creepy old man who'd exposed himself to you, they will pick you up from the couch you've refused to rise from.

4) Though you may embarrass them, frequently, they're still not ashamed to be seen in public with you.
Yep. I was rocking hooker boots at a family function.
Laura (sister) yells at me quite a bit for not having any social tact. I talk about a lot of things I shouldn't, especially at the dinner table. In recent weekends, I went to Connecticut to help my friends celebrate their new house as well as their engagement, and we went out to dinner. I talked too loud, and told some poo stories, and puke stories. Needless to say....I should learn tact, some day. But they're still my friends. It's kind of that whole "Accepting you for you" type of thing.

I see these cats less than once a year.
3) You don't have to see them every day.
Some of my favorite people to be around, I only get to see either once every few months, or once a year. Some of my very good friends (blogging friends, twitter friends) I've never even met. Many of them have helped me (especially with Baxter). Many of them support me. Many offer advice, even when I don't want to hear it.

2) They protect you.
Friends from CT. They're very happy people.
A few weekends ago, I was in CT for a friend's engagement party. I'd had a beer and minimal amounts of food. When a guy handed me another beer, my friend (also a boy) looked right at me and mouthed, "Be Careful." He spent the next hour convincing me that I needed to eat and drink water. We were told repeatedly that we sounded/seemed like an old married couple.

1) Things that are important to you, matter to them.
My friends from Ecuador and the Philippines!
Another amazing example of friendship is an example from my time in CT. When they saw me, they ALL asked how Baxter was doing. They've never met my handsome little man. But they knew he was sick and tried to help him. They asked how he was because he's my entire world. It meant more to me than I can express.
They also allowed me to talk about my organization, my writing, and my dog, over, and over, and over. They never told me to shut up (except when I embarrassed them :) )

This is only a small list, but each point has shocked me. I always imagined that you see your friends every day, or you interact with them, or you've somehow known them your entire life. I managed to forget that you can go weeks, months, years, without seeing each other, and nothing can change. I forget that they can influence you to be a better person, to stop selling yourself short.

In unrelated news, each person in these pictures has helped save my life at one time or another.

1 comment:

Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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