- Friendship happens in different stages: When I make friends, I do so whole-heartedly. Friendship is one of those things that I value the most. What I’ve realized is that friendship is different for everyone, and it develops for each person in different ways. In the past, this resulted in a lot of hurt feelings when I extended my friendship, only to find that it wasn’t equally returned. I feel that this is a part of growing up, everyone goes through this at least once. And because of this, often times people become jaded or careful about what friendships they form in the future. The summer before college, I decided to reach out to several fellow ‘first year students’ on Myspace (remember Myspace?), hoping I could at least get to know a few people before starting college. I’m beyond glad that I did this—it made the transition between high school and becoming an independent college student so much easier, and I made life-long friends. However, one friend in particular threw me for a loop. After months and months of hanging out, and forming what I thought was a genuine friendship, my friend “Lee” asked me why I was so nice to her…what are my ulterior motives? What?! Here I am thinking I’ve made a new best friend, and she’s second guessing our friendship in general?! This showed me that not everyone develops a friendship, or a value in someone, at the same time. While I may value you as a close friend, you may view me as someone you just know or a close acquaintance. And that’s okay. In my case, “Lee” and I are now great friends, but it took time for us both to get there.
- Sometimes its important to ‘agree to disagree’: As with any relationship, sometimes it is important to just let bygones be bygones, agree to disagree. If you are anything like me, I like being right, and I will argue you down just to prove that I am right (something I’ve inherited from my mother..hey mom). However, I have learned that being “right” is not everything…especially when it comes to friendship. Furthermore, your ‘right’, might be your friend’s ‘wrong’. We all go through different walks of life, harvesting different experiences and opinions. What one might feel is no big deal, might be a HUGE deal to someone else. Here’s an example: One day, me and a friend from college got into a HUGE fight that lasted for several days. It was one of those ‘we are no longer friends, I’m deleting you from Facebook’ fights. What were we fighting over? Quesadillas. Here’s the backdrop: In the middle of college exams, and late night studying, I used what little money I had as a college student to buy some dinner from the student center. That night, I had a last minute meeting that I needed to attend, and I was unable to actually eat the quesadillas. Rushed, I asked my friend if she could put them in her refrigerator for me since I couldn’t run back to my room. A little while later, I had to study for a HUGE exam and decided not to go to dinner thinking I still had my quesadillas. Boy was I wrong. When I asked for the quesadillas, she said they were gone! Say what!? What do you mean “they are gone?!” She ate them. Long story short: We got into the big argument because: I was mad that she ate my only chance of dinner for that night, food is expensive (even more so as a broke college student), and from my point of view, she saw it as no big deal — the food was in her refrigerator and she was hungry. I was valid in my thoughts and anger, and she was valid in hers. After days of not talking to each other, and avoiding each other at all cost, we both realized that our friendship was too important to let something like this tear us apart. This is what friendship is all about — being able to remain friends despite any disagreements that you may have. Looking back at the situation now, we both crack up at how ridiculous we were fighting over something so stupid. Oh the joys of college stress.
- It’s important to ‘reach out and touch’: It’s no secret, I am not a big phone talker…never have been. I’m much more inclined to send a text message or use Facebook to stay in contact. While this works for me, I learned very quickly that this is not the case for everyone. I didn’t realize that by not calling every week or Facetiming every other Saturday, that I was giving indicators of not valuing friendship. This was a real eye-opener for me, especially since I value friendship so much. Life gets busy between work, school, surgeries, family, walking the dogs, etc., that sometimes it’s hard to be able to call and have 5 hour conversations like I would want to. For this reason, I try my best to keep in touch by texting when I can’t do so by phone call. Although this might not seem like a big deal to me, again, my friends are important to me and I am willing to do all I can to show how much I appreciate them.
- Sometimes it’s good to just listen: This is a big, BIG one. One that I’m still learning to deal with. When your friends reach out to you about their problems or situations, sometimes it’s better to just say nothing, keeping your thoughts, opinions, suggestions, etc., to yourself. Sometimes your friend just needs someone to vent to. Literally that’s all I got for this one lol…like I said, I’m still learning how to do this 😛
- Friends are like shoes: This is something I’ve learned from my mother a long time ago…”Friends are like Shoes”. Metaphor: you have a brand new pair of shoes that you simply adore. You wear them every day, they look good with every outfit, and they are your favorite pair of shoes. Then one day you realize that those pair of shoes no longer fit. Either they became bent out of shape, or your feet grew so the shoes no longer fit. The good thing is, even though you can no longer fit these shoes, you have another pair of shoes that fit just right, that you will never grow out of. This analogy is a lot like friendship. You make friends, and although it’s sad, you lose friends. You fit in your friendship for some time, then life gets in the way and the next thing you know, you no longer relate to each other. Again, it’s a part of life. But in life you also have those ‘Forever Friends’, that will always be there, regardless of what life throws you.
These are just 5 of the things I’ve learned about friendship. I thank God for my friends everyday—new and old—I truly appreciate ‘my girls’. Each and every one of you form an important part of me and who I am, I couldn’t ask for anyone better to enjoy life with.
Until next time,