Wednesday, January 26, 2011

With friends like these...

Some say, “Friendship is like wine, the older the better.” Others say, “If a person has five friends at the time of their death, they’ve led a good life.” All of that is true, I suppose. But, who is a friend?

Friendship is a funny thing. It can be based on anything. When you’re a child, often times your friends are just based around who else lives in your neighborhood or who you go to school with. Most people’s childhood friends are their best friends, yet the pickings were relatively slim to begin with.

** Disclaimer – I love my childhood friends, who are really my best friends, and would pick the same ones had I chosen them out of everyone in the world. **

As we grow older, we encounter endless opportunities to make more friends. We make friends at work, at college, at various events regarding a mutual interest. We make friends with random people we meet out, that we ordinarily would never encounter. Plus, in today’s day and age, we even make friends we’ve never met before – people we interact with on Facebook or Twitter that we get along with but whom we’ve never actually even talked to on the phone.

Some of these newer friends can disappoint you and I guess it’s not too much of a shock when that happens. But what about those disappointments that you never saw coming? I had a “best friend” that I’ve only known for the past 4-5 years. We spent every day together. Literally. My photo album is full of the best, most insane memories that always bring a smile to my face. We were partners in crime, always together. 

 Just like Thelma and Louise

Although this would be considered a newer friend, I honestly put this person in a category of bests, which included those friends that have known me since elementary school. We had little arguments here and there, but always came out smiling, laughing, and causing mischief together on the other end.

Those are now memories from long ago and far away. Friends do sometimes drift apart, especially one of them finds a new circle of friends that doesn’t include the other person, or one of them starts dating somebody new who takes up a lot of their time. But, isn’t the point of a strong friendship the fact that people can drift apart a little here and there, or make their own other friends, and yet they still take the time to maintain your relationship?

I have a couple of friends that I’ve known since I was about ten years old. Some of them I’ve always stayed in touch with on a regular basis. One of them I’ve stayed in touch with, but she’s now married with a child and we barely have time to see each other. The other, I lost touch with, and only recently reconnected with but I still feel like she’s a sister to me. We actually joke that we’re the same person inside. What makes these friendships so real is that all that time can pass and distance can come between us, yet we’re still there for each other and view each other the same way as before.

This newer best friend, however, has all the opportunity in the world to continue our friendship. I reach out to her all the time, yet she never seems to actually make the time to respond. Instead she’s just moved on to the next group of friends. I always had this person’s back. I forgave her for things without asking, I supported her in situations where most people wouldn’t. Yet, I guess none of that matters. The only thing left for me to do is try not to get jaded by the experience. New friends can be true friends, and can turn into some of your best friends. You just have to expect some disappointments sometimes.

Anyway, I guess I’m just venting… it sucks, it hurts, and I just needed a platform to say all this. So I said it here. At least I have my real friends to cheer me up :)

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