The Smallest Things Create The Greatest Friendships
It may seem strange that one of my clearest memories from the last year is after a night of drinking. I was with two friends after a big letdown. We were sitting in the car, and one of them looked over and asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t have an answer – I feared any response.
I avoided answering that question for as long as I could, but it kept coming back up. I said I wanted my writing to go somewhere, make a difference, I wanted to do something to help people. No one laughed. They did not make fun of these aspirations. They encouraged and supported me in them.
I never had anything like that in a friend before. I never had friends I have felt the genuine support from or genuine compassion from. I never had people enter my life before that I felt were authentic to me. My guard has always been up, and I have always been afraid. Before that night, I was a little hesitant. I worry about everything, and my guard was up.
We talked a lot, and I realized that with these people I could be my most authentic self. I did not have to hide anything; I did not have to fake my way through an awkward conversation or vie to fit in. I did not feel I needed to be someone else to get them to care. I felt the care, from the fact, they took their time to listen to me. They took their time to build me up and make me feel like I was worth something.
By the end of that conversation, I felt I was worth something. That is not a normal feeling for me. I bow down to others and put them on a pedestal, but with these friends, I felt like an equal. At that moment I realized that I was worthy. I was worth having genuine friends.
These people made me feel like I was something important that I could be something important. I have written about having real friendships before, and I found them to be a struggle. I did not know what else there was to do. I saw everything through rose-colored lenses. I have tried to see the good in people and build them back up where they can feel safe and happy – it comes back to bite me.
At that moment, though, I realized that I had true friends. I had people that cared for me and my well-being. They were not asking the questions in a berating way; they were asking it in a way to help me get there. That night I put my guard up to shut them down – I was afraid because I had never felt the care that way before. It also scared me because any time I thought it was safe, it was ripped away from me.
I do not feel that way with these friends. It is as if by asking that question, by a few texts on random days and being there when I need someone, they have shown that I am worthy. These people are some of the most talented, kind hearted, interesting, funny, and compassionate people I have ever met, and I know that I am lucky to know them. I am fortunate to have friends like this in my life.