It wasn’t until this past weekend visiting home that I realized and understood what a good friend really is. I was dreading the thought of it – being home without a car, staying at my grandmother’s depressing house, having nowhere to even go! I knew the general routine
It wasn’t until this past weekend visiting home that I realized and understood what a good friend really is. I was dreading the thought of it – being home without a car, staying at my grandmother’s depressing house, having nowhere to even go! I knew the general routine – I spent time with my family and that was that. Rarely did I go home and spend any time with friends from home. It had gotten to the point that they have gone on with their lives without me. My effort was the only one that was present. Relentless texts and calls, to the point my brother snapped, “Are you kidding me? No, do not text her again. Why do you even try?” with a sassy “ugh” and an eye roll. I realized then that I was just making a fool of myself. So, this weekend in particular, I made it clear in advance that I would be home for the weekend. I wasn’t expecting them to drop their plans at my beck and call because I just so happened to be in town. Yet, as predicted, they never called. But it was this visit home in particular that I truly felt I needed them, and still, nothing.
I had arranged a ride from the airport from a very close family friend whom I have known for years but had grown closer to in the past year. She was there, and how grateful I felt. I strongly intended on expressing my gratitude and desire to spend the day together after I got in, and we did just that. We had spoken briefly of spending some time the next day together as well, but I knew how that went. It was destined to not happen… and yet it did. She was my mediator for an awkward brunch, my reliable driver and laughter for long car rides to visit my brother, my puppy cuddling, relationship gossiper for the rainy afternoon, and she even chose dinner with me over having it with her boyfriend. It was all so nonchalant, so natural, so easy. I went away, back to my second home looking happily back on the weekend visit – something I didn’t think I would feel. It was then that I realized good friends do exist, and after twenty-one years, I had one.
Through much stress and frustration, it is not till this very day that for the first time I’ve started to understand friendships on a level I never thought possible, which is why I share this with you…
IT’S OKAY TO HAVE HALF-ASSED FRIENDS. Lots of people half-ass their entire lives. This is no excuse and doesn’t mean it’s okay to have bad friends, but it takes a lot of understanding to realize that even some of the half-assed ones are good friends.
A good friend is a different definition for everyone, but we all know the basic rules and that it takes caring and loving. It takes being there for that person when it really counts. Maybe not for all of the weekend visits or phone calls, but when they miss your birthday two times in a row, that’s a deal breaker. When you need a shoulder and they’re never there, deal breaker. When you’re the one waiting all day to spend time with them and cancel other plans and they hang with other friends instead, deal breaker (yup, I’ve learned the hard way). These are understandable things, but it’s tough realizing that not all people are going to be as caring as others, and they really just can’t; it’s not in their genes. Not everyone is equal amounts of caring or giving or appreciative or reliable. It’s not true that “if they’re a real friend, you really connect and bond and are soulmates, they will be there no matter what” (this goes for relationships too). It’s not like in the movies for every person. It’s not all thoughtfulness and love and caring. They may not go to extremes for you like what you would do for them; it’s learning to not take it personally and understand that that’s just who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re not good friends. They may be there when it counts and love you just as much as you love them, but they don’t have the same level of understanding and ideals in terms of commitment and care that you do. What makes people best friends are those who connect with you because you share the same level of understanding and desire in terms of being a good friend; they would do the same for you that you would do for them.
I’ve had a lot of half-assed friends. They most likely don’t see it as being half-assed, but I do just because I’m the type of person who gives it my everything, and it took me a long time to understand that IT’S OKAY, they’re still GOOD FRIENDS, they’re just not the same type of person I am. Any type of relationship requires balance and having needs fulfilled to make them flourish, but some people will never meet your needs and you either have to accept that they aren’t that type of person and love them anyway, or move on. Maybe you’re not the type to give it your all and wear your heart on your sleeve, but you need a friend who is, and vice versa. It’s understanding the type of person you are, understanding the type of people you’re dealing with and what will come from the relationship, and realizing what you need and accepting what you can’t have. Man, life’s complicated, as are you and everyone else, and we’re all just trying to figure each other out, one step at a time. We’re all unique in our own way, and it’s understanding people’s individualities that make it all so interesting. Therefore, always remember, everyone’s different, and it’s okay.
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