Saturday, April 30, 2011

Know Your Friends...

When I was younger I heard a man give a working definition of friendship. He said it's when people have similar thoughts, interests, and personalities. His definition intrigued me, mainly because I thought he was wrong. I wasn't able to define it myself because I believe I was 10. However, that's the age when I met the ones I call my best friends. Now that i'm a grown up I think about that man's definition all the time. I know he was wrong because friendship just describes the relationship between two people just like married, or couple. For example, the word married has a much deeper meaning than marriage. 
I googled the word friend and got various definitions. "A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations," "a familiar or helpful thing," "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard," "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts," and "A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause." I'm not too sure about the first definition in this instance, but when I look at the rest of the definitions I think of a different "friend" for each one and sometimes none of the people I call my friend come to mind. It's in my personality to shift towards liking the fourth definition most out of them all. At the same time it discourages me because I can't say that I know, like, and trust all the people I call my friend. There may be two out of three but rarely do I find all three. I've claimed the same best friend whom I met when I was 10 for as long as I can remember. We haven't always gone to the same schools, hung out with the same people, and even now we don't live in the same state. Our friendship remains strong. Our schedules don't allow us to speak every week or even every month. When I tell people that's the type of friendship we have they look at me crazy, in disbelief. We go for weeks without speaking but we're always in contact. I'm the God Mother of her son and every once and awhile I get a cute picture message of him making a funny face. The best part about it is that when I go home to visit we always pick up back where we left off. There's never an awkwardness between us. I call her my sister because she treats me like one. I KNOW her and she knows me no matter how far apart we are or how much we've grown. We share different views on major things. I don't agree with everything she does and vice versa. We're in absolutely two different places in life but it makes no difference to us when we're together. I LIKE her, and love her with all of my heart. I know and like a lot of people the way I like my best friend. This is where the two out of three comes in. What made me realize I had false friendships was I couldn't get all three with some people. I TRUST my best friend with my life. There's no example I could give to exemplify and I realize now that's what I'm missing in some company I keep. This girl is not my best friend because she's my oldest friend, but because she is my working definition of a friend without any exception. 

What I've found is that the word "friend" gets lost in fun, similar interests, and mutual acquaintances. I want to lose this. I want to stop using a word like "friend" to describe those that only give a fraction of my definition. I want to know well enough to share and love, I want to like enough to always have you on my mind, I want to trust enough never to have to wonder. Someone told me the other day "You have so many friends." I should've replied, "No, I have many prospects." I have few friends that I know of. Friends and family are one to me. I call my best friends my siblings. They know who they are. There wasn't a meeting to discuss this nor has it ever come up in our conversations, it just happened just like love. Analyzing those definitions forced me to recognize how few friends I have and I'm okay with that. Saying you have a true friend is like saying you have wet water, a friend is always true and if you can't see the truth in someone you call friend then they're probably something else. 

So that's it. In writing this I realized, for myself, what a friend is and although I may be friends to some people they may not all be friends to me. It's a strong word just like love or hate and should be used cautiously. It's about bonds and barriers. Build bonds and keep them behind barriers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment