Do you remember the times when someone signing off as “BFF” in a letter to you was one of the highlights of your week and/or your diary entry? Or the sinking of your heart which you can feel physically when you found out that your supposed BFF gave “the other friend” a special note/drawing/gift AND signed off as “BFF” there?
As schedule conflicts abound, hanging out with people who mean a lot to me has become increasingly challenging this semester. And that always sucks. This led me to think about the importance of meeting each other’s needs in a friendships. Perhaps the more suitable word would be friendship expectations instead of needs. For the first time, I actually do not want to go into an argument of semantics because I am exhausted and I don’t think it matters.
I do not know how often it is that you think of friendships in terms of needs-meeting; I certainly do not do it until the moment in which I think my friends are failing my expectations. Then I take a step back and examine my friendships: why are they there and what has sustained them? We engage in friendships because we gain something out of it – entertainment, joy, conveniences, feelings of love and acceptance and so on. Will you engage in a friendship in which you gain nothing out of? Are we capable of being that selfless? Would such a relationship even qualify as a friendship or is there another term?
I am surprised that I’ve reached a point where I am becoming increasing comfortable with who I am. I don’t fit in there and that’s okay because I have my own place to be in. If I keep trying so hard, I might break myself; and that’s not okay.
Finally some progress.
Fall 2010 – I was unaware at that point that I was taking a picture with a woman whose irreplaceable friendship will inspire and change me and will continue to for the rest of my life.
I love you, April Phillips. Happy Birthday!