The Power of Friendship

I wrote a post last July about Friendships (read it here), but this has been on my mind recently. I hope this is not too much of a re-hashing of what I said six months ago, but we’ll see.

My friends are incredibly important to me. They support me and comfort me. Talking, laughing, crying, and memories are almost always part of the equation. I said six months ago that I don’t talk to a lot of people. That’s still true, but in a different way. Since then, my circle has fluctuated in size and consistency of communication.

It’s so interesting because the people I consider my friends are all so different. I have known some of them since first grade, and some only since I’ve gotten to college. We might be friends for different reasons, but all are a part of my life.

My friends help to remind me who I am. My identity may not be formed by them, but is influenced by them. Last year, I kind of lost myself a little bit. I have been using my friends to help me rediscover myself. They challenge me and strengthen me, and I am so grateful.

It’s also really interesting to me that I have different friends who serve different purposes. I have a couple friends who are very logic-based and are going to give me logic-based responses. That’s great when I’m looking at making decisions. I also have friends who are emotionally-based (more like me). Those friends are awesome for when I’m going through stuff and need support. My third group of friends are those who are gonna give it to me straight every single time. They’re the ones to tell me that I’m doing dumb stuff and need to fix my life.

Just because some friends fit more into one category doesn’t mean they can’t understand others. For example, I told one of my logically-based and one of my emotionally-based friends about a situation with someone else. The logic friend was like “I would cut them out of my life and never go back.” Whereas the emotion friend was more “That person isn’t worth your time.” I shared this situation with a couple of my straight-shooting friends and they were both like “Yeah, that’s ridiculous.” So you can see what I mean about the different purposes.

I’ve kind of retreated into a shell recently, and I’m working on coming more out of it. Not that I’m antisocial or anything, but I’ve just been living a more private life. That isn’t a bad thing, and I plan to continue that to a less severe degree. But I want to be more open, and my friends are helping me with that.

It is also interesting because I am at the age where my friends are in different stages of life. Some of my friends are married and/or have children, others work a full-time job, some are in college, and others already have a degree. My friends are also spread out all over the place, to the point where I only see some of them five times a year or less. But we stay connected through texting, calls, and social media.

My friends are also my biggest encouragers. My last post of 2018 was about getting my first tattoo and my ears repierced. I went with one of my best friends. If I hadn’t gone with her, I probably would have chickened out and not done it. There are some things that are meant to be experienced with other people. I can take myself out to dinner or even go see a movie by myself with no problems whatsoever. Things that scare me or excite me are usually better with someone else. I would not have gotten a tattoo without someone else there. I don’t like going to sporting events or shows alone. I have no problems riding a roller coaster alone, but I wouldn’t go to an amusement park by myself. That’s where my friends come in. Some of my friends have no desire to get a tattoo or step foot into a tattoo shop. Some don’t like sports or plays. And others cannot enjoy roller coasters. My friends don’t all have to have the same interests as me. While that would be fun, I would get bored.

One of my best friends (the one who got the tattoo with me) is an excellent artist. A lot of her drawings are in an anime-type style. She has recently been working on a more realistic style. She showed me a drawing the other day that was back in the anime style and said something along the lines of “I didn’t really want to do this, but I love this style.” I told her that expanding her drawing style doesn’t have to mean excluding her previous style. I think that is an excellent analogy for friendship. My friends have different interests and came into my life at different times, but that doesn’t mean I have to exclude any of them.

I mentioned this in my July post, but adding new friends does not mean losing old ones. Let me say that again. ADDING NEW FRIENDS DOES NOT MEAN LOSING OLD ONES. Right now, the people I’m pretty consistently talking to include my best friend who I’ve known since kindergarten (didn’t become friends until like 4th grade though), someone I’ve known for not even two years, and someone who before last year, I haven’t talked to in probably close to a decade at this point (I don’t think that is too much of an exaggeration; maybe like 7-8 year range). These are three different people who I am friends with for three very different reasons, yet they each make me better in their own way.

I hope you don’t take this as some sort of bragging post or anything. I am so grateful for my friends and what they mean to me. I’ve had some bad friends in my life, and I have learned or am learning from that. I write this post to help you examine your own friendships. We aren’t meant to go through this world alone. You need people you can trust to be around you. And if you don’t feel you have any friends, I’ll be your friend! I have my email, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter on here, and I have all of those apps on my phone. If you message me or contact me, I will see it! I will gladly be your friend if you need one. Don’t be alone.

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