Quick recap; one day we were friends – the next day we weren’t. I distinctly remember the day, the feelings of betrayal, the questions wondering why, and the void for where you once belonged. Best friends turned to enemies… I guess best friends are just figures of who y’all used to be, or better yet what y’all used to be.
Don’t play we’ve all been there before rather male or female. Somehow, we’d stumbled upon “our person” the one that was just different from all other friends. You know, that friend that’s turned into family, something like your chosen sister or brother. In my books a friend is the family you choose. The ones that you don’t have to do life with however you choose to because something inside of them makes something inside of you a little different.
Much like when we were children finding friends as an adult is just as hard. When we’re five all we were looking for was someone to be genuinely nice and not laugh at us behind our backs, honestly not much changes at twenty-five, we still want those same things perhaps with a bit more spice added to it. At twenty-five we aren’t only looking for someone that is genuinely nice but someone that is also trustworthy, open, and honest.
I often hear of stories of the betrayals of “friendship” and afterwards I’m always left with the same words, “those two were never really friends” but is it really that simple? In hind sight I think many of us fail to realize that friendships are in fact relationships. They take work from two willing parties to work and it has to be a clear line of communication in order for this to take place.
A few years back I’d seen my best friend after what felt like ages and this overwhelming feeling came over me as if I was standing before a stranger. We sat and talked. Catching up over drinks but the feeling inside wouldn’t leave and the person before me was no longer who I thought she’d be. It was the oddest feeling I’d ever felt with her and for a bit I really believed that we must’ve grown so much apart that we no longer were the best friends we once had been.
Truthfully, if she wasn’t the person she is, I more than likely would have just let it go. It being the friendship. It being her and whatever this bullshit was. That’s how different this was. I mean we’d been friends half our lives but the person before me surely wasn’t someone I’d ever seen or spent time with before. Isn’t that crazy? I literally was about to say to hell with a friend I’d known half my life all because one day when I seen her the “vibes” were off. It sounds absolutely absurd but many people have done similar things, the energy was off so you picked a fight and that fight led to you two never speaking again.
Or what about the friend who always has an excuse when it’s time to celebrate you. Somehow they can always find a way to be in the mix unless that mix is specifically for you. I distinctly remember one birthday she’d flaked for what I’d considered the last time and I had to let her have it. I told her exactly how I felt and that she couldn’t possibly be my real friend if she couldn’t celebrate the one day that was designed for me. Yes, she’d been there on other occasions but since she wasn’t there on this one I was ready to call our five year friendship quits.
I’d have to say out of all the friendships and calling it quits with those said friends, the hardest ones to end happened to be where the lines had been blurred from friend to a little bit more. High school was a time of discovery. A time where I wanted to find my place and exactly who I was. Ironically, almost ten years later I’m only now truly finding what and where my place really is, and hell in the next ten years I may find that this isn’t the place for me anymore – but that’s another story for another time. Either way I had a few friends that scribbled on the once straight lines and distorted the views of what we used to be.
The first waited years before finally revealing his true intentions about why he was my friend. So was he ever my friend or did he always want to be my man was the question that ran through my mind every time I’d see him after that fateful conversation. The realization that he actually liked me more than our best friend status bothered me in ways that would affect my male friendships in the future. The next one was like a rainbow after it stormed. Truly, a friend that was a confidant, a support system, and genuine enough to check me when it was needed. I’d have to say this one caused the most self-inflicted pain because before there was ever a relationship there was a friendship, I’d simply negated that fact that a friendship is where it should have stayed at.
Therapy has taught me that every extended interaction with another human being is some form of relationship. With friends the category can be vast and wide but I’m only just learning this as an adult. I can remember as a small child my Ganma would tell me often that you don’t need friends and that if you do a few is just fine. Now, don’t tell my Ganma this but as an adult I beg to differ. I have friends for everything I do now. Friends that are interested in partying occasionally. Friends that like to just sit around the house and talk. Friends that like to go eat, have drinks, and laugh. Friends that like to go to church and pray with me. Friends that I only see when it’s business related. See? I have friends for every occasion. Even a friend that I can just talk about life’s issues with.
One thing I’ve realized is that some friends are meant to be in our lives for a moment and others are meant to be in our lives for a lifetime. For instance, the friend with the weird vibes – she’s a lifetime friend but she’s changed. The problem is I took the change as switching up on me when in reality she’d just evolved to someone new just as I’d done the same. She’s a friend that no matter what will be considered family because that’s just the way the vibes have always been despite that one time. A quick look in the mirror and a few months of no talking allowed me to really see her for who she’d grown to be. A grown woman who no longer had the ability to drop everything, every time I came running. Was she a fake friend because of this? No, she simply was busy. My emotions and irrational expectations almost cost me one of my nearest and dearest friends.
Or what about the friend that didn’t show up when I wanted her to but showed up when I needed her to? Was the friendship worth ending or was it worth reevaluating? For this one, it was a reevaluation about how she was in my life that allowed us to remain friends. I’d sat and thought about all the times we’d spent together and other than “turning up,” I couldn’t really think of any significant amount of time where we just sat and talked about life. I’d somehow created this image in my mind that she was my all around friend when in fact she’d only shown me that we were good to party together.
Lastly, the friends who’d ventured into my lives as became more than friends. Well unfortunately neither of them are still friends of mine. The first friend had felt like the ultimate betrayal. We’d established what I though was a brother and sisterhood when in fact it was something else all along. I personally felt cheated and lied to and so I just couldn’t continue the friendship. The next wasn’t as simple. I often battle with wondering if throughout the course of our friendship/relationship we were truly in love or what the hell it was. We’d break up then makeup swearing to solely be friends and somehow we’d find ourselves entrapped in each others arms yet again. The friendship was the grounds for everything and my was it a beautiful friendship. Somehow, the relationship never translated as beautifully as the friendship did. Shit was just off. I’m not really sure why but I take it as a sign that us going on different courses is exactly what should be.
Yes, friendships are relationships but with every relationship we must evaluate who we are, what we expect, and who we are requiring it from. I read somewhere a few years back that we sometimes construct what type of friend someone is to us based on what we desire out of a friend, but again we choose our friends – so if they aren’t equipped with the things you are looking for in a friend it’s simply a reflection of you. If I had to give any advice to someone with friends it’d be not to limit your friends. Don’t place them in the box you want them but instead allow them to freely be who they are and their place will reveal itself. Also, don’t force it. We all have expiration dates. Someone could be your closest friend in college and twenty years from now although you don’t talk to them everyday when you do talk it feels like you spoke just yesterday. Lastly, be open. Friends can come from anywhere and at anytime. Some will come and go and others will stay but be open to accepting them as they come and saying goodbye as they go.