What Friendship Has Taught Me

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

To be honest, there wasn’t, nor has there been any particular person thus far that I can think of; but in general, I have learned quite a bit about friendship this past year. The first big lesson was before my high school graduation, when I began to realize just how many friends I  subconsciously put on the back-burner for so many years, especially when we got into middle school. I spent so much time either trying to manage or salvage relationships that just weren’t there anymore. Admittedly, the ones that were there throughout that difficult period were the ones I brushed aside and wound up taking for granted. Before we went off to college I wanted to make sure that they knew how much of a blessing they had been to me; and I hope that they still know that now. 

It wasn’t until I got into college, mainly during the last couple of months, that I really learned a lot about letting go. I’ve always been fiercely loyal to almost everyone in my life, and for years had this notion that if someone came into my life, they would be in it forever. Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn a least a half a dozen times over that that is not always the case; as the saying goes, “people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime…and you just have to appreciate whatever time you have.” It can be a sad and difficult truth to absorb, but a truth nonetheless. 

Whether this be habit or just denial, I often forget that God has the ability to give as well as take away; and when a person suddenly stops talking to me, calling me, or acts stand-offish, I used to take it personally. Now I know that most of the time it’s either because they’ve served their purpose, or perhaps they shouldn’t have been a part of my life in the first place. In some cases, it may be due to their own personal issues that are just too big and complicated for me to handle. 

But there comes a point where you have to simply let them go; and as hard as that may be, there is a certain freedom to it. You no longer have to put so much time and energy into something that may not be there anymore. Maybe you were only seeing what you wanted to see, and them walking away was the only way you could see what was there all along. You enable yourself to focus on what you do have and what you can have with others, and to stop living in the past. 

And it’s also rather interesting to see what new doors can be opened after the old ones are closed. 

However, the most peculiar observation I’ve made is meeting new people and forming new friendships. There is so much beauty in meeting someone for the first time as well as getting to know them. Some of my most cherished memories with loved ones are simply the times that I sat down and talked with them. There is so much one can learn through a single conversation. 

Even better than that, while doing such I’ve had the ability to experience a sense of authenticity between myself and those that I’ve become close with these days. I believe it’s because I’m not carrying as much baggage as I used to, and I no longer feel so easily distrusting toward others. No, I don’t go spilling out my life story the second I learn their name; but at the same time, I don’t feel the need to hide who I am. There are those that become taken aback by that, but the way I see it, it’s my chance to shine. 

The most powerful lesson, in my opinion, can only be summed up through this saying:

true friends are not the ones that you always see every day or tell all your secrets to; they’re the ones that will be happy when you laugh, hold you when you cry, and regardless of what happens, will look at you and say “I love you EXACTLY the way you are

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