I have tried to write this post several times, now, and always given up. It shouldn’t be so difficult to write, and yet the number of drafts I must go back and delete after I (theoretically) publish this one is absurd. But I’ve become increasingly aware of the difference in the quality of life between the people I know who are happy with their friends and the people I know who are not.
I just got back home from a birthday party for somebody I adore, a friend of mine who, just by being who she is, makes me want to be a better person. That sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s not that kind of vaguely inspirational-Disney-movie feeling that the world isn’t ready for me. It’s more specific than that. She reminds me how much integrity matters, how important it is to own your own bullshit, how much awfulness a single human being can handle with grace, humor, and tact (I have one of the three). I have nothing but respect and love for her, who she is, and how she moves through the world and her life. I am honored that she calls me her friend.
She is but one of my many amazing, brilliant, kind, generous, supportive and loving friends.
If y’all recall, I’m shy (I refer back to that post a great deal, don’t I?). It took me a long time to learn how to make friends, and one of the things I vowed to do was to be a friend. I was not going to pay lip service to friendship. I was not going to fuck around with two-faced bullshit, I was not going to play games, I did not care to waste time playing roles for people or myself. I was going to earn every friend I made.
To this end I work hard to maintain my friendships. I provide a shoulder and an ear when they are needed (also, whiskey and food). I keep the secrets I’m meant to keep. I offer time when I have it, and do my best to make time when I don’t. I make it a point to try to text/email/chat/FB to tell my friends that I love them, miss them, think they are rad on a regular basis. Given the number of friends I have, this tends to be limited to my closest, which is in some ways a shame, because they are not the only people I love and appreciate. And if I am failing to maintain my friendships, odds are, something is going down in my life that is preventing me from doing so.
I believe it is because of this, the fact that I am a decent cook, and the fact that I’m hilarious, that I have the friends I have.
Making new friends is interesting, because I have enough. Yeah, yeah—I’ve heard it before: “you can never have enough friends.” Meh. That’s true in terms of networking and for the purpose of throwing loud, obnoxious parties. But in terms of real, in-depth, trusting relationships, it’s all about quality over quantity. I am at a point in my life where, if I go out of my way to seek out your company in any way? It’s because I see something in you that means something to me. It could be your intelligence, your sincerity, whatever—it’s something that is, to me, worth exploring.
I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be in such a position. To be surrounded by so many amazing, wonderful friends that I can handpick yet more amazing, wonderful friends. Hello, luxury.
And I am not saying that all of my friends are perfect. None of them are. I mean, except for you… Hi.
But I can look around at the people I love, and who love me, and be proud of them, and proud that I’m with them. If you can do the same, *high five*. If not, time to reevaluate. Life is too short to play in the bullshit.