25 years, 7 thoughts, part 4: [FRIENDSHIP.]

I was originally slated to write this entry on the topic of stewardship, but I didn’t find my creative juices to be flowing, and decided therefore to write about something else that’s on the forefront of my mind: friendship.

I am quite a sentimental person – so when something like a birthday rolls around, I am inclined to be even moreso than usual. So lately, I’ve been thinking about the people I call my best friends and what tends to make them my best friends.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a slightly histrionic streak – I have a tendency to get pretty emotional about insignificant things, I get mad, upset, frustrated, or worried and in about 95% of cases, I am not at all justified. This causes me to lash out at my friends from time to time and get really emotional with the people who mean the most to me (it’s a terribly irony, really.) I have a bit of a fear of being left behind or given up on by my closest friends.

Here’s a basic formula for the success of a friendship: if kindness, patience, and grace runs out right at the point of insecurity and fear, that friendship is doomed for failure. If the friendship leaves no space for a little worry, a little doubt, and a little fear, then there is no use in having it be a close friendship. All of my best friends have seen me be extremely emotional, whether that’s towards them or just with them around; and I have seen my best friends be extremely emotional. We get frustrated with each other. We disagree and miscommunicate.

But I also have the best conversations with my best friends – about God, about music, art, politics, work, community, friendship, food, what have you – it’s a two-sided coin. And, I think, it’s those good conversations that let us go through the bad ones. It is over the course of those conversations when I realize the true heart and intention of my friend, and I realize that they’re too good of a person to ever give up on or to walk away from the friendship.

Because, I conclude, a person is greater than the sum of their bad moments (easy for me to say…) and should be treated as such. The best friends are the friends that will value the friendship and the individual over their own ego, and act in complete and utter honesty and transparency. If you’re frustrated, there’s space to be frustrated. If you’re ponderous, there’s space to be ponderous. Disagreeing, there’s room to disagree. Etc. Because friendships are more valuable than egos, and that should be lived out.

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