Wednesday, February 16, 2011

friendships

So I was re-watching Felicity yesterday (my sister gave me some money to buy it online for my birthday, thanks Kim!) and I'm on an episode on the second season where Felicity and Julie are stuck on the subway for hours, fighting over Ben and all of the people stuck on the subway with them are debating their problem, trying to figure out who is at more fault: Felicity or Julie.


Then suddenly an old man, who has been silent the entire time, gets up and says this:

Old Man: "The way I see it, you two "best friends" were never best friends to begin with."

Felicity: "Actually, sir, I really think we were."

Old Man: "Hmm... If I'm understanding right, and I think I'm understanding right, you two met when you were both seriously lonely and maybe a little desperate, when you both needed a best friend. You shared a few things together, started to refer to each other as "best", but that was pre-mature, wasn't it? 'Cause what you had never really earned that title.

I had a best friend for 63 years, played in the minors together, went to war together. 63 years and here's the fact: you can't "get" a best friend, best friends become. They don't happen in a meeting or a year or two, it's a package deal. Friendship: Only as valuable as what you put in, come through. Judging something like that after one year, even if you got all the facts, that's like looking for the final score before you've seen the second inning... I don't think you two were best friends to begin with.

One of two things is gonna happen: you're either gonna come through this on your way to becoming the kind of friends you thought you were or you become memories. Memories that will fade into nothing."

After all of the friends that the years have brought me and taken away from me, and after all the ones that I called my "best", I've learned that I really don't like the words "best" and "friend" together. They rarely ever ring true when placed next to one another.


I'll admit that in my past I haven't always been the victim* in the falling out of  friendships (but that doesn't mean I was never the victim*, that's for sure), and for that I can only apologize for my actions and move on, especially since in the past I was still becoming the person I am today, making mistakes and falling into traps along the way.


But those situations taught me what I know today. I know that I haven't always gotten along with girls, mainly because I hate passive aggressive behavior (even though it's really difficult to avoid when others around you constantly engage in it), I hate competitive friendships (I'm so not into that and girls are NOTORIOUS for those ones), and I've always been comfortable just being one of the guys. That's not to say that I'm not a girl through and through, I am, but it's hard for me to deal with the complications that girlfriends often present.


But the main lesson I've learned, not only from my own experiences, but from listening to others' is that friendships like the one the old man described having are extremely rare. Most friendships are transient and are there for a season to teach you about yourself. The past couple of years (and especially this last year) presented me with a lot of shocking discoveries, confusion and painful moments that have been surprisingly easier to let go of in light of all that I've learned.


All I can do is pray for those situations/people, wish them the best and move on with my life. Holding on to pain and bitterness only hurts the person who is holding onto it. As much as I don't understand how or why things happened the way they did, I'm not going to dwell on it, because honestly, it's not worth it and I have a life that needs to be lived.


I also recently reconciled with an old friend. Unbeknownst to either of us, we each had been wanting for a while to contact the other to apologize for the past and then suddenly I got an email out of the blue that started a long conversation which led to said reconciliation. We both apologized for our behavior, for how things ended up and caught up on what we missed out on each others lives the past few years. It was such a relief to me to know that, though I should have handled it differently, she understood why I said what I said and felt how I felt, knowing that I had her best interest at heart.


Anyway, this episode just really got me thinking about friendships: how they become, how they evolve, how they, sadly, sometimes end and how they occasionally reconcile.


It's funny how the people you think will be there for you, a lot of the times, aren't and how the ones you never dreamed of, are right there when you need them the most.


*I also really hate throwing out the word "victim" because too many people play the victim card and don't ever own up to the responsibilities of their own actions, but in this case I couldn't think of a better word... sorry.
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