Friends. The people we have around to make life suck a little bit less. Let’s face it, if we didn’t have friends around, we would go insane. Who else would vent to about our every trouble and sorrow? Who else would be there to make us laugh and smile? Who else would we hang out with and do incredibly stupid stuff (eg. throw watermelon at cars)? No one, that’s who. You’ve got to have friends around that make you happy. If you don’t, well, a lot of your days might feel pretty depressing. Surrounding yourself with good people lets you make life more enjoyable. Bottom line, friends make life worth living.
Making friends is probably one of the first life skills that you’ll ever develop. Starting with your first day of kindergarten, you begin to learn how to form friendships. You talk to other kids and figure out who seems like they would make a good companion. You interact and you start to separate the kids that you say, “Yeah, I really like him.” from the ones that you say, “Ehh, not so much.”. You create relationships. You make friends.
Going through high school, you have plenty of friends. Some of those friends may even be the same ones from kindergarten. You have friends that you play sports with, friends you hang out with, or friends you just say hello to in the hall between classes. You have a core group of people who you call your “best friends”, the ones you eat lunch with everyday and hang out with on a consistent basis. Sound familiar?
But, a funny thing happens. Life happens.
Time goes by and you and your friends go down separate paths. Some go this way, some go that way, and you go your own way. At first, everything seems fine. You stay in touch with your friends, and all is well. Your relationships are the same as they were before. You say to yourself, “Nothing is going to change.”.
But, things do change. You don’t see your friends as much as you used to. In fact, you don’t see some of them at all. For whatever reason, you don’t communicate with your friends as much. Some stop communicating with you and fade away completely. Some of the strongest relationships that you’ve spent most of your life creating disappear before you even know it. Pretty crummy, huh?
Even though it seems like the worst thing ever, it’s not all bad. Some friends stick around. Some friends still talk to you, even though you chose very different paths. Some friends still hang out with you whenever they can. Some friends are still there for you no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Some friends still listen to all of your troubles and sorrows. These, folks, are true friends.
Until you know what it feels like to have friends slip away, you don’t appreciate what it means to have a true friend. A very sad fact of life is that a great majority of the people you call your friends will disappear. And when they do, it’s a sickening feeling. It feels like some of the best relationships that you constructed weren’t as valuable as you thought they were. Actually, it feels like they weren’t valuable at all.
So, my first piece of advice is to appreciate the hell out of the friends that stick around. Trust me, they are few and far between.
If you have someone who is there for you whenever you need them make sure you don’t let that person out of your life. Down the line, you’re going to need people to count on, people you can go to when things get stressful. You may only have one person that you feel like you can turn to no matter what, and that’s completely fine. But, do not let them slip away. One of the few treasures in life are true friends. They are always there for you, no matter what the circumstance.
My second piece of advice is to surround yourself with as many good people as you can. From the time you start making friends, pick the people who are genuine. Form relationships with people who will be there for you. Choose friends that aren’t just friends. Choose friends that are true friends. Befriending as many good people as you can will only make your life better. It’s a blessing to have one true friend, but having more than one certainly won’t hurt.
Moral of the story: appreciate the friends that stick around. They always have your best interest at heart and they will never abandon you. It’s not often that you find someone who you can rely on like one of your very best friends. So, don’t let em leave. Even if you have to chain them up in your basement.
That’s probably the worst advice I’ve ever given…
The basement thing, I mean. Everything else is rock solid. But seriously, never lose a true friend. That’s just plain dumb. When it comes down to it, some of us humans are actually worth keeping around.