it's a matter of principle, really. friends are the kind of people you choose. you decide who advances to higher rank, who makes you happy, whose benefits outweigh their costs. in which case, why settle for less or waste time on people who aren't of the highest compatibility?especially for the best friends - the lifelong ones. for a single gal like myself, friends really count. they're the foundation, they're the fortress, they're
the commitment. so i often wonder: how is it that i've let a surplus take up my time when all i've needed all along... was a select few?
and tonight i saw it. i was freuding my thoughts as i lounged back on a couch in a small, marker-scented room with jess. as i started to surface my emotional climate, she mentioned something about this unbearable summer class that's been the sore in the back of my mouth for a few months now. i rolled off some grumbles about the past i cannot change and the burden it's having on the summer of 2006. she started clicking away at the computer, which at first frustrated me - was she even listening? i mean, i know i can ramble endlessly, but did she care? then i looked over, and inbetween clicks of the mouse, i could see that she was writing the names of colleges i can take a summer class at this summer.
and that's when i knew. friends are more than just the people who make us smile. i know it means more because there is more to being present. there is more than a head nod and a shoulder. anybody could generically tell me it'll be okay and not to worry. anybody could laugh at me for the 200th time witnessing my plan b executions. but it's friends who enable me. friends disregard the ability to relate or undertand. friends are problem solvers and thinkers. they look to your need and find a way to meet it - because if for no other reason than to stop hearing the whining stories of failed classes and summer-long engagements with psyc stats - they know you.
looking over at jess tonight reminded me that i've wasted so much time surrounding myself with more people than i need because all this time i've been disillusioned. i've scrolled through my 200 person cell phone contact list and smiled. i've walked into a room and known more than three quarters of the faces. i've called the many whose names i know and mindless details i keep rolodexed friends. because i thought to myself wow, all these people like me. all these people make me happy.
when in reality, it's not simply happiness that defines a true friendship - a lifelong relationship. happiness is not all of life. happiness happens. and having things in common, laughing together, sharing personal stories - those can make us happy. but all of that is just talk. just time spent.
true friendship, the kind i am now certain of, exceeds happiness. it makes us better. true friendship happens when a person's principles of life are met through a compatible, although not always similar person. my true friends can see who i really am, and despite the ramblings and jokes, they let me go on talking while they start picking places for me to go to summer school. they know where i want to go and why i want to be there. so they save the generic conversations and push while i pull myself down into the little ruts that make me me
. god it's a genuine effort to be important to me. i recognize this now, and i wish i had realized it long ago - before i halfway admitted these unimportant people into my commitment scope. i've been chasing people whose personalities fulfill the novelties i seek in friendships like mysteriousness and cutting witt for the past three years when i could have been sitting on couches solving my own mysteries and establishing completely undecipherable inside jokes. with people who matter.
it may seem selfish to determine my true friends through their ability to help me grow rather than simply their ability to be there. utility fascinates me. because so many people can be here for me. so many would come over for me in an instant if i really needed someone to listen. my lifelongs show up with a solution so i can get on with my life and do more than just engage in a conversation about it. i get so sick of just talking all the time and my lifelongs do, too. they want to just hop in the car and listen to music for a couple of hours. they call me to be sure i'm going to class. they are servants of friendship because their principles are like my own: without me, without those like me, they have no rock or fortress.
soon i will be moving to chicago. when i get there, i'll be a professionally trained someone of sorts and look back on the bumpy little road that got me on the metro, ipod blasting as i speed off to work. and i'll think to myself: if jess hadn't looked up that online class, i'd still be living at home, feeding the cats and sleeping in a bunkbed
. my friends, those closest to the neuroses that keep my motor running and farthest from the superficial niceties and banter, have gotten me here. there. wherever i go. so few people have really ever known me or been with me to see how deep my little rabbit hole goes. far fewer than those who think
they've seen it. with chicago on deck and nearly a month and a half's time to capitalize on the nearness of my loves, it's time to make some real
cuts. tonight prepared me. i'm ready to move on with only the thoughts of those who count.
for some time now, i've talked about writing a list of people who are worth staying in touch with after i leave this yeast bubble of a city. and before i go to bed, i will have it completed. which won't be hard to do. because it will be short.