Friends are interesting creatures because each and every one of them is different, even though they share the same classification. When I say I’m “doing things with friends” each and every time I let it pass my lips I’m saying something completely different. And when I see them randomly in public there are different reactions and expectations with each one. I love the idea of friends because they’re like cards in a Rolodex. You can flip through and so many memories come back to you.
My first memory of someone I called a friend was when I was in kindergarten. I looked up to Robert and Joseph. They were both bigger than me, physically, and they had a quiet confidence that is lacking in most kindergartners. They seemed sure of themselves, and I wasn’t even remotely there, so I followed them around and tried to insert myself into their conversations. It wasn’t until later in the year that I realized they liked me being around because I was good at figuring out things. I guess my brain was analytical even then. But the point was I thought they were doing me a favor by teaching me a way to be when they appreciated the way I already was.
We were inseparable for the rest of that year, the three of us, and they helped me to value what I can bring to a friendship — my individuality. And since then that’s what I have attempted to do. Instead of trying to be like others in order to strike and maintain a friendship, I just try my best to BE myself, to show who I am from the very start so they’re not shocked when I finally show my true colors. It took me an eternity to really get it down, though, because my first instinct is to gravitate toward how the other person is, and what I think they want from me. If they like a certain type of music I tried to force myself to like the same music, even if I didn’t. If they enjoyed a type of food, I became a connoisseur of that food, even if it made me gag.
Being a good friend means being good at understanding who I am and what I want out of the friendship.
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