How I Define Friendship

Since moving to Texas, every single relationship in my life has changed. As far as my family is concerned, I used to see my mom 3-4 times a week; now we’re lucky if we chat on the phone once or twice a week. I would see my dad at least once a week; I’ve seen him twice since I left home in July 2012. My aunt and I would get dinner a few times a month; now we skype a few times a month. My brothers and I actually talk more now, but it’s mostly via facebook and texting. None of this is a problem…in fact, I think me moving has made my relationships with my family stronger (especially with my siblings), but the impact on my friend group has been a bit different.

In many ways, I am a classic extrovert (in the MBTI sense): I don’t and haven’t ever really had a set group of super close friends, but I instead tend to float through groups. I thoroughly believe that friendships are fluid. There are few times that I’ve said good bye to people and cut them out of my life. Instead, I just continue to accumulate acquaintances who become dear friends in the moment. If our circumstances change, I’ll find a new group, but that doesn’t mean I cut the other group out of my life.

I certainly do not believe that the best quality friends are the people you’ve known the longest. In fact, when I think about my absolute best friends, I’ve known one since high school and the other since the beginning of college. Sure, I have friends who I went to day care with and things like that, but time doesn’t make or break a friendship. Lemme tell you what, though, 1,741 miles can certainly tell you a lot about who should be important to you and conversely, who you matter to.

There are people in Texas who I have become close to; some who have already left and others who are going to leave this year (including myself). I love these people, but I don’t know how close we’re going to stay after May 17, 2014 (**cough cough COMMENCEMENT cough cough**). That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop caring about them after we move our tassels, it just means that our circumstances are changing and thus, our relationships have to do the same thing.

I care about pretty much everyone I cross paths with. I know, I know, coming from someone who can be perceived (and sometimes, rightfully so) as a raging bitch, that might sound like a surprise, but it’s the truth. If you read my last post, I think part of the reason I can’t handle feigned happiness is because when I know someone is hurting or upset, I will take on their emotions because I want them to feel better. Now, most people don’t know this about me because I keep myself a bit guarded, especially around those kinds of people. Whether people know it or not, I care immensely about their well-being. I think a primary example of this is when I get on facebook and see people I went to HS with who didn’t go right to school but who are going back now. I will shamelessly like every post about every experience they have with higher education because it truly warms my heart to see them going back to school and better themselves. Have we talked since high school? Maybe once or twice at a bar at the most. That doesn’t mean that I can’t care about their path.

Additionally, I’m not an includer AT ALL. On the weekends, I’d be content to sit in my apartment alone and do my own thing (not a very “extroverted” thing to say, but my coworker swears it’s because I’m a Taurus). If someone asks me to do something, I don’t think to ask 2901765423 other people to come along–it’s just not my style. On the flipside, when I ask people to do something, I don’t always openly invite everyone because 1. I don’t know everyone’s life and what they like to do, and 2. when I’ve invited people to do something a few times and they continually say no, I feel stupid for ever asking in the first place. This is probably because I’m not one to reach out and include everyone to begin with, so when I take the time to do so and I get blown off? Naaaah, that’s not cool with me.

I guess this is all coming from a place of reevaluation. Recent events have me questioning who I keep around and how I treat people. Are there days I think it would be easier to just cut the cord or send a few bridges up in smoke? Hell yes. Are there people who would be very deserving of that reaction from me? Yeah, probably. But that’s just not who I am. As I get ready for another big change this year, I’m more guarded than I need to be because I know that another big adjustment is coming. With that being said, I’m hella excited to meet new people and extend my network of friends around the country.

My bottom line would have to be that I keep my relationships fluid because it makes transitions easier for me. Does it get lonely sometimes? Sure. Like I said, I only have a few people who I know I can call ANY TIME I need someone. Other than those few times, it’s pretty fun having such fluid relationships with people. I can call up people all over just to see what’s up and because we never “ended” our friendship, it’s not awkward to pick up where we left off.

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