Friend. One syllable. A word so simple in its sound that one could blink and miss it. Aristotle called a friend "a single soul dwelling in two bodies". Some people toss the word out like party favors and for some... For some, one must have to earn the term and feel a deep-seated connection for it to be bestowed.
Friend. I may have said the word easily when I was younger but now it is a more reluctant title I bestow. Now, when I call someone a friend, it is because I hold them in a high enough regard for me to see them as someone who I can connect to. I've been told that this is too high of a standard and sometimes I agree. Yet then there are the other times...
Friends are there to pick us up when we fall because we all fall. Friends are there to make us laugh and to cry with us. Friends, true friends that is, is someone that a person can pour their heart out to- their naked, exposed, and sometimes ugly-looking heart- and have them only smile. Some people know what this means and for those people I feel the greatest pity for I cannot imagine how empty their worlds must be like. In fact, my heart hurt for them because for a long time I did know what that was like. I appreciate the friends I have so much now because of those times.
Friendship is a slow thing but that's because it can't be rushed. That used to frustrate me like crazy when I had no friends, when I would look jealously at the girls' table and feel my heart ache for what they had. But... The result of that slowness is something beautiful. Even when I went to sleepaway camp for a short two weeks, when I felt some of the deepest, most beautiful connections I ever had, it wasn't rushed. Our connection came in moments where we bore our hearts to each other. Moments where we spoke of what we could never speak of back home.
I've been wanting to write this for a long time, particularly because of the effects (good ones) that my friends have had on me. In the past couple of weeks, I have come more to treasure my best friend as well as our little circle of friends. I don't even know all of them that well but they make me laugh and smile so that's all that really countrs. They get me started on a good note.
I really do think they've saved me this year, one friend in particular. There's nothing I look forward to more than meeting up with her at the end of the day, as well as the other friend she's introduced me to. Maybe that sounds cheesy or creepy but... It's the truth. No matter how stressful my day has been or how my brain has been basically put through the shedder by all of the work that I've done, I always leave with a smile on my face.
About a week and a half ago, I was switching my Math course. I was put in one of my original Math class because of the mistake of my incompetent (for many other reasons) Math teacher. There, at least, I was finally feeling in control of things. But then I found out I had to take four years of Math instead of the required three and that I would be at a disadvantage for the SAT. This Math class was quick in pace and I was terrified that I would be drowning in it. Of course, I was freaking out about it and as I got closer I felt a panic attack coming on (you know, pounding heart, shortness of breath, sick stomach, tightness in my chest. That sort of loveliness). She gave me the sweetest note and it made me smile as I walked up the stairs. I didn't start to get the panic attack until I neared closer.
I had told her a couple days beforehand about my anxiety disorder and how I would need meds. She didn't look at me strangely or act awkwardly. The next day, she gave me a hug and asked me when I would be taking them.
Eventually she would have her own bad day. I won't embellish on the details because they aren't mine to dish out but... I hope that she was helped in the same way that she helped me, that I benefited her somehow. She did apologize to me for snapping at me and being upset but... It wasn't her fault. That's just the way things are when someone feels overwhemed by everything. Maybe it's not necessarily saying the right thing but just being there for that person.
At least we were there for each other. I'm not sure where I would be without her note or her support. I'm not sure where I would be if I did not unload the things that I have told her somewhere. Maybe some people may be luckier than others in terms of what they suffer but... We all need someone like that in this world.
A friend. They are that oh-so-important sustenance that keeps us going in this world.