Friends: My Version of Extended Family

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Friends: to most of us they are an extension of our families, a person that has gone through the good times and the bad with you. A friend is someone who would take their shirt off their back for you, just as long as you wash it and bring it back. To sum it up: friendships to me are one of the core instalments in this thing called life. I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of friends, most of which I’ve grown up with my whole life. At the end of most days, I tend to look back at what I did and smile because it was with people who I care about and whose company I enjoy the most. I’m going to go through a few stories about my friends, but don’t worry guys, nothing incriminating or embarrassing!

Wayne's World

I guess the only logical place to start with this topic would be the first friend that I made. As far as I’m concerned, the first friend I’ve ever made was my boy Paul. It was preschool, and I was a terror. My temper tantrums came in abundance and no one was safe from the wrath of this ADHD fueled 3 year old. My buddy Paul can vouch, but the way we met was because, well, for lack of a better explanation, I bit him. Ask me why, I couldn’t tell you. How did that lead to a friendship that lasted 23 years? Not sure, but happy it did. We met up again in elementary school, where he and I shared some good memories, mostly laughs, and developed a relationship that still to this day hasn’t broken nor changed. I consider his family part of my own, and would still to this day do anything for Paul. We’ve come a long way since Westover dude, love you and am happy that we are still close.

Elementary school was where I made a lot of new friends, too many to name. Middle school, however, was a new experience to me. I realized that a lot of the kids that I went to elementary school went to different middle schools, so I would have to go through the whole process all over again. It was here that I met the guys that I still hang out with today, two of them being my roommates now. Sean, Eddie and I first linked up in 6th grade, Mrs. Friedman’s class in Cloonan. The three of us shared the goofball gene; leading us to crack jokes, act up and do just about anything and everything to frustrate our teachers. It got to the point where the school made it clear that the three of us wouldn’t be in the same class for the rest of middle school (even though we reunited together in 8th, haha). These guys, along with a few others, helped me feel comfortable being myself, as well as helped me make more friends along the way. Middle school was some of the best times of my life, and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.

High school, oh God. This is where most of the friendships I had tightened up, and became something special. You see, a lot of high school is going through those key years where you start to want to surround yourself with the people that are similar to you. The thing was, there were so many kids in my school, it was hard to get to know EVERYONE. That being said, I tried my best to interact with as many people as I can, different grades, ages, races, gender, didn’t matter to me. If you can spark a conversation with me, chances are I liked you and wanted to get to know you. Sports also helped me make new friends. I played hockey, and our team was compiled of the same dudes I grew up playing hockey with.  No matter what stage of life I was in, wherever I went, I always had a friend, which to me also meant that I had a family member at all times. To everyone I went to high school with and had the pleasure of getting to know (especially the clowns I still see on the regular), thank you. You all have a special place in my heart.

Last but not least, college. I lucked out in college because I happened to be rooming with my buddy Sam, who I’ve known since elementary school. Since we both knew each other, we would pal out and make friends together so to speak. Naturally, we both started meeting different people, and would eventually break off and establish our own group of friends up at school, while at the same time still maintaining a great relationship with each other as well. From the Burnap boys, to the Wiedl House, to the number of Blarney’s visits, it was all worth it. We went through real life shit together, slept through classes, partied just because, and lived off of each other. But hey, isn’t that what friends are for?

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One friend in particular who I wanted to save this last part for is a guy who I would consider one of, if not, my closest friend. My buddy Andrew, aka Chippy, is essentially my brother from a different mother. Ironically, when we were younger, he was my neighborhood paper boy. We would meet in front of my driveway and talk smack about hockey, or just say what up. We caught back up in middle school, where we developed a stronger friendship that lasted all the way through high school. I’m pretty sure that we have rooms at each other’s houses with our names on it, and would refer to each other’s parent’s as our own. He was a kid who would push me to be my best, not give a fuck about what other’s think, and just overall made me a better person.

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After school, real life hit, and we lost touch for a while. This didn’t stop us from keeping up with each other, we’d text each other, call each other, and just pick up where we left off whenever we were together. I was able to go out and be a part of his wedding, which was one of the most emotional days of my life. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, till death do us part dude, you will always be my best friend (kinda sounds like we’ve been married for a while, huh? Haha!) Chippy is an example of someone who shares the same values in friendship as I do: someone who respects you loves you for who you are, and doesn’t stop being your friend, regardless of where life brings you.

Friend Quote

Through my 25 (almost 26) years on this earth, no matter where I go or what I’m doing, I always seem to meet someone that I consider a friend, and once you’re my friend, you’ll always have my back. Thanks for all the memories, and hopefully we have plenty of time to create more, as well as make new friends along the way!

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