Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?

               Ever since we were able to communicate with people other than our family, we’ve been constantly talking and spending time with others that we felt shared similar interests, had similar traits, and some that we just wouldn’t give the time of day.  Out of all those people, we decided that a few of them can let stick around longer than most. Some of us still talk and hang out with the same people we did when we were younger, others grew distant, or just fell of the face of the Earth. If you haven’t picked up what I put down yet, I’m talking about our friends. Sure, we can all say we have friends, but how many of them really are? What constitutes a “good friend” and a “bad friend”? I’m about to break it down how I see friendships, and maybe it’ll make you think about who your real friends are.

                To start, I’m almost 90% sure that we all remember our first friend. I know I do. I met him back in pre-school. Actually, I bit him in pre-school, and after that we’ve been friends since. I went through all of elementary school with him, but we parted ways after that. As life usually does, we’ve caught up recently after some years because we both play for the same softball team. Do I consider him less of a friend because of our time apart? No. Would I still tell people he’s one of my best friends even after not constantly seeing each other every day or barely communicate as much as we used to? Of course. Time doesn’t put an end to friendships if you preserve them the right way, and we’ve done really well at that.

 I’ve come to learn that some of our friends fall distant the older we get because we all are trying to find our way in this crazy ass world. Time isn’t as readily available as it once was, and we now have to prioritize the time we do have to put our responsibilities first and social life second. Even when we do have our social time, we choose what to do with it, and who to do it with. I, for one, am fortunate to say I have a good amount of friends, and I wish we can all hang out together at the same time all the time, but we all know that’s not how it works. Some people we see more than others, but that’s by choice. Some we choose not to see, again by choice. I guess the point that I’m trying to get to through all this rambling is this: if you really consider someone your friend, take a little bit of time to hang out. If you can’t do that, give them a call or shoot them a text. Sometimes, it’s something as little as a hello or thoughtful message that can change someone’s day.

Some of the qualities of a friend, to me at least, are loyal, straight up, honest, down to Earth, and just always prepared for a good time or at least a quality conversation. The one’s I’d consider my closest friends all have these traits, which is why we still keep in touch today. Like everything else, I’m willing to give people a chance, but if you cross the line on any of those traits, then I’ll have to forget about you, or at least re-evaluate how I see you. If I’m going to be offering you my honesty, loyalty, and time, I’d hope that you’d return the favor to some degree. I’d love to say that all of the people I consider, or considered friends, respect this, but over time I had to let a few go. Remember: some of the people who call themselves your friend also have friends that you don’t associate with, so stay woke.

When it comes to my friends, I’d do anything for them. If it’s an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or a car to pick them up at 2AM, just say the word and I’ll be there. Now, I’m not someone who really does things like this to get recognition or to have a favor owed to me in return, I do it because in my opinion, that’s just what friends do. They’re basically extended family. I know only a seldom few friends that I can say would do the same for me. Then on the flipside, there are those friends who only come around when they need something. Typical situation: old friend you haven’t spoken to randomly calls you or messages you, asks how you’re doing, and then BOOM! In comes the question: “could you help me out?” Again, in this situation, naturally I’d say yes, as that’s what a friend does. Once I’m done helping though, they disappear out of thin air, only to pop up again once they need something else. This, to me, is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves about some people. If you’re only my friend for some sort of alternative motive, best believe that I’ll catch on and adjust myself accordingly. Fair weather friends are like sun tans: not permanent, and if you let them hang around long enough, you’ll eventually get burned.

Overall, I know who I consider my friends, and every one of our relationships is different, but like I said before, if you’re willing to maintain it, you’ll always have it. If you’re reading this and you’re someone that I haven’t kept in contact with or lost touch with, I apologize. Time is a crazy thing, and I promise I’ll try my best to at least try to reach out to you. To those who I’ve tried to reach out to and haven’t responded, my number hasn’t changed since high school, so you know how to reach me.

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