To The Friends I Can Be Myself Around

To The Friends I Can Be Myself Around

An open letter to those whose friendships I value more than a pint of Graeter's ice cream.

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There are those friends I love and care about deeply, but cannot be my true self around. Someone asked me before, "How can you call someone your friend if you can't be yourself around them?" I don't change myself to accommodate them or act in a manner unnatural to me — I just don't show them some sides of me. Growing up, some of my friends did not understand how I could ever want to write books or how I could love reading so much, so I learned at a young age to keep that side of me to myself. And yes, those are important parts of me, but my friends who did not understand it did accept it, and that was enough. Some thought it bizarre and humorous I love Celtic instrumental music or said some hurtful things about what I love that I realize now wasn't okay. But at the end of the day, there is love between us and common ground where I just remember to not mention some things.

Then there are those friends I can be my complete, unapologetic, authentic self with. The ones who support and encourage you to chase your dreams, even if they don't understand them. The ones who you can cry to about something silly, say whatever is on your mind without regretting it, and who thinks it's preposterous you refuse to fart in their presence because your other friends would give you crap for it (pun intended, and also true story). The ones you stay up late into the night talking about philosophy and crushes until your voices begin to rasp. The ones who are the closest to your heart.

I want to say thank you to these brilliant, caring, beautiful friends, new and old. Your love and support has helped me at all times, through the good and the bad and the boring. I only hope to be the same friend to you, to be open-minded, supportive, and enthusiastic. I believe it is important to cultivate a wide range of friends and support, but many of the friendships I mention earlier will most likely only be kept alive through memories; ours will last many lives to come. I look forward to growing old with you all and growing together.

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I Know She's My Forever Friend

A forever friend is one of the most important people in your world.
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The bond that my forever friend and I have is something that I do not have with any other person in the world. This is a list of ways you know that you have a forever friend:

You never get tired of being around her

She is probably the only person in your life that hasn't begun to bother you for some reason or another, at some point in time. You could spend hours, or days, with her. Even the smallest things you do together are fun because you are with her.

No subject is off-limits

You tell each other everything, and I mean, everything.

Thinking about seeing each other over break

And of course, when you do see her

Your family is her family, and her family is yours

It's not weird for you to be at her house all the time, show up at strange hours, or just decide to spend the night even though you live three houses away. And of course, her family welcomes you in like you are another one of their daughters.

You two have a bizarre sense of humor that only you understand

Whether it is the nights you spend watching random YouTube videos at 2 a.m. that make you both laugh so hard you cry or the commercials on TV that are only funny to the both of you, only you guys understand the humor in certain situations. You have probably experienced some of the most embarrassing moments together, and if not together, then you got a vivid story of the event.

You have no filter when she is being overdramatic

You pick up where you left off

If you and your forever friend are anything like me and mine, we do not talk every single day. You may only speak once a week, but it will give you the opportunity to catch up and talk like you have talked every single day. There may be quick conversations to see how the other is doing because you know you are saving all of the important stories for when you see each other again. At this point, conversations don't even start with "Hi" anymore, you just jump right to the point and tell her what you need to.

You really don't have a choice when she needs to go to the mall

She would do anything to make you smile

Even when you are feeling down, your forever friend knows just the right thing to do to make you happy again. Whatever the case is, she will be there for you always. She will say, and do, just about anything that will make everything better.

And sometimes she just needs a reminder…

Cover Image Credit: PopSugar

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Shockingly, There Is Strength In Being Weak

Abandon the idea that you do not deserve to be taken care of. You do!

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The one challenge in having a brave face, is others never considering there are moments you may not be. It is a beautiful yet complicated gift to be able to provide comfort to others. To be the person your friends and family turns to in times of crisis. Just remember that those who offer help, may need help sometimes too.

Lately, I have been struggling. Having flares of anxiety and repetition of old behaviors, that I am not so proud of. I am so kind to others facing struggle, but I have yet to understand the importance of offering myself the same respect.

Some may suggest therapy, seeking out health professionals. For many that may work. And if that is a tool that works for you, power to you! If you feel comfortable with the process pursue it! For myself, I am not. And I will tell you why.

I have yet to swallow my pride. To understand that the strong fail too. Oh how I despise failing. And I think fear of failure comes from my own personal expectations, to hold it "together". Because if I fall, who will those closest to me lean on? I have strength, therefore if I fall, we all do.

That may sound like an idiotic sentence, and while forming the words I recognize how false a statement it is. However, this is a deep rooted issue for many individuals. And for me this is something I struggle with. Allowing for the world to see my weakness.

One of my best friends, who has recently opened my eyes said to me, " To have the courage to ask for help is not you showing weakness, but strength." It takes a great deal of strength to open up. I find myself suppressing my emotions. Meanwhile, I write weekly about confronting your past. Yet I struggle in the practice I preach.

That is not weakness, yet it is a glimpse of reality. I am thankful for my friend, who noticed a shift within me, to speak up and make sure that I recognize that I am falling. Sometimes you cannot only rely on yourself, and you need to admit that you need help.

My greatest joy is helping others but again I cannot find the generosity in my heart to offer it to myself. I was wrestling with the "why". Why I cannot allow for others to worry about me, why I simply do not want other people to worry about me. It is because that is my job. Then I realized, being a brave individual goes hand in hand with wanting control.

I struggle with allowing for myself to be a mess. To admit when I have lost control of who I am. The issue with a brave face? You rarely let others see you cave. So those around you assume you are stedfast, strong, in control, without a shadow of a doubt ; okay.

I understand not each individual is intuitive. That people miss the signs of when others emotional well beings are compromised. I am grateful for my best friend and her intuitive mind and heart. Recognizing that I have not been completely myself as of late, just an extension.

For those of you , who feel you lack the skill. Those who are not capable of reading between the lines, noticing lack of bravery, please I advise you to check up on the ones who you are usually so sure that are "okay". A simple, "how are you", goes a very long way.

I know I was hoping all day that someone would recognize I was not so myself and ask the question. Thankfully, my best friend did. It is nice to know someone sees you. To understand that you're human, and to remind you that you're human. The brave are allowed to fall.

I note that this also means, the brave need to allow for transparency. Because when you allow for others to see your struggle, it is easier for them to then offer a helping hand. Break your silence, even if it proves that you are not always brave.

Each individual has strengths and weaknesses. My weakness? Being weak. Allowing for myself to strip off the mask of " I am okay", and revealing the " I am not okay".

Again, to be brave is in fact a complicated gift. Being emotionally strong for others, does not mean you do not deserve to also be taken care of. To be offered the same respect of healing and love. Leave behind the idea that those managing others issues, means they can manage their own. Even the bravest of walls can come falling down.

It does not take long to ask a three worded question; " How are you?" I hope those are brave enough to answer honestly.

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