“What is one thing you absolutely need right now?” Is what that page asked me in that book of 300 prompts I bought from Five Below. And it was the only prompt that actually made me think. Hard.
What did I need right now?
It was such an open-ended question that I thought there was no answer because I thought I had everything I could ever want. There was nothing that anyone could give or take from me that I couldn’t live without, nothing I could ever ask for that I didn’t have. And just as I approached that space between the songs, I remembered everything I wished I could ever have. Something I found myself wishing for but never finding, something I saw everyone with and wished I could have it too but it felt like I could never have it because maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. And maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was meant for everyone else but me. Maybe what I wanted was something that was meant for me and no one else, or maybe meant for no one at all.
Pen to paper, there was only one answer that came to mind: someone who understands what it’s like to walk just ten feet in my shoes. Someone who could see things the way I did and understand things the way I saw them and think about the same things I did, someone who could enjoy time with me. Someone who’d make jokes that no one understands but us, someone who would help write a book, or sing a song;someone who can make me feel like we can go on forever that way.
And just like a tree that falls in a forest without anyone nearby, that paragraph remained silent. And there was no response, no indication that the prayer had been answered, not one signal that what I wanted, that simple plea for someone like me, would ever be heard.
Do you know what it’s like to have a friend that shares the exact same mind as you? Someone who will ask you “you know what sounds amazing right now?” and you both answer with “chicken tortilla soup” at the precise moment when the rain begins to fall, or someone who finishes the question of “you know what’s better than a pancake?” with an excited smile to finally find someone who appreciates the crispness of a Belgian waffle? Someone who unknowingly ordered the exact same thing as you did and both of you point fingers for copying each other?
Or even someone who appreciates Hamilton, Les Mis, theater in general, and Disney movies as much as I do? A friend who’ll join you in an off-key singalong of “A Whole New World” while you both wait to go to work but spend that morning laughing together? A friend who’ll laugh at the terrible puns you make and tell you that you’re the worst when you both know that you’re actually the exact opposite? Someone who'll listen to you haphazardly read a chapter you wrote for your book and tell you that it was amazing even though you know that it was anything but? Someone who doesn't need to go above and beyond to be amazing because that's just who they are?
And it was in that exact moment when I realized that I should have thought harder about what I needed, because I had exactly what I thought I needed, I just overlooked it, or maybe even underappreciated the fact that we were good friends. What I thought I needed was in front of me the entire time, even as I wrote that paragraph, I just needed to realize that true friends are the ones that you forget to even call a friend because having them in your life feels as natural as breathing.
That silent prayer scribbled onto a blank page for no one to ever read didn’t receive a response because it was answered before I even had to ask.