The Company You Keep
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The Company You Keep

When it's all said and done, who can you call at 3 A.M?

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The Company You Keep
Icy Tales

I often ask myself what I am doing – mentally, emotionally, socially – to make myself the way that I am. Like most, the minute I face a problem within my life I tend to blame myself. What have I done that has led me to this moment? How did I get here?

I’ve always been told to carefully choose whom I associate myself with. After all, people are always watching. Though it may not always seem like it, people care and those same people think that they have the right to tell you who you should spend your time with. However, the perceptions of others never crossed my mind when choosing my friends: not as a child, not in high school, and certainly not in college. We are drawn to certain people, and that is something that we cannot help. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and everyone who has entered my life has served some sort of purpose in one way or another. I’ve had friends that my mother did not like, friends that my other friends did not like, and even friends that I did not really like. But, in one way or another, each one was there for a reason. Each one gave me memories or taught me a lesson.

In 20 years, a lot of people have come and gone. And now, as I prepare to enter my senior year of college, I cannot help but reflect on the people in my life; how they got there, what we’ve done for each other, and why some of them left. I smile thinking of inside jokes that once left me laughing for hours, I sadden at the thought of those who backed away from me in times of need and I hate myself for those whom I could not help in return.

Looking through the people I chose to surround myself with, I think about who I would call at three A.M. without hesitation. And, while I know that there are people I could call, I find myself wondering who would actually answer. Besides a handful of friends who i, at this point, consider family, were the people I was going out on a limb for willing to do the same for me? It was here, at this point, that I started to wonder if others were right. Had I surrounded myself with the wrong people? All that I am willing to do for others - are they willing to do the same for me? Finding that answer to be no is scary. It's disheartening. And, in turn, I assume it to be my fault. & I know I am not the only one who thinks like this.

If someone would not do for you what you would do for them, it is not because you have been a bad friend. It is not because you did not care enough or because you were in the wrong. We cannot force people to care about us. We cannot make anyone love us. Strangely enough, this is normal. This is ok. Some friendships are not meant to tailor to your every need. Some are there to make you laugh between classes, some to sing along with in the car, some to feed you drinks on a Saturday night and some to alter your entire life. You are each of these things to someone else, and you might not even realize it. Friends come in all forms. They're not all there to be your ride or dies. Sometimes, people are just there to be there.

Do the most for the ones you care about, but also make sure that you're doing the most for you. Give your all to those who would do the same and take care of the ones who need you anyways. We all need someone in one way or another, and the friends that we make throughout this lifetime serve a multitude of purposes. Think about those purposes when figuring out who to keep close, and who to gracefully move away from. Your friends will always matter to you but, ultimately, its you that matters the most.

And if no one takes care of you?

Always make sure to take care of yourself first.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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