"Friendship is so weird. You just pick a human you've met and you're like, 'Yep, I like this one,' and you just do stuff with them." - Bill Murray
Over the course of a lifetime, we have the privilege to meet a variety of different people, who may, or may not happen to be similar or alike to us in any way at all. According to an infographic from Funders & Founders, it's estimated that we interact with about 80,000 people over course of our lifetime, which of course, varies. This looks like an extremely high number, I agree. 80,000 people comes more from the idea that we make eye contact with strangers as we grab bread off the shelf at the grocery store, or as we take Exit 28B to La Jolla Village Dr., next to a family with a license plate from New Mexico. So, divide that by the total population of the world (2016), which Live Population regularly updates, is 7,432,663,275, and the equation reveals that we meet about 1 out of every 100,000 people. Just think: out of these 80,000 people we see, we choose a couple or a few whom become our best friends: our confidants, our rocks, our soul mates, our wing(wo)men for the rest of our lives.
Unfortunately, as time goes on, ties break, and people exit our lives through the same door they entered. As we grow up, we make new friends and lose old ones. Our first best friends that we made as our parents left us crying, sitting on the alphabet carpet on the first day of kindergarten, the ones we ran off to chase the boys with during recess, are no longer the little girls in the flowery dress with pigtails on the top of their heads. In fact, most likely, if you or I were to see our first best friend, (unless you stayed good friends throughout school), we might not even recognize each other, as we began to go our separate ways and mature at different times when we disagreed on who would play the doctor or mom during free time.
The friendships that are held together throughout the bossy years of playing house, the awkward brace-face years, and ugly years of useless, teenage drama, are the ones that are truly worth something. True friendships can't be broken due to the lack of seeing one another when times get busy and life starts to create a series of obstacles. For, if someone honestly cares about you, they will make time for you, no matter what.
The true test of friendship is a silent one. It's a test that sits there, and waits to be called upon. The test of friendship is evident during many experiences, such as the transferring of schools, no matter which grade, the process of moving, whether it's to another nearby town or faraway state, excruciating heartbreak, and the silence that sits, as you two have run out of something to say. It's the comfortableness of another human being that shares similar values and experiences as you.
An important thing to note is that true friendship does not leave. There is no expiration date. Yes, the relationship might dim and fade, but unless you end it, there is no telling what might happen. Friendship is as timeless as we allow it to be. As we continue to grow, it is also important to note the type of toxic friendship that becomes unnecessary to hold on to. One does not need anyone who puts a damper on their life. Remember that it is okay to move on with your life, and possibly never get closure or an apology for the bad blood that is left sitting between you and another person. Sometimes you have to be okay with the other person not being able to talk things out like adults, and be able to simply accept the bitter apology that you will never receive. People are like seasons; they change. It is important to remember that if someone does not put in effort to stay in your life, then they do not deserve you in their life. If you pay close enough attention, life teaches us to recognize the difference between people who want to be in our lives for the moment versus the ones who actually want to stay in our lives for a lifetime. Because, if they truly cared as much as they say, they would have acted differently.
All one needs is the support and love from those who care about him or her. Friendship should not be a burden, but rather there should be a balance between the two people. Friendship does not ask for someone to tell the other person how they should feel or what they should do differently, unless advice is asked for. Friendship simply asks for a listening ear to understand, a strong stomach to laugh at bad jokes for hours, a shoulder to cry on, and a hand to hold, when necessary.
True friendship is knowing that whether you have good news or bad, you can always depend on the other to support you, throughout both the happy and sad times. It's knowing that both can depend on one another to be honest and nonjudgmental towards each other's choices. It's trusting that this person will care for you whether you're on the bathroom floor bawling your eyes out, or on cloud nine. It's the feeling of knowing that you are able to show up in the driveway of a friend's house at 2:00 a.m., knock on the window because you're crying over a stupid, insensitive boy that broke your heart, and know that they would be right there listening to you, and maybe even holding you, because they know that even sniffling that interrupts the silence between you two is comforting. Knowing that you don't have to go through the bad times alone means everything.
As I've grown older and have moved away from home, I've realized that friendship is not seeing the same people every day. Friendship is making the effort to see each other when you can, even if it's grabbing a coffee during a 15 minute lunch break. It's texting or calling someone just to have a conversation to see how their day went, simply because you care. Friendship is telling someone that you're hungry at 1:00 a.m. and telling them that you'll be at their house in 10 minutes to drive to In & Out to get a Double Double and fries. The best part about having friends is that in the moment, the two of you aren't thinking about how you two are friends. Both are simply enjoying the time they are spending with each other; and that's something beautiful. If the friendship becomes long distance and you two don't see each other as often as you would like, you know the friendship is real when you can pick up right where you left off. All of the inside jokes, favorite things to do, and songs blasting with the windows down are the same. The best part is seeing the same person or thing and having the same reaction or just making eye contact with one another and knowing exactly what the other is thinking. That's the beautiful part about a real friendship; the tie is never severed. The truth is, friendship has no boundaries, just new experiences.
I am very thankful for the true friends that I have that have supported me through both the good and bad parts of my life. I'm sorry if I do not remind you enough, but from me to you, I very much appreciate our friendship.
Thank you for being my 1/100,000.
"Friendship ... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything." - Muhammad Ali