I have been extraordinarily blessed with some really amazing friends. My friends are exactly what you think about when you dream of the picturesque scenario. They celebrate my highs, stick by me through my lows, and are always there for a good laugh. Some of them tease me incessantly, but I know it’s through love.
People always told me that college would change me and the friendships I had; however, now that I’m in my junior year, I’m not sure this is a bad thing. I have met some incredible people that I can’t imagine my life without. I’m also still best friends with the 2 girls I first met when I was 9. Friendship is a strong bond that is hard to break, and I’ve learned a lot from the people who have taken root in my heart.
NaBloPoMo asked me to summarize my relationship (or friendship) lessons into a list of 5 things. This list is by no means exclusive, but I’ll give it a shot:
1. Though you are friends, you are still individuals.
- Do you remember being little and feeling left out because your friends didn’t always want to do exactly what you wanted to? Do you remember the first time you felt at odds with a friend over their opinions on something? Why didn’t you guys think the same way? To put it simply, it’s because you’re individuals. You aren’t programmed to run like a computer; instead, you’re programmed to compliment each other and celebrate the differences between you. Individuality should never be a penalty.
2. Do everything you can for your friend.
- A few weeks ago, one of my best friends was having a terrible week. As much as I tried to comfort her over text, I could tell that my message was weak since it was being sent from over 500 miles away. So, I decided that I would show my love for her in a different way; I bought flowers and had them delivered to her house. What started as a nice gesture turned into so much more. The second she received them she called me crying. I couldn’t believe how much such a small thing had impacted her. What if we all did that? What if we went slightly out of our way to show the people in our lives that we care about them? I truly think the world would be a happier place.
3. Be a listener.
- It’s easy to vent to your friend and talk their ear off. In fact, just last weekend I was guilty of this. A friend and I went out to supper and I complained the entire time. I walked away with a sickening feeling; I had eaten up our conversation time that was supposed to be about us with trivial matters. We often listen to reply instead of listen to understand; this is something that I’m constantly working on. I want to be someone my friends feel comfortable coming to with anything and everything. I want to be a true listener.
4. If you love your friend, show them.
- Friendship is love. I would do just about anything for my friends; I really do mean that, and I hope they know it. It’s an unfortunate truth that friendships are lost over really small things. I never want to lose a friendship due to not showing someone that I love them. Loving someone shows how much you appreciate them in your life. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine my life without my friends. Who would I laugh with while watching New Girl? Who would I sit with in church each and every Sunday, praising Him? Who would I tell my far off future worries to that would still listen? Who would pray with and for me? I care about my friends because I love them; I challenge myself to show my friends my love every single day. I challenge you to do the same.
5. Love is expressed in many ways.
- This has been perhaps the hardest lesson for me to get through my thick skull. Everyone shows their love in different ways, and this is at times hard for me to understand. Wouldn’t it be great if we all showed our love through our words and actions both? But, we don’t live in an ideal world, and this world certainly doesn’t revolve around Regan. Just because my love language is words of affirmation does not mean that my friends feel comfortable giving those words out. I’m the type of person who wants to greet my friends with a hug and an “I love you.” One of the hardest things for me has been adapting to those in my life who don’t show their love in this way. At first, I thought this meant that they didn’t like me (or love me) at all; I was hurt and confused. But then, I had one friend in particular shed light on the situation. He could sense my frustration and sent me a text that simply said this: “Sometimes things don’t have to be said in order for them to be communicated.”
How true is this statement? I hadn’t ever looked at it in that light. Just because they don’t voice their love doesn’t mean it’s there; be patient. Look for it in their actions. Read between the lines. It’s probably in there somewhere.
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings.
Go out. Find your people and don’t let go. Love them unconditionally. Let them know you care. ❤