What is a friend? “Friend” is a concept as elusive to me as the proverbial butterfly of happiness that only alights upon your shoulder once you’ve ceased to chase after it.
We commonly say that one makes a friend. If that were taken in the literal sense, I should find myself pleasantly content. I would have as many friends as I had need of, but sadly, that is not the case. To find a friend, I think, is more accurate.
In trying to “make” a friend, you put forth great effort to cultivate any seeds of shared interest. You spend days, weeks, months trying to make something out of something that simply isn’t there. If there’s no success in making this friend the ideal friend that you’ve always wanted, you may spend countless more days, weeks, months trying to adapt yourself to them. Trying to “make” yourself the friend that they desire.
Why do we try so hard to change others or ourselves to better fit this role?
I’ve been betrayed by friends, left behind by friends, and cheated by friends. I’ve had friends that accept me so long as I seem to be what they want but once they get to know me, they vanish like shadows without light.
I question this concept of making friends because I’m no good at it. Throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, friends were as ever-changing as the seasons. They came and went as they pleased with no regards to how it made me feel. I was conveniently there for them but they were never there for me. Friends in college were no different, for a time there were links, bonds, but those were broken with graduation.
Perhaps I’ve developed such a strict definition of what a friend is to me because I’ve watched so many friendships die – friendships that I fought so hard to maintain. I don’t believe that friends are made. You can make someone a friend for only as long as they’re willing to conform to your mould, not a moment longer.
True friends should be found by chance. It should be a discovery to find you have common interests. You shouldn’t have to train the other person to enjoy your things.
And when you’ve got a true friend, be a true friend in return.
A true friend is someone who can find a tiny, barely noticeable five minutes in their long day to comfort a friend on the phone.
A true friend is someone who listens when words come as tears.
I have given the title to very few in my life and very few have carried it. “Friend” does not come easily to me and I find that leaves a deep void inside.
So…do not make me your “Friend” and then deceive me.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Friends come to me unsought.”