If there was one bit of advice that my mother gave me when I was younger that has resonated within me for years it’s that you only ever need just one good friend in your life. Just one. And I guess I have lived my life by that rule. Since I was a kid I was always alone. I wasn’t a loner, but I didn’t have many friends. Sure in elementary school I was nice and well acquainted with all of my classmates, but there really were only about six of them that I ever invited to my house for play dates. Those were my good friends. At least as good a friend you can have when you’re eight.
In middle school I had even less friends, but I suppose that was because it was in those years where I was able to really begin to pick and choose the individuals that I really wanted to hang out with. I’ve always been a great judge of character. I suppose as a quiet, shy, extremely observant child, I was always able to pick up on little things innate to ones character but rarely–if ever–expressed on first site. I don’t know, I’ve always just called it vibes. I’m really good at picking up on people’s vibes. If I get a really bad or uncomfortable vibe from someone, I generally don’t associate with them much longer after that (course, that’s if it’s in my power to cease all association. Cause sometimes you’re stuck having to be with a person you don’t particularly like for many different reasons that are totally out of your control. In which case, I avoid contact as much as possible, though I’m very subtle about it.) I can always tell if a person will be a good fit for me as a friend.
I’ve always had one very good friend. I suppose you can call them my best friend (though the term is a bit obscure now that I have more than one best friend). But in my school years I’ve always had the one. In high school, that best friend title sort of became obscured. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise.
Middle school was a horrible time for me. Looking back on it, I dislike those three years even more. The program I was in was very cliquey and there was very little diversity amongst the students. I felt sort of like an outsider , an oddball, and I suppose I was. I had two really good friends and a few okay friends, but that was about it. I could count them all on my hands. So naturally, going into high school I just assumed it would be the exact same atmosphere that I left in middle school. But oh how wrong I was.
I had a group of friends in high school–a rather large (by my standards) group of misfits who just liked being in each other’s company. Honestly, I don’t even know how our little group even formed, but it seems so natural now that I’ve learned not to question it. The idea of having just one really good friend sort of morphed into having multiple good friends. Of course, I find myself closer to a few of them more than others, but we’ve all experienced so much with one another that I can honestly say they are like my family. I have eight really close amazing friends (and a few other good friends, but not many) and I’m okay with that number. And I’ll tell you why.
Since the beginning they have never judged me by how I look, speak, act, my sexuality, my religion, anything. I did the same. They simply accepted me for who I am and I accepted them for who they were in turn, and by that we established a mutual understanding of one another. We are just comfortable in each other’s presence and I think that’s a beautiful thing. All of my friends have something in common with each other and then we sort of branch off in our commonness, but we still try to accommodate what each of us enjoy. And while I sometimes think that we as a group have little in common with each other now that we’re a bit older and have new friends and interests, we still have all of these shared experiences and memories that seem to hold the seems of our friendship together. And you know what? We continue to embrace that and create brand new experiences and memories with each other because we all genuinely care for one another. As we change, our friendships change, but for the most part we are still the same group of misfits who just love being in each other’s company.
I wholeheartedly believe that it’s not in the quantity but the quality of your friendships that make them last, and my friendship with all of my friends have just about proven that to me. I’ve known some of these people for over ten years! It’s quite amazing how we are all still friends with one another, me especially since I’m a hermit at heart. But a great friend is someone who’s patient and understanding; someone who thinks of you even when you don’t think they do. Someone who’ll spot you a few bucks when you’re short, or stop by your workplace and wait around until you get off. A great friend is someone who would go to the ends of the world with you and back, someone you’re not afraid of getting lost in a strange city with, or getting stuck walking (or running) through the pouring rain with. Someone who let’s you crash at their place late at night because you forgot or lost your keys and no one’s home, or someone who’ll stay up with you until dawn, just talking about anything and everything with. A great friend is someone your parents genuinely like and always ask you about even if you don’t always have the answers to their questions because you were too busy having fun with them to ask them about how school or work is going for them. A great friend is someone who will dress up with you in fancy clothes for no reason, or cosplay, or sing karaoke for hours with. Someone who you can geek out with over whatever it is you like to geek out over. A great friend is someone who forgives all your mistakes and understands that you are you and there are just some things that don’t change about that, and that’s okay. They still love and support you because they are a great friend.
I love my friends, the small few that I have, and I’m very blessed to have them in my life. And if you have just one great friend, you are blessed too.