Friend, a Verb
Friends. How many of us have them? Friends = ones you can depend on. Friends, how many of us have them? Before we go any further, let’s be friends.
Those are more than brilliant Whodini lyrics. That oh-so-relatable chorus is lowkey a synopsis of the agreement I made with my best friend Crystal years ago. After noticing the social climate of our surroundings, cliques of party friends, rampant gossip and experiencing some Judas-esque behavior we decided that we both deserved to at least have one friend.
Our friendship was not instant; in fact there was a very muscular man with dimples dangling himself between us… and half of campus. That was a lesson we both learned in choosing hoe’s over lady-bro’s. We were soon apart of a seemingly close-knit friend group. We had fun together, but both experienced some bothersome inconsistencies from our “friends”.
I found out the other girls had been taking trips without me. Not only without invitation, but without telling me at all even going as far as avoiding social network posts. Hurtful as fuck, but it wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. The only person I felt the need to talk to about it was Crystal. I had always seen her as real and above bullshit. I mean, when she didn’t like me – I knew it. So we spoke.
We decided to be real, honest, fair and there for each other, because we deserve that respect from someone we’re supposed to call a friend.
Werk, Werk, Werk, Werk, Werk
“I feel like you never listen to me and you only want to discuss yourself”
It sucked when Crystal told me this. I was initially offended and didn't believe her, but my best friend is very intelligent. Crystal has factual evidence for every argument she makes. Baby girl can prove a point, So I finally listened to what she had to say. Not just once, when we had conversations I tried to listen more. It takes conscious effort to act on constructive criticism. It takes not only the courage to be brave enough to give criticism, but love to care enough to do so.
Being less self-involved and a better listener was something I needed to work on in the realm of self improvement. I'm so grateful for her honestly. I wonder how many of my other "friends" had felt this way about me but left instead…
She graduated college early moving 6 hours away. We called. I studied abroad in London for 6 months. We texted. Now I'm in Los Angeles and she is still present. My friendship with Crystal has made me grown as a woman and I’m grateful to actually have a friend.
This fall, our saga continues as we both pursue master’s degrees at our respective universities in London, England. The opportunity to live, learn and travel across a different continent with someone I trust is amazing. We empower each other, we believe in each other, we understand each other and we both yearn to understand more of the world.
Are you a dependable friend to at least one person? Are you honest? Do you say what you need to say? How do you treat the people you claim to care about? Are you too cool to be kind?
Really being a friend to someone can be so much more rewarding than appearing to be.