Monday, August 9, 2010

How Do You Define A True Friend?

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Familiar words that bring different meanings for everyone. For some, it reminds them of the first time they heard the Beatles rocking out to the timeless tune. For others, it reminds them of that also timeless television show, The Wonder Years. For me, it is much simpler than that. For me, the words remind me of my friends, and the countless ways they seem to pull me up when I’m down.

To say that this past month of July was terrible would be a lie. To say that his past month of July was enjoyable would also be a lie. So I’m going to just stick with this: I hope August brings better memories for me than July. From a death in the family to my first true breakup, I experienced some intense lows this past month. Yet, when I look back to my favorite rare, but happy moments in July, I realize that I had the best memories with my friends. In the midst of the constant tears and expressionless looks, my friends were able to force a smile and a laugh out of me. More importantly, they showed me that every storm eventually ends. And after every storm, comes a rainbow.

I could go on and on with the little details about how my friends helped me through this difficult time, but that’s not my style. Instead, I would like to take the significant lessons I learned from my friends, and share them with you, my blogger friends.

The most important lesson I learned about friendship in this past month is that a true friend doesn’t necessarily need to give advice all of the time. A true friend can just listen and be the shoulder to cry or vent on. I can’t tell you how many times I called my friends over this past month, and I would ramble on and on about my woes. The best part? They let me ramble. They did not interrupt. They did not try to talk me out of my path of reason. They simply listened. By the end of each conversation, I released whatever negative emotions I had on my chest, and I felt like a new person. A happier person.

I also learned that a true friend never allows you to feel alone. Whether it be a simple text during the day that says “Thinking of you today, love” or a Facebook post that has a Text From Last Night, true friends drop little notes into your life that remind you of the good company you keep. True friends surround you with love, comfort and support to show you that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel. And in that light, you will find them waiting with open arms.
On the same note, while a true friend never lets you feel alone, he/she also gives you the freedom and necessary space to develop as a strong, independent individual. The best way to overcome a crisis is to overcome it on your own. You will find hidden strengths and positive traits about yourself that you’ve never seen before. You will feel like a whole new person. A true friend helps you discover this new person inside you by forcing you to look within yourself. When you say “not possible,” a true friend says “why not?” They push you to become the bigger and better person that they knew was within you all along.

So what do I hope you get out of this? I hope you get a better understanding about the impact a friend can have on an individual. Personally, I know I would have survived the month of July. I mean, people do move on from struggles. Nevertheless, I learned that I’m much stronger than I could ever have imagined. And honestly, it feels amazing knowing I learned that with just a little help from my friends.

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