The Prompt:

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

The answer to this question is no, they haven’t.  My friends, new and old, have served to only reinforce my perspective, which is something to the effect of: the world is something to be constantly wary of, but not so much that the wariness precludes from enjoying and being surprised and astounded by its treasures.

There are two things you should know about me before reading this post.  The first is that the only thing that I require of the people I know and love is loyalty.  The second is that it’s incredibly difficult to become my friend, because I know, without a doubt, that no one I meet is as loyal as I am. There are any number of therapists that could (quite accurately) give the reasons why I value Loyalty (big “L”) so highly, but honestly, the reasoning is not so important to know here.

I am so in love with the feeling of friendship, of camaraderie, of earnest reliability and staunch devotion that I will forgive just about any transgression against my standard in order to enjoy those moments that AREN’T disappointments.  That joy, no matter how short-lived, is so potent to me, that I don’t generally have a line in the sand for others.  You’re right, dear reader, to be unintentionally repeating the word “desperate” to yourself.  I am, rather, and always have been.

For as long as I can remember, friendship has been a lesson in humility for me, and this year was no different.  People will amaze and warm you, they will disappoint and hurt you, and they will straight-up abandon your ass when what you really needed was for them to pull you closer.

This year, I saw all three of those things, separately with three different girlfriends.

I was forgiven, without pomp, terrible selfishness.  (Don’t think I don’t recognize and honor that D.E.  You, sir, are a jewel and a bonanza.  You are the closest I’ve ever been to being understood by another girl.  I miss you everyday, and though I’m bad at showing it, value you to the highest degree in my life.  Thank you for appreciating what I was trying to figure out and giving me a pass.  )

I was left waiting by the phone, and finally, totally stood up.  (Oh, A.D.  You are my flight-of-fancy-friend.  Lighter than air and prone to keeping things to yourself in order to let others (read: me) shout to be heard, it was your turn to be selfish.  I was hurt, but I totally understand and love you anyway.  I learned that from D.E.)

I was judged and dismissed, and not even to my face.  (The only words I have for you, C.V. are harsh ones and most of them are born of disbelief and genuine hurt.  There is a list of people miles long who have more right to judge me than you do.  It would have never occurred to me to consider you fair-weather, but you are.  I made mistakes, of course I know that.  Your opinions? I counted on and valued them.  Your judgement?  You can shove up your ample ass.)

In the end, my friends did what friends are supposed to do this year; they supplemented me where I was deficient.  They supported me, they brought to my attention that I wasn’t the only one with problems, and they reminded me that I must be more discerning over who I let my guard down in front of when trying to figure out the machinery of my life.


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