Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Many Faces Of Courtney: Friends...... Who Needs Them?

The Many Faces Of Courtney: Friends...... Who Needs Them?: Who needs friends? ..... well me! For a long long time I took the stand of I really do not need friends. Which might explain from High Schoo...

Friends...... Who Needs Them?

Who needs friends? ..... well me! For a long long time I took the stand of I really do not need friends. Which might explain from High School that I only had two really good friends. Now it is not that I did not have friends... because I did and I even had some that I considered best friends but in reality I knew nothing about friendship. So very often the term aloof or distant came around my name once or twice. I just had a hard time getting close to people and still is an obstacle that I still face. My mom would always say "you need to let your wall downs". However, the walls were my safety and when I did manage to let them down even just a tiny bit it seemed to only end in disaster. I must of have missed the class on how to make friends or meet genuine people. By no means am I anti-social or weird around people, well no more then I already am.

I guess the first thing is I am not even sure what the true meaning of friendship is.... is a group of people who get together with like interest and then talk about another group or individual, just simply hang out because you have a common factor like being on the "baseball team", labeled as a certain click, and so on. Just like many people I used these qualifying areas to have friends and well as you can see I am almost 30 and writing about friendship. Now I do not think really any of these are a real good description of friendship... little pieces here and there (very later) but I will bring that up later. However, even in these rough qualifying factors there was a diamond in a rough... maybe the first clue on what friend ship is. When I was in the 9th grade a new boy came to school and boy was he something to look at (and not what you think). Rough, black trench coat, crazy blonde hair, and so. My first thought and I not going to lie... was this boy is going to to blow up the school. We ended up having study hall together he came and sat down by me ( he must of sensed I was a loaner). We shared introductions and then he took me surprise the shit bit me! He then stated I am a vampire and your are now mine ( yep there was a loon sitting next to me). I swear to you I am not lying about this... it is to weird to make up. Now common sense should say... run away and find the nearest doctor and get a rabies shot! However, I continued to chat with him and besides the whole biting me as an introduction. Through the 9th grade we were nothing more than then friends who casually talked and by no means was I in his social group or him in mine (not sure if I had one)... which was probably safe just in case all introductions were about biting. Then like everything the school year ends and I did not even see him all summer not even a brush encounter that I recall school started again and boy was I in for a shock... thinking I would see the same guy I knew before... here was this guy- clean cut, tucked in shirts, belts, and so on (look out Madonna). However, with this change brought a new thing freshmen girls (annoying ones I might add). They would ask my all the time if I thought if he was cute ( he was very handsome) but I was never attracted to him in that way. In fact I thought of him as a complete jerk that year and we hardly talked... which was fine by me. Then 11th grade rolled around we talked more and more but it was mainly a repeat of the 9th grade just talking to guy that I knew. Our senior in High School is where our friendship I guess you could have said blossomed (I know it sounds like I about to say we are going to fall in love or something but bare with me). We just became what I would call really good friends and we hung out just like friends would do of the same sex.... by this I mean... stay up all night watch movies, talk about relationships, problems, do stupid guy type stuff water gun fights (which I acknowledge I cheated and took a cheap shot) or putting together a hardwood floor (I was just their for company) to realize that it was installed wrong and a hammer went through the wall in frustration. Now as you can tell I am very much a girl and he is a guy.... but somehow gender never really factored into our friendship. Oh but we heard the comments "So whats going on with you too?" , "it is not possible for opposite sexes to be friends", "one of you will fall in love with the other", and so but are answers were always the same... sometimes they were just a look at each other and a laugh... or "there is nothing going on!".

Now why did I write this whole story... well the most obvious is that we are still very good friends actually more like brother and sister... we exchange luv yas no different than expressing them to an actual relative. We are almost in our 30s married to wonderful people and still friends for almost 16 years. Now why I also write about this.... is that it took me four years to develop a healthy friendship.... and I am not even sure if one of those years should count because I thought he was a jerk. So I asked myself does it really take that long to develop a healthy friendship. I will say yes and no to this but will talk about this later. A very good friend of mine reminded me that we are constantly learning and growing in life, just like this friendship. We would have relationships come and go and exchange advice whether or not we thought they "right' for each other. I can remember the guy that I thought I was going to marry my friend took an instant dislike too but I thought he was wrong we even stopped talking over this briefly (like two girls would). However, I saw the light and realized he was right. I did meet Mr. Right and he knew of my friend from the start and when they met they hit it off (I am lucky my husband is far from the jealous type).... and boy can those two be idiots together. However, as a friend once pointed out things are constantly changing in life just as this relationship. We brought in our spouses and children and it is has become a "unit" now versus more than just him and I being friends, which is fine because it is something I would not change for the world.

However, because my "best friend" is a guy I never really had healthy relationships with women. First off I never understood the terms "BFF", "Besties", and so on. I just never understood the label or should I say the drama that often comes with that label. Now please do not get me wrong I have used these type terms before (minus Besties- Neverliked that one).The people/ladies in my life that I called best friends in reality were not.... and it sad that I had to figure this out over a long bumpy road. I would say starting in college until now I have been really focusing on why or what I lacked to develop in friends. Now these are just my own personal experience an opinion.....

The one thing I hate is drama.... now I am just as guilty for being in it but for the most part I try to avoid it all cost. When I first thought of being good friends with someone you could tell that person everything and things would be safe but in reality the only secret that is safe is the one that is not spoken. I use to be in this group of friends that I thought was safe (it was friendships I developed through a church). However, my name started coming back to me and things that were meant to be kept private and safe. I have a friend who "knew all about me" and "I knew all about her" before we actually even met.... It has always driven me nuts... that people prefer to make up my mind for me about a person. That drives me nuts! I do not want anyone to have an "impression" of me before they even actually met me! .............. So what have I learned?

The person I knew everything about..... and she knew everything about me.... we talked and realized what happen.... and realized how dangerous drama and gossip can be. We made our own impressions and judgment of each other..... and I will tell you one thing it is not what they told me she would be like!

You know it okay to keep things private... no one needs to know everything about you or your family (there is a thing as revealing to much). I could care less what you or your family is doing every minute of every day and I sure hope you are not seeing what I do every day... boy would that be one boring shocking show! It is okay to reveal things when you feel the need. I have a few friends that I am comfortable talking to things about.... and I mean few! Please do not get offended if you are not in my group because I could care less if I was in yours because if I was in your circle then we would both know it than there be an understanding.

I also do not have to have everything in common in with my friends.... if that was the case... then none of use would have friends. I have friends from all race, gender, political views (do not talk about), religion (do not talk about), sexual orientation (do not talk about), and so on. I have two very good friends who are very much into reality TV and when we are in a conversation and the topic veers towards these shows.... I am not going to lie... my lights are on but no one is home! I just do not understand them but at the same time I sure they give me the same look when it comes to my crime shows, M*A*S*H, or Big Bang Theory. However, what we do not have in common makes us often laugh and if you think what we do not have in common makes us laugh even harder. Like dancing like fools and not caring who looking, showing our age, and just wanting to have a good time. I am also blessed to have these friends and the ability to talk to them without the fear of judgement. I have one friend especially that I can talk to her about anything and ask her anything and there is no judgement no nothing... which is a breath of fresh air.

I have also learned friendship is a two way street. If one side keeps giving and giving the bridge will crack and that is on mistake I repeated more than once. I am the one who has give and give in a relationship until I snap and sadly once it snaps I will burn the bridge completely off. I have a hard time rebuilding bridges once they are broken. However, a good friend who knows the entire dances to various artists told me that you cannot just give and give it is not fair to you. Then I have this friend who I swear stresses out just as much as do... and I tell her stuff that I should keep in mind myself. However, she always knows when just to send the right note that she is just thinking of me and my family. I remember making a joke when she was visiting her friends in Spain about you "should bring me some candy or the gemstone (I think it was one the Gemstones Spain is known for). However, when she came home she surprised me with some yummy candy! Then my other friend who is one of the most happy people I know has one of the most caring hearts I know and even in the worst of times she can see the positive. Have you ever been around a person where they seem always to be negative and can bring the mood down or just the opposite. She is like a sunshine ray and she has the ability to let things to just roll off. I know so many people that can take lessons from her to include myself.

You know I was blessed with just a brother and there is probably good reason for that... one that if I was given a sister to grow up one of us would not have made it out alive. However, I like to think of it a little differently.... God allowed this special lady to come into my life. I met her a couple of years ago she was the same age as a lot of us but I think who her parents were.... they either decided to be friends with her or her parents... I decided why cannot it not be both. This is one of my most amazing friends... it may because we are on the same wave length or have similar quirks but you cannot come across a more caring friend than her. She is very smart (which is the reason I think some ladies were afraid to get to know her- just my thoughts), honest, loves to craft, and games. To be honest if I was allowed to mold a brother and sister I know I would have a lot from her! I just wish I get to see her more but I know she is always there. Plus I think our career paths with cross.

Now what is the common factors of these friends and why I need them in my life.... No they are not in the same social group.... and some have and I am pretty sure will never meet each other. The one common factor is they showed me what it is to be a good friend is... because I lack that or I am still learning it. Not one of the pretends to know what is like to be in my shoes as I do not pretend to know what it like. They do not judge me because I am Bipolar... they like I how I see the world. They simply just know how to be there and I the same..... to live in a life with out a fear of judgement and drama free is a great feeling.

I lacked the personal skills on who to develop a healthy friendship and whether it was by my choosing, bipolar related, and so.... it is these friends (and the couple I broke friendship off with) that are teaching me how and what it means to be a good friend....

So here is it what it boils down too in what I think it means to be a good friend (just my own thought)

1. It is okay to keep parts of your life private (no one needs to know everything about everyone)
3. Have a great time with your friends
4. Just be there for your friends in their time of crisis or need (never try to walk in ANYONES shoes unless you have been in the same situation)
5. friendship is a two street (and know what way it is pulling if you feeling fractures)
6. Love your friends for who they are... and try not to judge (remember why you became friends to begin with).
7. It is okay not use labels (well in my case)
8. realize friendships as well as life are constantly changing....

So who needs friends?.... I do.... and I am sure most of you guys do to.... but the question is.... whether or not is it a good friendship!