I am the kind of friend you think you want, until you have it. I am opinionated and strong. I am a notorious devil’s advocate. I don’t seek out confrontation, but I don’t avoid it. I am fiercely loyal and I will fight against you if you become your own enemy. I care, deeply – and that means I point out your flaws, your repeated mistakes, and all of the bad things you try to forget. If you get knocked down, I don’t lay down on the floor and cry with you; I make you get back up, even if you don’t want to. But I’ll probably forget your birthday, and to get you a gift for your new baby. I’ll dread attending your bridal shower. I’ll only call you once a month, if that, and I expect us to just pick up where we left off.
I don’t have many friends – at least, not in this capacity. I have many people I enjoy. I have many people I will go to lunch and dinner with, break bread, share laughs and stories. These are the people that I’ll keep my mouth shut for; that if I see them making a mistake, or walking themselves into a disaster, I’ll let them keep walking. I won’t interfere. And when they need support after, I’ll let them vent or cry; but I don’t bring it home with me. I don’t worry about it at night, like I do with friends.
My friends – I protect. The people I love get the brunt of my personality. It means I will fly across the country to see you, even after I just yelled at you for behavior of which I don’t approve. It means I might take three days to answer your text, if you’re lucky, but I’ll be there in a heartbeat if you need me.
I want to grow. I want to improve, and to get better. I want people who challenge me. I want people who question my motives, who challenge beliefs I’ve held forever, who make me think and get better and improve. I don’t want to live my life without questioning why, without understanding my actions, without regularly re-evaluating my ethics and decisions. And I want the same for my friends.
Sometimes, this makes me a bitch. But, if I’m a bitch to you, at least you’ll know I love you deeply. And to my true friends: I love you. Sorry I suck at being vulnerable. Sorry I am sometimes not so nice. If I have hurt you, I apologize, and know that was never my intention to hurt you, but only to facilitate growth. I’m currently re-evaluating how I am a friend.
P.S.: Often, I question my own friendship tactics. Is this really how I want to be? Shouldn’t I be full of love and compassion, especially for the people I love the most? I wonder about this often. Am I failing my friends by not opening them with loving arms after every mistake? Or would I be failing my friends if I did? Your thoughts are welcome. Who knows, maybe we’ll be friends. 😉