I have a confession to make… I love Dawson’s Creek. In fact, I own the entire series. For the last couple of months I’ve seen nothing but Dawson at breakfast, bedtime, before work, after work. Last week, I watched Jen die for the third time in the season finale and balled like a child. I witnessed Joey once again choose Pacey over Dawson. I saw Jack and Pacey’s older brother, Doug, become an openly gay couple. And then it was over. For TWO MONTHS I watched these people grow up, go through hardships, live out their dreams, fall in love… and just like that, the characters stopped existing. I felt empty. No more soul-mates crawling in and out of bedroom windows, fag-hag relationships, never-ending love-triangles. I found myself not only craving the drama, but also those kinds of friendships… the well-established core group of friends who hangs out everyday and knows every exhausting detail about each fellow clique member.
In those moments, when you’re taking what you are fortunate enough to have completely for granted, fate has a tendency to slap you in the face as a reminder… at least it did in my case. So what if my friends and I live a few blocks away, instead of down a creek; who cares that we work, go to school and do whatever else that keeps us from meeting up more than twice a month; does it really matter if I know what my friends are up to every night? This past week I needed them and they were there for me. It’s such an awesome feeling to know that outside your family, there are these “friends” who genuinely care about and value you… enough to stop you from drowning yourself in self-doubt and a huge tub of calories after a bad break-up, enough to lend you things and never complain when you time and time again forget to return them, and enough to listen to your 30-minute run-on sentence (a monologue entitled, “Venting”) after a miserable day at work.
I suppose it’s because I don’t get to see them as often that I forget how amazing they really are and how lucky I am to have them [Insert “aw” here”]. If I learned anything from my last boyfriend, it is that friendships need to be “watered” often, like plants (he was a hippie so this is a lot more fitting an analogy than you think). If you don’t make the effort to cultivate your friendships they shrivel up and die… so now the “bro-mance” between my ex and his best friend is starting to make more sense. They were inseparable; anything less than them seeing each other once a day was unacceptable. There were group outings (with the rest of the hippie tribe) scheduled at least three times a week (did any of these people have jobs?). Anyway, the point is it made me realize that I was at the opposite extreme of the friendship spectrum – I never saw my friends!
Growing up, I was that special breed of butterfly, the kind that viewed people as valuable collectable items. I wanted to get to know everyone and everything about them… the more the better! As I got older, I realized quality trumps quantity. I was shocked to find out that the things you see in soap operas and movies are more often than not mimicking someone’s real-life experiences… i.e. the back-stabbing friend who’s sleeping with the guy you like while consoling you about the fact he isn’t calling you. That happened to a friend of mine and getting caught in the middle (causing me to become estranged to one of the girls for a year), changed the way I looked at people; not everyone was going to be a confidant. If this wasn’t the case, people with the words “best” and “close” attached to their friend status wouldn’t exist. For the first time, I wasn’t interested in having herds of chums – instead, in keeping the really good ones close.
Fast forward: You grow up, give out gold stars to the people you love and trust the most and then proceed to ignore them – you’re busy… with stuff. Now that I’m about to be a quarter of a century in age, I’ve learned that time is not sitting around waiting for me to eventually pick up the phone and say, “Hey good friend, long time. We should do coffee sometime”… sometime becomes a mutual acquaintance’s funeral 40 years later. Hence, here I am today surrounding myself with the people I love the most as often as possible… and because they’re so great they’ve stuck around all these years despite my “busy schedule”.
I believe, “Every person is a new door to a different world”… so even when you think you have enough awesome people in your life, be open to letting in more. However, “I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.” – Charles R. Swindoll