Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Rant About Friends

I remember a conversation I once had. It was at a party at Katrina's house during my Senior year, I was standing around the bonfire with Katrina's dad and a couple of her aunts and uncles. At this time, I was close with them as Katrina was my best friend. But I remember Katrina's  Aunt Michelle coming out and saying blatantly, "You know that you won't be friends with any of these friends you have in high school by the time you graduate. You'll all go off and do your own thing, lose contact with each other and will never be friends again."

Usually I just humor her aunt, it's easier that way sometimes, but at that moment I said, "I don't see that happening."

She just said, "Whatever. We'll see."

Nothing like a Tim Horton's run. So much has come up during those coffee runs, and they are some of my favorite memories. These people actually understand why we go there ALL THE TIME.

At the time, I knew that she had a few beers in her system, and though that always made her more apt to say things she wouldn't, this time I had a inkling that she was wrong.

And for the most part, she has been. It's interesting. I went into the college experience from an interesting Senior summer that included a jaw surgery, getting my driver's license and spending some of the best times of my life with my close friends around Lapeer. I knew it was all changing once I hit Flint, but at the same time, I didn't really know what to expect.

It's interesting looking back, now finished with my 4th year of college and to see what friends I do have. I say it's interesting because yes, my friend's list has changed, but there are a few important people who are still there. 

What a great trip! Seeing the bestie in Grand Rapids!

Katrina, for one. Her own aunt told me we wouldn't be friends by this time. But in 11 days, I am driving out to Grand Rapids to watch my best friend walk across that stage and receive her diploma. And I haven't been prouder. Katrina has worked her ass off for that degree, and well, I am happy to have been there for all of it.

But there was a time when it was all in doubt. There was some time in 2009 when my friends and I parted ways and I did things for myself for awhile there. Though I know why this happened, I'm glad that second chances sometimes need to happen. I'm glad that we gave each other a second chance at friendship, because some of them have become closer than ever before. Luna and I were close in 8th grade when we went on the Washington D.C. trip together. I will never forget her for introducing me to Baklava and Pocky on that trip. I also will never forget the laughs we had that whole time picking on Courtney. But we lost each other in high school for a bit but in the last couple of years, I have become closer than ever with her. I plan runs to Tim Horton's just to spend time with her and get her out of the house. She makes me smile and laugh daily.

But Courtney, is another example of how a friendship can be lost over the years. In high school, we were like peas and carrots. Always together. Whenever someone broke his heart, or something happened at home, I was the friend he came to when he needed to talk it out and have a good cry. After high school, he found his new friends, and though he associates with us via Facebook (but never answers back) it has gotten awkward at times. He is marrying his fiance in less than a month. None of his "old friends" as we now call ourselves, were invited, even his best friend Zach who grew up with him. Low blow man, low blow.

New Year's 2011. 

But sometimes second chances are beautiful things. Josh gave me a second chance (and even third actually) and well, we are still great friends. Even though he lives in Georgia, we are trying to plan a trip to meet in the middle and have a few days of good times. And interestingly enough, second chances are not just received, but given. Not more than about 5 months ago did Zac Sanborn ask for forgiveness in his own way. For apologizing for how much of an asshole he was in high school, he asked for me to realize how much he had changed. He had told me that I saved his life with my endless optimism. Some may say that was flattery, but I came to learn that it was the truth.

I haven't been happier with the decision. The amount of things I have gotten through in talking with Zac in the past few months have been insurmountable. It is true, he knows more about me than about 99% of the people I know do, but at the same time, he has let me come into a confidence about myself that I never had before. We have fostered a friendship that I don't think will ever go away for the rest of my life.

These are my girls, getting ready for another crazy night out on the town.

It's all interesting how relationships happen. On my very first day of college, in my English class, my professor told us to turn to someone, share our contact information just in case we missed class. The person I turned to was Tanisha on that fateful afternoon. And 2 years down the road, she became my roommate and we have become such close friends. And Abijah, being Tanisha's friend, naturally fell into place as one of my good friends as well. And Mindu, she was just put in our room as our last roommate, and it was a relationship that I cherish. She'll always be my Indian roommate, no matter if she's living in Boston now with her husband or not.

Some friendships become more. If you told me last year that I would be happily in a relationship, I probably would say you were being too hopeful. Not that I didn't want one, I just didn't see myself ever being "wanted" by someone. But then Kevin came along. I met Kevin just after I lost Sam, in a nursing class. And we became friends. Kevin learned everything about me, he became one of my best friends. And now he is my boyfriend. Let me just say this, becoming friends with the person you end up in a relationship with first is such a good idea. You get over the awkward "this is what I do for a living," "my favorite blah blah is." And it makes for a stronger relationship because they know what upsets you, they know what you cherish and they know how to cheer you up in the long run. Seriously, don't friendzone.

Oh Kevin :)

All-in-All though, Katrina's Aunt Michelle was right at some point. See my friend's list isn't the same as if was 4 years ago. At the end of high school, I had my friends from Lapeer, and that was about it. But after 4 years of college, I have the friends from high school that mattered, I have friends from high school that I never expected to be friends with now, friends from high school who have become better friends (this includes you Jessica!) and my friends who my college experience has added to the mix. I'm sure that as the years come, these friendships will be challenged, shaped and strengthened. And new friends will be added to the mix.

Friends are the family that you pick for yourself. Sometimes you aren't as close to your family, and your friends step in. Friends listen to you, and they know you'll listen to them when you need it. They are the people you call upon when you need to rant, when you need someone to come pick you up from whatever situation, the people whose shoulders you cry on when sad and upset and the people who'll ask you who they need to kill when that happens.

I have chosen myself a lovely family of friends who have been there for so much. And I thank God everyday for letting these people come into my life and making it better. I love you all, you are all good people. Let's change the world together!

My bestie. This girl has seen me angry (Which doesn't happen often), seen me sick, sad, crying, and happy. Really, name an emotion, I'm sure she's been there for it (or helped over the phone). From squeals over what was happening on Glee to discussing life, this girl will forever be my sister.

This one's for you: Trina, Luna, Hoffa, Zac, Kevin, Abijah, Tanisha, Mindu, Jess, Jessica, Boesler, Sarah, Colonel, Guida, Cody, my lovely cousin Molly (who is also such a wonderful friend) and everyone else who makes me get through another day with a smile on my face!

1. Raise Your Glass- P!nk
2. Battery- Metallica
3. Everything's Not Lost- Vitamin String Quartet
4. Leave The Light On- Garth Brooks
5. Dirty Little Secret- The All-American Rejects
6. Be Like That- 3 Doors Down
7. Still- Matt Nathanson
8. Some Day- Shinedown
9. Hit Me Baby One More Time- Bowling for Soup
10. In Another's Eyes- Garth Brooks /w Trish Yearwood
11. Memories- Panic! at the Disco

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