"shelby, why would you start a seemingly lovely post about your friends with something so sad?"
well, dear friends of the internet (hi, mom), i will tell you why:
every time someone from back home asks me if i've made friends here, i laugh. i ask myself, "why would i have any trouble making friends?"
well, it probably has to do with the fact that any parent worries that their child isn't having the best time they could've possibly imagined for them. not sure why my friends are asking me the same question, but that's fine.
do i miss my friends from home? yes, tremendously. i miss the friends who i can get to by walking to their dorm, the friends i have to drive to see, the friends i have to travel out of state to see, and the friend i have to leave the country to see.
but, i don't miss the places i found them in. truly. new york suffocated me more and more towards the end of last semester, and miami has hardly been a place of respite for me. girls can be catty, and even boys-- "friends" or significant others-- bring me worse pain than i could have wished on my worst enemy. sometimes breakups come out of nowhere, because you got something somebody wanted, or because a rumor was spread, or because you said the wrong thing at the wrong time. and frequent loss is detrimental, and needs more healing than a therapist or a thoughts journal can bring.
i've said it before: spending a month in england with lovely people who all just want to act their faces off to the tune of the bard is excitingly romantic. romanticism isn't a bad thing; but, it can be a disappointing thing. my friendships here are all romantic, because these bonds are formed in the likeness of temporariness. we know we have limited moments here, and our moments are fleeting, so we all seem to be in a perpetual state of sharing all of our best parts-- our life forces, in full-- with each other.
i chose to share that poem at the beginning of this post because one of my favorite people in this program (let's call her juliet) shared it with me yesterday after having a conversation about frustrations we were dealing with over people we cared very much about back home. honestly, i am not usually sensitive to poetry, because i feel silly when i am, because i've slowly become more and more embarrassed of much i want to live in a romantic world. that is, reality checks have become far too frequent. but this poem really sat with me immediately, and i felt hurt instead of embarrassed.
even though i've said our moments here are running away faster than we can catch up, and my friendships and attitudes here are romantic, i think my friendships here function because they are such. everyone needs people in their lives who they may not see very often, or talk to as much as they'd like; but-- we all need a person or two in our lives who-- when we do get to talk to them, brings us unconditional joy.
it is such a relief to have people in my life who need to receive and want to give unconditional love. it is important to have girl crushes, and it is important to have friends who just want to sit in a circle and compliment each other, and laugh at each other's first impressions of everybody that they now love so dearly.
i've told myself for about a year now that i will cut out people who drain my life force, and really refocus my attention on those who feed it. i don't need to have dozens of friends to be successful or to be happy. on the contrary, desperately wanting to keep so many people around only hurts you more, because it demands that more of your energy be spent on less meaningful things. instead of putting my best heart into six different people, i chose three. and now i have two more. and tomorrow i may only have one, but i may also have seven. as long as they are receiving what i want to give, i keep them.
artificial and circumstantial friendships will come and go, and boys will come and go, and horses will come and go. i feel so empowered and rejuvenated by being around people-- especially girls-- who like me for my good and bad parts, and give back what they take. and when all is said and done, and i look back on my life, i want to know that i put my best self into people-- whether it be one, three, or six-- that were willing to receive it.