“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better”. Plutarch
When I commute to work every morning, I like to be in silence. I do not listen to music. Sometimes, I listen to NPR. I do not really like podcasts either. However, I was scrolling through the episodes of this podcast http://livingexperiment.com/ on Castbox the other day and one caught my attention – Episode 77: Friends.
This episode was a good reminder of my understanding about friendship and who a friend is – someone you rely on, someone you trust, someone who is there for you, you feel comfortable around them, they laugh at your jokes and don’t get offended by your sarcasm. Pretty simple, right? But I could not believe that I had to be reminded about it as things got shifted since I moved to the US.
Acquaintances are considered friends here. People you go biking with – you call them friends, people you go to their house for drinks/barbecue – you call them friends. But they are really not unless you have a true connection with these people and you can allow yourself to be vulnerable. I do not recall the last time, I have heard these “friends” share their problems.
I knew that my husbands deployment was going to show me who my true friends are. And it did. I gained some friends, I lost some friends (or acquaintances, I guess).
The true realization hit when I asked my biking buddies to go out for drinks with me one Friday night. I was feeling lonely and did not want to spend the evening on my own. I could have been vulnerable and admitted to them that I was lonely but I did not want people to feel sorry for me. Noone came out that night, one of the excuses was “wanting to snuggle with their hubby”. Well, that’s why they are just biking buddies.
I allow the relationship nourish and grow when I feel excited to be with a person, when they are not afraid to share their feelings and thoughts and I know that I won’t be judged for sharing mine. I am loosening the ties with people are the other way around. It makes me free, it makes me happy.