I didn’t have friends in middle school. In high school, I ate lunch in the AP Calc teacher’s classroom to avoid further humiliation. I felt like an outsider, not knowing that most people feel this way. As I got older, I got openly weirder, less afraid of my messiness. Owning my excentricities became my north star– the guiding light that directed me to the many people who have changed and enriched my life. This is my love letter to you.
Your people will always be your people. The connection changes shape and location, but those special souls who see you rarely lose that.
Losing friends has always been more excruciating than losing love interests for me.
Never worry about the “cool kids”, the “in crowd”, the “it people”. There will always be these people, and often, the quest for social status comes at the expense of authenticity. Performance has a high price. Seek connection and community with folks who are true blue. Be the lighthouse for the genuine and brave and quirky.
I don’t have to be gold to someone who is tin. If someone is consistently inconsistent, I yield no obligation to show up for them. It took me a long time to accept that I isn’t my responsibility to hold space for people who might not show up– actually, it’s a disservice to me to wait and remain open and shiny for someone who is closed off.
Not everyone can show up for me all the time, and I can’t always show up for people. It’s a scatter plot of data points, and more often than not, friends show up for each other. If they can’t they try to be present in other ways. This is how we demonstrate to one another that we care.
My friends aren’t my therapists. It’s an undue burden to place my problems upon them.
People fail our expectations more than they fail us.
Saying “but I’d like to be friends” as a cop out when you don’t want to date someone is not a friendship.
With that being said, some people I’ve pined for (and the other way around) are my best friends.
A friendship is an exchange. It works both ways. A situation that works one way is called a parasite.
Being someone’s free therapist is not the same as being their friend. A friend is valued.
It’s not about how many friends I have. It’s about the quality of people. How many people routinely show up for me? This is a question I ask myself a lot, and sometimes, I’m disappointed by the answer.
It is healthy and necessary to call friends out. Enabling is not a sign of love, and excuses aren’t appropriate for every time someone is hurt/ feeling neglected. We are allowed to and should hold each other accountable for our behaviors.
Not every friendship or relationship is meant to last forever. The best thing I can do is cherish the past closeness and wish them the best from afar. Growth doesn’t have to have a fault on either side, and even if there was fault, I’ll never stop cheering you on. If you were one of my people once, I’m always going to root for you, even if it can’t be what it was.
To get good friends, I need to be a good friend. Both to others and to myself.
Shedding toxic friendships is an act of self-care.
I never thought I’d have the friends I do now. I didn’t think I deserved people like that. I’ve had friends pick me up from LAX, call me at midnight on my birthday, mail letters from Denver when they’re thinking about me, wait with me at McDonald’s until 3 am– when my suicidal urges passed, help me move, stand with me when I chose to talk about my assault, take me in when I had no where to go. I don’t have to explain who I am to my friends. I don’t have to apologize for who I am. We are the sum of the people we associate with. We are what we love and value. I believe this because this favors me, because my people are extraordinary. You are my lifesavers and witnesses and loves when I couldn’t love myself. You remind me to eat when the disorders get loud and catch me when I’m crying. I wouldn’t be alive without my friends. I wouldn’t be who I am without you. So, no matter how rough this rainy Friday is, I want you to know that my life is better because you’re in it. There aren’t enough words to convey the shelter and joy you’ve brought to me just by being here. But I can tell you that every life preserver in my life has name– they are my friends, my first aide kits, my own personal army and hype squad. My people.