To Friend or Unfriend?

As I write this, I am still in my pajamas and yet feeling very accomplished at 10:30 in the morning. My hair looks bad and I am still coughing, but I feel so happy with what I was able to do.

Let me explain, my feeling of accomplishment extended way before I woke up this morning at 9.

I hit an epiphany while I was coughing my lungs out last night. And before you start to feel sorry for me, know that I have been dealing with it for nearly a month. It really is all my fault that I cannot shake this cough, but pray for me, because sleep is not coming easy and the spring semester starts today. I foresee a chance of sleepless nights, early mornings and papers on frustrating topics resulting in tears.

But I digress.

While I lay awake and coughing, I had a lot of time to think about how my first semester went in terms of work load, extra curricular activities, what I liked and disliked, and my relationships with God, family and friends.

I came to several conclusions:

– Statistics would never happen again, despite my overall B+ and the (grudgingly obvious) fact that it was quite useful in daily life.

– I had to choose one choir over the other, and I had to remind myself that just because I returned to serving one choir as opposed to two does not mean that I love God any less.

– Maybe I am not as literary as I thought I was, because I cannot close read to save my life.

– I need to make more time to spend with God and my family.

What left a big, gaping hole in my train(s) of thought last night was friends.

What makes a friend? Who are my friends?

Do I even have any friends?

friends animated GIF

My life began to play out before me like a cinema, adding to my insomnia. I made friends in elementary school, which eventually evolved into the friends I made in high school. Some were kept while others slowly faded into the background of life. Every experience came with new friends: summer camp, youth days, Quebec exchange, volunteering, and now university.

I see now that friendship, like any relationship, is a two way street. You do not have to be romantically intertwined with a person to ask how they are doing from time to time. And granted, everyone got busier once they left high school. We meet new people and are off chasing our dreams. We have to choose certain things over others, and sometimes that means sacrificing friendships.

To bring a little peace to myself, I can honestly say that yes, there are many people that I hold near and dear to my heart as friends. But I think that most of the time we go through life with our Facebook lenses on. The number of friends that we have on Facebook is just a deception, because I can almost guarantee that I do not talk to 80% of the ones that I have.

Which is sad.

friend animated GIF

Facebook brings a whole new definition of what a “friend” is. If you met for a day? Friend that person. You have one mutual friend? Friend that person. Your name came up in conversation a couple times, so I have to friend you. But how much do you know that person or talk to that person? Do you value that person, or are they just another icon on the list?

I am not saying that you should go through right now and delete all the friends you have not talked to in say, 3 months. But I think the point is clear that we are all so confused as to what a true friend really is.

I feel that this is really relevant, especially for many of my friends who are graduating this year. Know that you are not defined by the number of friends that you have on Facebook, or followers on Twitter or Instagram. A true friend will be there for you in the thick and thin, and will make the effort to travel on the two-way street. And if you find that things are not working out? That is okay too. In the end, remember that you cannot possibly be friends with everyone and please them all. Figuring that out gave me so much extra space to breathe, and helped me reach this conclusion.

“There are friends who destroy one another, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24

I wish everyone the best in this new semester – go for the gold, good friends, and spilled ink!

x R 

PS – how did you like the GIFs?