Man, friendship is one wild ride. So beautiful and dynamic, so complex and fragile, with the potential to withstand so much. You could put a thousand years between a solid friendship and the integrity of it would only grow stronger. But if you hurt someone who has given you his or her friendship, the damage can be irreparable.
My mom was my best friend, it was just she and I after my father moved away, and I could never imagine a day without her. I was 14 when she passed away, it was devastating for me, and losing a companion like that really affected the way I handled friendships. Her death also uprooted me from my home in New York and moved me across the country to Los Angeles to live with my father, so I had to leave behind an amazing group of childhood friends as well.
The years that followed that trauma were filled with sharp pain and anger, sprinkled with resentment and topped with a group home or two. All of those normal, friend forming years that are supposed to be about football games and school plays, were spent alone in therapy, suicidal, running away, and stoned. When I came through my cloud of angst years later, I found myself very comfortable with being alone, but so jealous of people who were surrounded by friends.
I went to a handful of art schools, trying to find my niche, trying to connect with people as much as I could. But I found myself never quite committing to a friendship, always leaving myself room to walk away if I needed to. I wouldn’t put any effort into maintaining my friends; I found more pleasure in being alone, I was more comfortable that way.
It was later in college, about my last year, that I started to really crave a female friendship, a Thelma to my Louise. I have always been enamored with the “best friend” relationship. I knew people that had been friends since grade school, and I loved the idea of that, growing with a friend. I kept trying to have meaningful friendships with girls, but I ended up feeling let down, or disappointed, and so I would walk away. This was my own fault; I really didn’t know what I wanted out of a friend, I didn’t understand what their role was in my life. I did happen to be in a romantic relationship for years, but it didn’t satisfy my urge to have a girlfriend.
However, I did find an incredible friend at the end of my educational career, or, we found each other. And I feel blessed to have her in my life today; she’s like my sister. And over the next eight years I learned so much about what being a friend means. I realized that my actions have a much greater weight than I ever imagined.
As time passed, and my healthy experiences grew, I allowed friendships to form naturally and with a little more ease. I cultivated relationships with my father and my step-mom, and learned not to expect so much from people, but to appreciate what is given. My father is one of the greatest friends I could ever have.
I think I decided to write about friendship, because for the first time, I feel so unbelievably connected to the people in my life. And I understand that there’s no need to define a role for any of our relationships. You can surround yourself with friends, and love them for who they are, and feel so lucky to have people that care about you. A friendship can’t be defined, each one is as different as a snowflake, and the differences are so exciting.
I recently re-connected with the friends that I had left after my mom died, and it’s been such a soulful, amazing experience to become a part of their lives again. They remember me, and for so long I thought the memory of me had vanished when I left, and it’s so heart warming that it didn’t.
I promise this world that I’m going to be a good friend, and I am thankful to this world for giving me so many people to be a good friend to.
*This post is dedicated to Rocky, my love, my best friend, and my inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments ( 1 Comment )

I’m so glad I found your blog. I love the writing as well as the pictures. Amazing work!

Monika N. added these pithy words on Apr 27 09 at 1:05 am

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