Biffin' (Best Friends for Never)

The 20s are all about closing your inner circle. "A friend to all is a friend to none" - Aristotle. There are so very many people in the world and even on overwhelming amount on a college campus. So many faces, stories, and potential friendships to know, hear, and pursue. The thing is you can't be friends, like full on "idealized reciprocated interdependent supporters," with everyone. It's physically impossible and way too taxing. Somehow you end up emphasizing some friendships more than others and life chooses for you, whether consciously or not, who the most important people in your are. No friendship is perfect but you can come damn near close. Biffin' (best friends for never) or nah?

People let me tell you about my best friend(s). Whenever someone ask you about your best friend, I don't know about you but my entire face lights up at the mention of any of their names. That's how I know I've found someone who "gets" me on the most fundamental levels of who I am. In secondary school I was so lucky to make two best friends, Taylor and Chelsea. Somehow we ended up together and every time we interacted my spirit just soared. Our ideas about life just seemed to line up and I can never forget how many days and nights I spent geeking the heck out at their humor. We went through a lot and were there for one another. I mean talking about the rough things and getting real. I found my third best friend, Jeff, in college through my RHA connections. Similar to Taylor, Jeff and I shared so many likenesses you would think we were the same person, save a few things (style and a couple identities). Jeff gave my hope for finding good friends at college and he doesn't even go here. He gave me that near perfect friendship that I missed so dearly. Funny, quirky, playfully antagonistic, but also able to have powerfully moving conversations as people. Also, I'm not a touchy-feely person but found I was okay with being bro-ey with him. In my experience these people come once in a blue moon. BFFN or for life? We've grown up and are apart but I still think about each one of them every single day.

This year in particular I've come to understand two things, first I had more close friends than I ever realized and that friendships can be valued even if they're just catch up conversations every once in a while. The latter really changed my entire perception of what friendship was. My friendship with the outgoing student government association president, Connor, is a testament to appreciating someone in a similar situation. Last week just talked to him for half an hour at 10:30pm in his office (cause what it sleep for us student leaders?) and it was refreshing for someone just to share my sentiments. My friend, Bretton, is one of those random connections I have from first year that have remained alive even with us being in completely different social circles on campus. I still enjoy talking to him and hearing his opinions about the world. My TV show co-star, Hailey, is one of those people that I just gelled with and talking to hear always is just easy. Even though we don't get to hang out much outside of our episode shoots, hearing her laugh or making obscure allegorical references with her gets me going. My RA, Adam as well has been a welcome mood lightener in my perpetually stressful weeks with his nonchalant attitude and mature perspectives. Then there's those people who you totally overlook how much you like them as friends. It's crazy what you realize when you look right in front of you. Sam (currently studying abroad across the pond) in particular, I miss the heck out of. Not having her here forced me to branch out but still miss being able to talk to her and always have someone to go places with. My old roommate, Patrick, who I just clicked with is someone I'm so lucky to know cause while we're different, we just continue to work. I'll forgo my last shoutouts to Ben (every time I see the dude, even in passing, I get visibly excited), Taylor and Zach (enough said, just free flowing conversation for days), and last but not least Connor for putting up with my sarcasm, antagonizing, and meddling. Best friends or nah?

This quote really resonated with me on giving gifts (other than being the definition of a loyal friend itself), "A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely" Pam Brown. This year I've made a point to be explicit in letting people know how much I value their friendship and it's been amazing to be able to brighten people's days at the same time. It seems like everyone has heard about my (patent pending) special personalized birthday presents with tear-inducing super card. Knowing someone enough to be able to get them a meaningful gift is something I look forward to. Something for now, something for later, and something to keep forever are usually what my gifts consist of (amazon prime has been the best investment of the year). Jut did Taylor and my fraternity brother, Christian's gifts and I think they're pretty uniquely legit, if I do say so myself. In addition to appreciating people on their big days, I've been relishing in the little things that I can do during the week. My good friend Connor aka Blue Steel is probably one of my favorite people that I've gotten to know this year and I thoroughly enjoy his insight. Had a great conversation him about pretty much everything but mostly future plans and evaluating the value of your college experience. Dropped off lunch to him in class and brought him some pencils, and a bag of gummy bears with an encouraging note in it just because. It's those little things that subtly tell people that you care about them when we forget to verbally tell people how we feel about them. I stopped in to talk to my RHA VP, Sam and have definitely made an intentional effort in validating his expressions and figuring out how to loosen up around him. It's been really good to joke around with him and do more than just talk about our work. Last but not least, in a flashback to last semester (the golden age of  the J-Mac friendship) Mac and I took a midnight trip to buy a pie randomly to eat and hangout (poor life decision, didn't write that religion paper). Next night was a work session (me on a poster, and this blog post - did I finish, nope) and him on an essay. Productive for the first 2 hours, and then the 3 hour trap of the randomness vortex sucked us in. Chicken wings, candy, and making lists (me of my wedding groomsmen and him of past peeps) made for a late night that ended just past 3AM - like why? I brought my gifts of focus, his favorite Q-tips and open ears (the dude can talk -  like a walking biography waiting to happen) and he some nearly intentional appreciation and validating reciprocation. Came up with our "thing" the Enlisted affectionate headpat. Best friends for never, sometimes you never know.

*Some friendships take more "work" than others. Some seem like "work" while others just happen effortlessly, but there's still merit in both. Just because you have to "try" and be purposeful in fostering a friendship does it make any less legit than the ones you magically end up in. Some people are worth the pursuit. At the end of the day, all friendships take some work if you want them to survive. Be willing to do the work. You can't receive friendship if you don't give friendship yourself. Send the first text message, make the little surprise, be there for the tough conversations, show up authentically and be aware of not only yourself but who you're friends with. Tell someone you care about them every once in a while. One thing I would change if I could was questioning some of my friendships and leaving others in limbo. Some are sure to fall away but you chase after the ones you want most, naturally. My foolproof test, look at your friends face, like examine it (yeah it sounds creepy as hell) but if you grin, smile, smirk or generally just feel warmer on the inside, that is definitely a person you feel some type of way about.  Best friends forever or bust.

My blog post question for the day is ... how many best friends do you have? You know and my big three (my sister is in there but we don't count each other, it's implied)


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