When I was a little girl I made a lot of friends. My mum told me a story about how one day we went to the beach and I found another little girl on the beach to play with. She recalls how I came running up to her and said ‘Okay Mum, Suzy is coming back to my house to play now’. ‘Who is Suzy?’ my mum asked. ‘Muuum, she’s my best friend. I just met her 10 minutes ago’. Apparently this story was common throughout my childhood. I was bold enough that I just went up to kids and said ‘Ok, do you want to play with me now?’
Until fairly recently, I thought that this was pretty normal. I mean, I think it’s normal for kids to make friends easily and quite quickly but somewhere along the way we get hurt and insecure and making friends becomes harder. Making real friends becomes harder because all of a sudden you are trusting people with your heart and your deepest fears and greatest hopes instead of just with your toys and your Mum’s dress up heels.
A couple of months ago I met this girl. She was a friend of a friend and I probably only chatted to her briefly the next few times I saw her. She seemed really nice, pretty and easy to talk to but I kind of thought, as I often do – ‘Already at maximum friend capacity’.
However the next few weeks and its activities brought us together in more ways than one. You know when you just have a moment with someone. You unintentionally reveal some odd quirk about yourself and the other person jumps in such surprise as that is also their odd quirk. You find out their celebrity crush is the same as yours. You connect. Those moments where you just know that you stumbled across something special. Someone who without doing anything, makes your heart extraordinarily happy.
Sometimes I’m really glad I listen to my heart rather than to my brain. My brain said I didn’t need any more friends but my heart had other ideas. I actually did need this. By opening myself up to a new relationship, it didn’t increase my burden, it actually lightened it. Sometimes we close ourselves off to new things because we are afraid of ‘more’. Sometimes we don’t realise that God stretches our hearts to make room for new loves. I never want to be someone who shies away from enlargement.
I’ve realized the key to life isn’t how many friends you have – it’s which friends you have. I need people in my life that will let me be me. Who can point out the qualities in me that I’d forgotten about and say ‘Hey, you’re amazing’. People who make me laugh, people who laugh with me and sometimes, at me. I need people who I can be real with, who notice when I’m not being real and people who aren’t afraid to say something about it. People who make your life better, people who make you better.
I think I’ll always be that little girl on the beach. I think I’ll always easily find new people to be friends with. But I’ve realized how rare genuine relationships really are. Those people are special. Those friendships are to be valued and treasured.
So to my new and old friends who love me like family – to the few people who I let see the very best and the very worst of me. Thank you.
Anything good in my life is a direct reflection of the way you have shaped my life and shaped me. You have made me happier than I can adequately explain with words.
I’m not used to it, but I can learn.
There’s nothing to it.
I’ve never been happier.
No one is as lucky as us.
We’re not at the end but we already won.
No no one, is as lucky as us.
Paramore – Where the Lines Overlap.