“Ain’t no need to rush. Breakfast can wait.” – Prince, Breakfast Can Wait
You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there is no substitute for the few who truly improve you. These aren’t the people who are simply nice to you; they’re the ones who help you uncover the things that are holding you back. In subtle ways, they bring ideas to your attention that change your life. These friends don’t just sit beside you unknowingly; they shake your world up, reveal your obstacles and weaknesses, and remain a part of your life because they care.
I’ve been ruminating on the meaning of friendship a lot this week. At least my expectations of it. I think the quote above conveys a good portion of what I think of when I think of a “core friends” or “the fam” as is often referred amongst people close to me. These are people that lift me up, that challenge me, that sometimes see me better than I see myself. These are the people that can call me on my shit and I’ll take it in the spirit it’s given and hopefully learn from it. I hope they expect and respect the same from me.
There’s this other aspect of friendship, though, that sometimes gets overlooked. Friends share their lives with each other. Not just the awesome stuff but the awful too. Not just the collection of interests and quips that make up our digital personas but the angst of our every day as well as the little victories. We know the people that matter in each other’s lives. We learn what is important and what isn’t and how those things change over time. We get to understand hopes and dreams as well as fears and weaknesses.
As someone who plays most things close to the vest, I get how hard and scary that kind of sharing is and how easy it is to believe we’re connected because we wave at each other on The Internet. But without that part, that access to each other’s true lives and selves, how do we ever get to the desert of the real?
Be my Morpheus and I’ll be yours.