Friendship: The Search To Be Seen

By Amari D. Pollard

Friendship has always been a current topic at my house. Sometimes because my sister would come home with friend drama, other times because I complained about how sick I was of mine, and many times because my parents would update us on what their best friends were doing. Through experiencing my own friendships and watching my sisters’ relationships, and listening to my parents’ explain their relationships with their friends, I’ve come once again, to the realization that like everything else in life, friendship is a life-long process.

I’m sure that everyone has been repeatedly reminded while growing up that friends come and go but family is forever. For a long time I chose to accept that; to come to terms with the fact that the good friends I have now or will have in the future may not always be there. However, coming to college there is an expectation that this is a place where you’re supposed to make life-long friendships.

Isn’t that what everyone really wants anyways? To experience life with the people you care about most in the world? So now, I don’t know if I’m ready to fully give in to that concept just yet.

For a long time I have wondered what makes a true friend and who mine really are.

Since I can remember my dad has told me, “A true friend is someone you can talk to about things other than school, sports, and girls, for you boys.” I always thought he was the wisest man alive, so that’s how I chose to weed out my friends. When I was done analyzing my friendships, I realized I only had three real friends outside of my family, and I was completely happy with that.

It was the people who had the most friends that I always wondered about. I’ve always had a lot of acquaintances, but real friends, no. Akin to what Aristotle says, I don’t think it’s possible to have a great number of real friends [not just by my dad’s standards] because it’s impossible to share yourself equally amongst them, but then again according to Aristotle’s standards I have no friends.

But when I say share, I don’t mean spending time equally amongst friends or sharing trivial facts about yourself, I mean revealing your true being.

Friendship is all about seeing each other. Friendship [to me at least] is when you feel comfortable enough to let someone see you, but also when that other person understands what they’re seeing. I’ve been seen by many people, but I can say only a few have truly seen me.

It’s the people who can recognize the face you make when you’re annoyed, the people who comfort you without having to say anything when you’re crying, or the people you can remain in comfortable silence with who are friends.

Life is too short to surround yourself with people you only half care about. What is life anyways if you don’t have family and friends to share in its trials and joys? I do think friends will come and go, but like family, true friends can be forever.

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