As I think back on the past week and a half, I realize how lucky I am. When I began this journey (of the blog), I did hope to maintain it quite regularly. That was easy when I had plenty of free time and the longing to find my place again. Since then, I have been overwhelmed with work and life (and adorable rabbits). I have also been overwhelmed with how much good there can be–something I question frequently–which is in a large part thanks to many of my friends.
In this past week and a half of incredible things, there was much singing and dancing and smiling from ear to ear. There was happy hour and Asian cuisine and walking through New York City with a broken shoe and talking way too loud and heartfelt conversations. Cheering for the green knight and gorging on medieval food and wearing paper crowns with pride. Making odd jokes and devouring pizza and venting frustrations. There was ice cream eating and floor sitting and remembering the past and looking into the future. Most of all, there was laughing until crying and gasping for air and clutching stomachs and slapping knees. And it was beautiful.
In my twenty-something years of life, I have lived in three different states in America and lived abroad in Ireland. I made it through elementary, middle, and high school and numerous different soccer teams. I went to college, joined clubs, and stepped far out of my comfort zones in many ways. There’s been life and loss and death and change, as is the case for anyone. One thing that remained fairly constant through all of that time was that I had friends at my side. It hasn’t always been the same friends, but there have always been friends.
They pick you up when you are down and make you laugh at the most ridiculous things. They remind you that you are good even when the world is cruel, and they remind you that you can be bad too. They teach you how to fight and love and dream. How to respect others and treat them with kindness. They show you new things and reminisce with you about old things. Whether there is one or there are twenty-six, a good friend sees you through life in the way no one else can.
Family leads a huge part in shaping who a person becomes, but that is only the beginning I believe. There are classmates, teammates, roommates, co-workers, neighbors, pen pals, lovers, and strangers who influence your life as well. Some become friends. Some fall out of touch. Some pass only for an instant. In some way or another, they all leave their mark though. You cannot pick your family, but, for the most part, you can pick everyone else. Some people are not very good at picking other people. They pick ones who are mean or selfish or careless, or ones who constantly hurt them. They pick people who lack passion or honesty.
Picking the right people can be difficult. There are personalities, histories, interests, and timing to consider, among other things. I like to think I have done a good job picking my people.
While the teenage years proved to be a challenge at times (Thank you, hormones.) and increasing distances have loomed threateningly overhead, I am lucky to have kept such important people in my life. I hear all the time of people who backstab, lie, or treat their “friends” poorly. In no way am I myself, nor are my friendships, perfect. There are miscommunications and lack of communications, petty arguments and justified quarrels, and overall very busy lives. But they are relationships of which I cherish every moment. My people are kind and funny and heartfelt. They show compassion and strength. They have helped shape who I am today.
How do you pick the right people though? Is there some secret formula or magic spell? I don’t think so. I think it comes down to your intuition. The right people will treat you with respect. They will laugh with you, cry with you, and tell you when you’re being a jerk. They will encourage you to be stupid and wise. They will help you follow your dreams and fight anything that gets in your way. The right people will make time to visit you when they are in the same country, or state, or town. The right people will be there.
Wherever you are, I hope you find the right people.