I’ve been thinking about friendship lately. Perhaps it’s because I just watched one of my closest friends get married in Cabo San Lucas to an amazing guy who loves her and yet, I see how she still manages to make time for her friends or maybe it’s because in the past ten years of my life, I’ve come to realize how important friendships are… Whatever the reason is, truth be told, I’ve learned that friendships are important and should be treated as such and I’ve been thinking about that lately…
One such person is a beautiful girl I hung out with tonight. A girl I’ve known for fifteen years. A girl who I’ve only lived in the same city as for two of these fifteen years. But more on her in a moment…
I didn’t always feel this way about friendships. I wish I did, but honestly, I used to treat friendships as though they were disposable and I went through many close friends, most of whom I don’t talk to anymore or if I do, it’s nothing more than a casual hello. I blame myself for much of this because I thought it was easier to keep people at a distance than be vulnerable and open up to them. But then, in my late teens-early twenties, I began to realize how important friendships can be and was fortunate enough to meet people who helped show me this.
Recently, someone “de-friended” me on Facebook because he disagreed with a status I wrote about a political figure. No joke. And while I accept his choice, his lack of tolerance and his need to vent anger at me because he didn’t like what I wrote made me think again about the importance of friendship. To be fair, I don’t really know this person that well and can likely assume his anger isn’t really at me but rather his own life, but nonetheless, it was interesting…
Friendship by definition (from my handy Apple dictionary of course) says it is “the state of being friends.” I like being friends with those who don’t agree with me. Those who do agree with me. Those who kinda agree with me. Those who think I’m crazy. Those who think I’m a genius. Those who think I’m trouble. Those who think I’m perfect. Those who think I’m far from perfect. It really doesn’t matter. Friendships are based on two individuals and their individual natures.
I’ll never forget the day I moved into the co-ed dorms at San Diego State University and a girl across the hall from me told me that I would love her roommate. She said I had to meet her because we would get along great. At the time, I thought, sure, whatever. I don’t know anyone here so why not. But then… I met her roommate and this girl was like meeting a part of myself. It wasn’t that we were identical. Far from it. But we got along beautifully, appreciated each others differences and enhanced each others similarities. We’ve been close ever since, even though she left San Diego after the following year.
It’s interesting though because we’re actually quite different from each other. She’s a liberal thinker politically and I’m more of an independent, no-government thinker. She embraces pets while I have never had any. She wakes up at the crack of dawn and I’ll sleep till noon if you let me. She doesn’t eat meat and a steak is my favorite meal. Point is, we’re not people who think exactly alike and yet… we’re the closest of friends and have been for over fifteen years.
I’ve recently completed a final cut for my latest short film and when I told her I wanted to show it to her, she didn’t hesitate for a second. She simply said, “I want to see it” and we made a date for it. She watches with an honest eye, and doesn’t tell me what I want to hear but rather tells me the truth. I like that. I value that. I love that. When a film of mine was playing at a festival in LA, she was one of the first to show up and then sat right by my side. She’s helped on practically every set I’ve ever run and not only helps, but works hard. She believes in me and I value that. I believe in her and love her with all my heart. I am stronger because of her.
It doesn’t matter if we think alike. That’s irrelevant. It’s about respect. And appreciation. And love.