Prompt #16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)
If you give me half a chance, I will wax on and on about how amazing my friends are. I never doubt it to be true, but sometimes, even I'm surprised at how fantastic they really are.
Y'see, I'm a skeptic. I've been burned enough times in the past that I don't really believe that anyone is truly what they appear to be. Sometimes it's because they're lying to themselves, sometimes it's because they choose not to see the truth about other people. Sometimes it's other things.
It makes me hesitate to reach out, and loath to trust anyone on more than a surface level. What if they see what's on the inside, and they don't like it? Worse, what if they twist and turn those inny bits around, and use them against me? It's happened before, which means that a precedent has been set for it to happen again.
Getting over that mental hump is always the hardest for me.
And it shouldn't be. My success rate on these things far outweighs my failures - it's just that the catastrophes weigh heavier on my mind than any of good things ever do.
That was a lot of preamble to say that, for the most part, my friends this year have surprised me in spades. The girls out here in Boulder, particularly, have been shoulders to cry on, arms to hug, even couches to sleep on when all the things inside me were just to raw to spend the night alone. (And then we got a sweet 7 hour musical performance from their neighbors. AWESOME.)
They have seen me at my lowest, and picked me back up, and called me and supported me and done all the things that friends are supposed to do. Lovingly. Selflessly. Patiently.
They're making me see, making me believe, slowly, that I'm capable of and worthy of love and support and affection, even when I'm stuck so far up in my head that I can't even fathom a way back to reality.
And with their help, I'm working on being better. If they can see it, if they can see my potential and my worth, then I have to believe that it's real, that it's really there. I want to believe in those things, so badly, but it's a forest for the trees sort've thing. But with their help, I'm getting there.
(Of course, this isn't to say that any of my other friends weren't equally spectacular this year. Sitting in front of this screen and commending everyone I hold dear to me would take far longer both to write and to read than anyone has any patience for.)
Maybe it's not a seismic life shift, or a radical realization. But knowing that I'm loved, enough to love myself? For me, I can't think of anything bigger.