Friendship: A two syllable ten letter word that is constantly thrown around, abused, used, misunderstood, and taken advantage of. What was once a strong force to be reckoned with has been left in a fragile state of over used apologies, deceitful behavior, broken memories and remnants of what once used to be. At the age of twenty two I have had the pleasure to experience what I would classify as great friendships that have faced and overcome many obstacles. I have also had the pleasure to experience bitter relationships that I would never minimize their importance but would no longer dare call a friendship in any form. As a supporter of constant learning I have no other choice but to classify these relationships as an important pleasurable learning experience that have taught me more than I could ever learn from a TV special.
You see after careful analysis of not only my past relationships but others' interaction as well, I've realized that there is rarely a true balance of authentic respect. Respect is the basis and key to a successful and healthy relationship between people. Respect holds the key to honesty, understanding, trust and all other necessary aspects of building a true friendship. Instead of building a respectful interaction people are quick to label every person that they meet as a friend. We can of course blame it on a lack of word choice and variation or pure laziness. It does not however take much time to differentiate a co-worker and acquaintance from a friend. It is these people that choose the convenience of the word friend over the true responsibilities that come along with this word that are truly the most dangerous.
A friend is someone who you should be able to be most vulnerable with. A person that will give advice without a degrading judgmental tone, will act first and ask questions later. It is so important to realize that not everyone in the world is destined to be your friend and you are not destined to be everyone's friend. Whether it be "fucked up" or not your friends are your army and I personally do not need someone on my side if I am never really sure in which direction they are pointing their gun. Unfortunately many people are afraid to admit that a relationship they once categorized as a friendship is no longer worth the work and sacrifice because of the amount of time that has been put into it. My response to that after many years of experience with this exact issue, though it may be painful, just because you have been friends with someone since kindergarten the battle is no longer worth it if you are in it alone and their gun is pointed directly and constantly at you. Obstacles are one thing but a lack of respect is a completely different issue.
I commend those friendships that have overcome serious issues or what was once considered serious back during adolescent time. I also commend those who have removed themselves from unhealthy relationships and never turned back because you have broken the repetitive cycle of "I'm sorry and we're still best friends". The "I'm sorry's" have run thin but the bitter regret of what they have lost will always be a win for you. In conclusion I end this with as much wisdom as I can possibly provide. I believe that friendship is one of the most difficult relationships to have and to maintain. With that said friendship can be one of the most beautiful aspects in your life if taken care of appropriately. It all starts however with yourself. Be respectful to yourself, get to know yourself, be a friend to yourself first before you take on the needs of someone else's friendship requirements. Once you've taken care of you the rest should fall in place.