With an upcoming CD release at my Alma Mater fast approaching, I contemplate if I’ll make the trip to the campus to support my choir. For a few days, I’ve been reflecting on my past friendships. Many which soured in college. Most of them have ended because of my doing.
At some point in time these people were who I could consider “besties.” We were always hanging out, talking on the phone, going out and laughing every chance we could. As I look back on my college days, I remember 2 particular friends: one that I spent all of my time with and the other I told my secrets. Living in those carefree times with 2 reliable friends was awesome. Together, they were everything I thought I needed. Then, I changed. I opened my eyes to see that their friendliness toward me was merely superficial. In a quest to be popular, they decided to socialize with a beautiful girl and vie for some form of campus status. For a few years I thought they really cared about me. But more than often, in between doing kind things for me, a comment would arise and pierce my mind:
“I feel so popular with I’m with you.”
“That’s why I like her; she’s so pretty.”
Time passed and these friends sought to embarrass me and ruin my reputation of innocence. It didn’t really bother me that much at first. They were people I could talk to and have fun with. I never had that before. But one day I decided I deserved better. The non-stop communication between us ceased out of necessity, not ease. I missed the gifts and text messages flying back and forth but being respected was worth more than that to me.
Over the years I’ve had many encounters with people that I thought were friends but were simply social climbers. Some get what they want and then they leave. Others hang around to drain your essence in hopes of transplanting it into themselves. It isn’t easily noticeable initially, but the person that is most clingy and most interested in everything about you can be that untrustworthy leech. Friendships aren’t easy but they’re worth the effort. I experienced enough drama with one friend to create a TV series, but we’re still buddies.
“The best you’ve ever had may not be the best you’ll ever have.” - ME
Today, the people I consider my friends continually prove themselves deserving of the title. They want the best for me and aren’t jealous of my success. My friends repay the sacrifices I make for them with genuine labors of love. When I dissolved my friendships in 2009, I had no idea my new friends would be truly wonderful.
If I decide to return to the place where my old friends may still be lingering around, I’ll be open to reconciliation. People can change. However, I’ll also be aware of the signs of self-interest.