Friendship and the “5 Finger Rule”

I’ve been in a reflective mood recently, and I have been spending a lot of my time thinking about my past recently. Usually I have such a terrible memory, but now everything is flooding back to me fresh and new. Even the things I have forgotten about.

Since a lot of kids are starting school again, I thought back to when I was in high school. It was a tough time for me, and my depression and perpetual anger didn’t help any. I always had a hard time making friends and keeping them too. It seemed that people came and left out of my life a lot, and I thought it was something wrong with me. There wouldn’t be a big fight or anything. We would just stop talking and they’d start to hang out with someone else. I never truly had a best friend while in high school. I had friends and some I hung out with more than others, but I never had that best friend everyone talks about. That person that you can tell your deepest darkest secrets to and knows you like the back of their hand. They’d be with you through thick or thin and you’ll be friends for years.

I’d get close to having something like that, and then the friendship would be over and we’d slowly go back to being acquaintances. I think a lot of it is because while you’re a teenager, you’re going through a lot of growth and phases. You change constantly because you’re trying to figure yourself out, and along with that comes new friends. I would change dramatically. I have always been a person of extremes, and I’d go through one phase right after the next very quickly (way quicker than my peers around me).

Also, there’s something else. My dad sat me down one day and said, “mija, I’ve noticed something about you. I have this talk with all my girls, and now it’s your turn. You’re blossoming into your own, and I’m beginning to see the person you might become one day. I like what I see. You are a teacher. Do you struggle with maintaining friends? Do you have a best friend?” I shook my head no, and he said, “that’s what happens with teachers. People come and go out of their lives quickly, but it’s nothing wrong with you. It has everything to do with you having taught the lesson they needed to learn from you, and they move on. It’s both a blessing and a curse when you’re a teacher, but it gets better when you get older. You don’t need a thousand friends. A man that has hundreds of friends, I feel sorry for because not all of them are genuine. If you can count at least 5 people on your fingers that you can say are your true genuine friends, then you are a wealthy woman. They don’t have to be that one best friend. They can be those people who are your teachers too, they defend you even when you are not there, and they are always willing to talk to you even if it has been years since you last spoke. Those are genuine friends. As you get older, you won’t have time everyday to socialize. Life gets busy, so friends will come and go, but your true friends will be there no matter what you do and no matter what phase you’re going through. You just haven’t met your true friends yet, and it’s tough to find them while in high school. It’s very rare if you do.”

So here is some advice for those that are like me, those friends will come. Trust me, they will. It wasn’t until later that I found my genuine friends. It took me until now, at the age of 22, to be able to count 5 friends on my fingers.

  1. My friend Lina from Germany. She is my dearest friend, and someone I can be my true self with. No we don’t talk everyday, but when she comes to visit me in the summer, it is like no time has passed.
  2. My boyfriend, Josh. He and I started out as friends, and we only got closer from there. I can say that he is my best friend. He means the world to me and my heart aches whenever I am away from him. I can call him up and say random thoughts that are on my mind, and he’ll understand me completely.
  3. My friend Cara from Canada. She is someone I met recently, but she became a fast friend. We can go weeks without talking to one another and then one of us will randomly contact the other, and it will feel like no time has passed. I can tell her my most embarrassing thoughts, and she won’t judge me at all for it.
  4. My friend Renee from New York. She and I may not speak everyday, but I know I can always contact her 24/7 if I needed to. She is always there for me, and she would defend my honor and value even when I’m not in the room. She is a true friend.
  5. My mama. Some of you may not count that, but she is my best friend. i’d say she was my first best friend, and she is also my partner in crime. Of course, she knows every little thing about me and still loves me, but she and I go beyond the mother-daughter relationship. We have always been tied at the hip. As a result, I was never very close with my sisters.

Love and blessings to all! <3

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