"What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies." -- Aristotle
When I was only about 7 or 8, someone read me this quote and it stuck. It even made its way onto my senior yearbook page, not to mention my permanent "favorite quotes" on Facebook. Well, no offense to Aristotle, but he set some pretty high standards for me at a very young age.
Once the girl who was teased by her dad for having "too many friends," I now find myself a friend "idealist." Translated: I'm too picky when it comes to who I trust and now suddenly, in my 20th year of life, feel very alone. Making friends has never been my problem -- I know someone from every high school in Georgia -- but lately keeping them has been hard. I could blame it on my traumatic middle school experience in which I was betrayed over and over again by countless cruel-hearted preteens, but who doesn't recount middle school with some shudder of relief that they survived? Then in high school I always blamed the fact that I transferred schools before freshmen year for my habit of bouncing around to different friend groups. It seemed wherever I went, "best friends" had already paired off, years ago. Sure I had girls I was close to, but never someone I would call a friend by Aristotle's definition.
So college rolls around and I think I finally have it figured out. I join a sorority, I have a close group of friends and one in particular seems to be my "best." We sail through the first 2 years of college with relative ease until the curse of the third year friendship sets in. Basically, I think we all got sick of spending so much damn time with each other. So long story short, I put myself out there, I think I've found a true friend, and bam, I'm back to square one, feeling needy, hurt and abandoned.
All of sudden I feel like I've forgotten how to be a gal pal -- I don't take pleasure in the idle gossip of my friends' lives like I once did, I don't feel the need to consult them every time I get dressed, and I certainly don't want call them to cry when something goes wrong in my life. I'm starting to realize we may have all become friends based solely on the fact that we all needed friends.
This may seem silly, but as I get older I'm starting to wonder, "Will I ever be someone's maid of honor?" I know that seems like a strange thing to worry about, and this could just be my ego talking, but I feel like I'm no one's best friend. I know girls who seem like they could make a living being a best friend -- they have multiples of them and I can't even find one. I can't figure out what the difference is between them and me. Where's the disconnect?
Maybe the problem is that I've always had a boyfriend. I've never had to rely on a girl to comfort me, to solve my problems, to give me advice. So maybe I missed something in those crucial years of adolescence. Maybe the key was right there and I was too caught up in kissing boys to see it.
Whatever the reason, the bottom line is I want to learn how to be a friend again. I think the problem is just that I've been looking in all the wrong places to find that friend. Perhaps being too picky isn't a problem, it's a blessing that will eventually reveal itself. I have to remind myself that I'm young; people haven't become who they really are yet, including me. So it may take a little time, but for a soul mate, I guess I can wait.
Lesson Learned: "Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." -- Anonymous