“Do you want to know how I think you have changed?”
“You are free and independent and growing. I think you are still sensitive but much stronger, more accepting and not as easily swayed.”
Friendship is something so sweet, gentle, and comforting. It doesn’t have to be passionate like love and burdensome like how family relationships can become. It doesn’t need to be deep, or dramatic, or complicated. It is kind. It is simple. Or at least, I think, it should be. It decorates our life with little lights of joy filled with short messages suddenly sent by a friend just to say: “I love you. I just want to say that.” It teaches us profound lessons that could echo for years through a random thought blurted out by your idiotic companion who likes to think that she is very smart. It connects us with the world through laughter, candies, late-night conversations, coffee, ramen, fandom, cutting class, video games, and all the wonderfully (weird and) special things that contribute to friendships.
I would like to think that friendship is one of the essential elements of life. And because it is so necessary, just like the water you drink, or the air you breath, friendship is natural, involuntary and universal. Suddenly, you become friends with someone. There is no anniversary date or a starting point. Without realizing it, someone becomes a part of your life. The best friendship occurs when you don’t force it, but it just happens.
However, because of its simple nature, friendship is also an underrated form of love. We may hug our friends too loosely and forget to ask how they are doing more often. We can take friends for granted, let go of friendships when certain things in life get in, and allow our friends to drift away from us. At one point, we may even become cynical, angry, and envious creatures who hurt our friends with immature actions and unintentionally hurtful remarks.
Because it is not that much of a challenge to make new friends, we forget about friends. Because we take friends for granted, we don’t make an effort to understand our friends and their actions.
Sometimes, I like to think of all these problems under the lens of “Why”, to just realize that I don’t have an answer. I am doing it all wrong, because friendship itself should be simple. It is about how after so many years, you still can meet with your friends and have a good laugh. About suddenly being reminded of them through little details like a type of food you used to get together or a song that once connected you two. About that sweet feeling that warms your heart when you think of the memories you once had. About missing your friends. About feeling guilty because you haven’t been in touch. About writing about it all.
And most importantly, about accepting that falling in and (not totally, just a little) out of friendships is a part of life.