This is what my friends are like

Quite a few of my beliefs are built out of and on top of stories.

For example, one of them is that I will always keep an open mind towards “the impossible.” There’s too many books about people who miss out on everything because they dismiss things as crazy. A strong example of this: the Dursley’s in Harry Potter.

A second one that I only realized I believed subconciously until maybe a year ago is the idea that best friends are people who completely get and know each other. Part of me still buys into that.

But another part of me is struggling against it. I’m starting to doubt its validity. I look at my best friends, and I am very different from them, and they are very different from me.

I share various common interests and opinions with different friends. Ryan Higa. Chapstick. Marvel. The NFL. Taking care of the environment. Political stances and policy priorities. And all of my best friends share deeper cores as well, in God and in Church and in Scripture. And it doesn’t hurt that we’re all A(merican)B(orn)C(hinese)’s as well.

But there are some huge things for me that are not shared as well.

Many of them don’t read books, don’t read blogs, don’t listen to podcasts, don’t have a deep and abiding love for words and libraries and bookstores. My memes aren’t funny to them, and theirs make no sense to me. The fact that when I travel, I mostly go to museums kind of bewilders them. (For some of them, it extremely bewilders them.)

So according to the definition of best friends books have given me, they can’t be my best friends. Because I don’t know them, and they don’t know me. I get annoyed and hurt and frustrated and disappointed, and I know they must as well. But according to the new definition I’m trying to write for myself, that dismissal is crazy.

We are still in the hard and slow process of learning each other. What upsets us, what makes us overthink, what annoys each other, what hurts each our feelings, what we’re not saying, what we want for our birthdays, what we believe about the world and various subjects. But maybe it’s the process that matters and defines best friends, not the results? I don’t know, this is me trying to truly articulate all of this for the first time ever.

Does part of me still yearn for someone who just gets me? Yes, definitely. But maybe there’s something beautiful about the truth that we will never fully know or be known by another human being, just like how we will never fully know ourselves? Maybe there’s something beautiful about broken people telling each other in stumbling words and deeds that they will commit to walking imperfectly side-by-side for this finite season, for now?

(So to my best friends-both sides-if you are reading this, that is the promise I make to you.)

Another truth I’ve come to believe is that friendships often look closer and cooler and easier from the outside than they necessarily are from the inside.

Mine included. When I look at my friendships, I also see the round-a-bout and bumpy roads that led us there. For some of my friendships, there were other circumstances out of our reach that seemingly and momentarily fell apart that actually helped pull us together.

For my other friends, it just took quite a bit of time. In my opinion, these friendships only came together this year. It’s not that we only just met each other. Some people for real for real grew up with each other. Many of us have known each other and been friends for a good handful of years.

So what are my friends like now that Time has done its work? I’m always curious about what friendships are really made of, so I’ll go first and tell you some things that make up mine. Some are new because the friendships are still relatively new while others have a longer track record.

Discipleship Potlucks

Semi-monthly we go to the same person’s house (AKA the person behind this post) for about three hours. We eat dinner, discuss the book and passage we read (or um, maybe didn’t read) for that meeting, pray the best kind of collective prayer with eyes open and laughing and jokes, and talk about anything and so many things. I absolutely love it so much. The meetings couldn’t be long enough.

Secret/Non-secret Santa

Some of my friends do Non-secret Santa where everybody knows who everybody has. Some of my friends think that ruins the best part of the whole thing and do Secret Santa. Both versions expect people to give ideas of what they want because it makes everything so much easier.

The Secret Santa exchange was more organized than expected and made a Google Doc to accomplish this. I think it’s amazing because this one chart somehow manages to give spot-on glimpses into every person.

A Collaborative Spotify Playlist

This idea came haphazardly with one person saying one thing and that comment snowballing until it suddenly formed into the plan of making a playlist together to share music. The actual exectuion was more deliberate: it’s a monthly playlist in which each person can add up to five songs each Sunday. December is only our first month of doing this, but I have a feeling another rule will be naming every playlist something slightly weird but not entirely random. I’m curious to find out what the title will be for the first month of a new decade.

Speaking of which, TODAY IS DECEMBER 31. And tomorrow is 2020, wow.

Do you have any beliefs created from the stories you’ve read?
Are you and your friends more alike or different?
What are your friendships made of?

22 thoughts on “This is what my friends are like”

  1. Ooh this is a really insightful and interesting post! When I started high school I was definitely disillusioned from reality and just wanted a friend that really knew me, you know? But what I’ve realised is that friendships definitely aren’t perfect, and it’s hard to find that person you really vibe with, but I’m of the belief they’re out there, somewhere. I’ve learned to appreciate my friends and the differences between us. After all, if we were all the same I wouldn’t be introduced to things that I never thought I’d be interested in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!
      Yes, I completely know.
      Ohh, that’s the same for me too. What are some new things you’ve been introduced to? For me, that list includes KPop, the Legend trilogy, slang I didn’t know, and random memes/videos.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is so good! It’s so true, too. There are a lot of people I’m friends with right now that I don’t have too much in common with, and wouldn’t be friends with if it weren’t for X scenario. Most of my best friends are from dance, and just because they go to different schools or are in different grades, there is absolutely no way I would have known them or ever been friends with them without that one common factor of dance. With another friend, we became friends in second grade when we had a lot in common. Now, we couldn’t be more different, but we have never stopped being best friends and somehow, we work. It’s crazy how God places people in our life that He knows we need, even when how we got to them seems like some kind of insane luck.
    The collaborative Spotify playlist sounds so cool! I saw a quote somewhere once talking about how if you really want to get to know a person, truly listen to the song recommendations they give you. It also said that you can tell a lot about a person based on if they listen to the song they recommend. On a semi-related note, I love it when someone texts me and says “you should listen to this song, I thought of you.” Somehow it’s such an intimate display of friendship that they heard a song and thought of me.
    This is a really great post, Annie! Happy new year, too. (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes, I don’t go to friends with any of my closest friends, and not all of us are in the same grade either. It’s weird because with the ones in different grades, it doesn’t make a different at all, but for me at school, there’s like a barrier in my mind with people in different grades, and it’s so much harder to really become friends.
      Whoaaa, I love your story about you and your best friend since second grade. That’s so cool. Dang, I needed that reminder about how God placed these people in my life for a reason. And that makes me realize how all our blog friends are for a reason too!
      It is! Hahahaha yes, I’ve seen that too! Or a Pinterest quote that’s maybe one of those girlythings memes that said something along the lines of, if you want to know what I’m thinking, listen to what I’m listening to. Ohh, I love that :)) I just love when my friends send me pictures/videos in general.
      Happy new year!! And also, when you posted on your insta recently about your new post, I was like why didn’t I see that in my feed?? And then I realized I wasn’t following you for some reason!!! So if you were like, where’s Annie’s comments, don’t worry :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so true, it really is different! An exact example of that happened today- I was talking to one of my best friends at dance, who is three years younger than me, about someone in my grade, who is turns out is one of her closest school friend’s older brothers. It was so weird to me that I feel like I’m the same age as her when we’re at dance, but then when put into perspective, I realized just how big of an age difference there is with us.
        Yes!! I’m so glad we’re blog friends. 🙂
        Oh yes, the Pinterest girlthings memes. Are you talking about the ones that are all neon colors with black lettering and they’re numbered? If so, I know exactly what you’re talking about.
        Oh, haha, you’re totally good! :)) (And if you’ve been like, where’s Olivia’s comments, they have sadly been nonexistent for no good reason besides school and dance overtaking all her free time.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know right?? And another weird thing for me to think about is most of my friends in other grades are younger than me, but I have a really hard time imagining being this close to someone two years older than me-someone who’s a freshman in college.
          Yes, the numbered ones with colorful backgrounds!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great post! I think that for a friendship to work, you have to have at least ONE really important thing in common, but it’s also important that you’re not all clones of each other. Even though sometimes having differences with your friends is weirdly hard. In church recently one of the pastors was talking about how strong the bond of faith is and how we can have what he called “radical fellowship” with people because of our mutual relationship with Christ, even if we have widely different views on other things. I thought that was an intriguing concept to wrestle with.
    When it comes to my actual friendships, mostly what knits us together is theatre, probably, as well as a love of art in general. Faith is a big factor as well.
    This is a really thought provoking post! Great job!

    Like

    1. Ohh, I think I agree with that. Would you describe the one important thing as needing to be an idea/interest? Dang, radical fellowship. I have a hard time being different from my friends as well, especially when it’s my best friend and we have differing opinions on a semi-important idea. I just dislike disagreeing with him. But it’s different with my dad, in which I dislike disagreeing with him because I dislike not being able to change his mind.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I think an idea/interest is a good way to describe the one important thing. It can be something serious, like religion, or a hobby, like skiing or something. You can form strong bonds with people if you overlap somewhere, because you connect on that point. It’s an interesting concept to think about.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, definitely! I think another connecting point that works is childhood background. Because my parents are so different, but they grew up in villages in China just miles from each other and have similar memories in ways that would be hard to find in other people. And I think that’s a huge part of what grounds their relationship.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. After moving a year ago I found even less people that are as similar to me, so I relate much to this post. I have found that I have to be much more intentional in friendships and it’s been a learning curve.

    I always find your posts so relatable, fresh, and thoughtful and enjoy reading them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dang, I don’t know how moving has been for you, but when I moved years ago, it was hard. Being intentional in friendships is something I’ve only started really practicing in high school. What does it look like for you, especially with new friends?

      Wow, thank you for your kind words :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I make more of a point of asking about things going on in their life and writing down dates of big events coming up so I can cheer them on. With peeps I knew all my life, I naturally remembered that kind of stuff. (:

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a thoughtful and thought provoking post. When I was younger I tended more towards thinking best friends were people who shared all the same interests and points of view, people you understood who also understood you. But the older I get the more complicated I realize friendships are. Some of my best friends now have radically different interests and our points of view don’t line up on a lot of things. Sometimes this can make things hard or frustrating, but ultimately it doesn’t make me love them any less and I think it has helped me grow as a person. If I only every hung out with people who shared all my same beliefs and likes, I would be living in a vacuum, and when I had to go out into the world and interact with other people I would have no practice at trying to understand people who don’t see things the same way I do.
    I love your list of things that your friendships are made of ❤ My friendships consist of a lot of sharing book recommendations, talking about books and movies and writing, and doing theater (actually most of the really good friendships I have a made while doing theater).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much :)) for real.
      I think about being in vacuums, especially when it comes to things like politics. I feel like one thing I would never want to change about how I’m growing up is that I’m surrounded by communities that believe and see things differently than what I’ve started to think. Because when it comes to vacuums, political ones can be among the most dangerous.
      Ahhh, thank you! Ohh, I have a friend who I know has built very deep friendships through theater as well. Do you think it has something to do with the intense pressure and time spent together?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely think the pressure and time spent together has something to do with it. There’s also a lot of trust that has to happen because you have to rely on your fellow cast mates and crew. I think another reason theater often helps build friendships is that you have a group of people all working together towards the same goal. You share the setbacks and the triumphs, and by the time you get to the performance, you’ve been through a lot together. At least, that’s been my experience 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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