From a lovely reader:
Hello Jade :) i hope you've stuffed yourself with goodies. Are you the type of person who gets very attached with friends/friendships as much as you do with love (from what you've written and posted)?
This is a very interesting question. I don’t have many friends at all. In fact, one of my regrets about my college years (for those who say they don’t have regrets, OK fine whatever, but I do) is that I wish I would have put myself out there more, friendship-wise. I wish I would have joined clubs and participated in as many things as possible. However, I met my first college boyfriend early on, and I was basically on lockdown after that.
Anyway. I have friends that I get along with. I have people I can hang out with when I’m in town. And with traveling, I don’t really have those girlfriends or that possy that I see in the TV shows. I think I fantasize about a group of friends like on How I Met Your Mother or Friends more than I fantasize about my “Dream Guy.”
I moved away from my hometown when I was ten years old (Since then, with the exception of three years in Moraga, California for college, I have never lived in one place for more than a year.) So I definitely feel like the oddball out when I meet people who have been friends since high school or grade school or even before then. The idea of a friendship like that is so foreign to me, especially being homeschooled all of my life.
However, I do have some friends that I met on the road that did stick. I may only talk to them once every 3-6 months, but I know they are there.
One girl I met in Peru. I had been food poisoned and had a match the next day (as did she). She took me in a taxi, got me to a doctor, gave me medicine and had me chugging electrolytes all night long before our matches the next day. Not many girls would stay up late taking care of a competitor or future opponent when they had a match early the next morning, but she did. We became close and saw each other here and there at tournaments. I’ll never forget her. I haven’t talked to her in about a year, but if she told me she needed me, I would be there.
Another boy I met in Mexico. I was eating alone (traveling alone at 15, I was pretty used to it) and he told me he knew a good taco place around the corner. We ended up talking for three hours after the meal. He was the first person I ever sang in front of. We had only three days together, but we made them count. His taste in music was incredible. I hadn’t talked to him in half a year when he called me after I broke up with Jordan to make sure I was okay. He’s from Guatemala. He still sends me music recommendations every now and then.
A couple of teammates from college I connected with really well. One was an oddball of her own, and another talked to me about love 24/7, while another could be somewhat blunt and straightforward—she still would put down whatever she was doing if she sensed something was wrong or I wasn’t smiling. We keep in touch, kind of.
I saved the best for last. I have one friend - I actually met him when I ran away from a tennis academy I was supposed to train at for two years. I left after two weeks. When I met him, we clicked immediately. We somehow, for whatever reason, stayed in touch consistently. We were both looking to play tennis in college. When my dad left my mom, he called me everyday and talked to me for as long as I needed to get through the day. He convinced me to transfer colleges when I wasn’t happy at U of Arkansas and helped me with papers and everything. And I think most importantly, when I told him I liked him as more than a friend, he told me he was flattered but he didn’t feel the same way.
I was so confused. This guy investing so much time into me, listening, helping me, sharing stories, ideas, secrets with me and he didn’t want anything more? I think this was the beginning of me realizing what friendship is and isn’t. I’ve heard that true friendship is even more rare than true love because the people involved in a friendship really don’t get anything directly for themselves…
I didn’t talk to him for a month after that because I was so hurt and embarrassed.
But I missed him. And eventually I swallowed my pride and called him. I’ve known him since I was about 16. Since then, we talk AT LEAST once every 2 weeks. He’s been there for me always. Looking back, after I met Jordan and even Merrick and experienced romantic relationships, I realize that this friendship was the best thing for me. We are better as friends, and I’m so happy he was honest with me. He told me the truth even when it hurt.
He’s supported my crazy ideas, and listened to my thoughtless rants. He’s the only guy that doesn’t tell me I’m living a fairytale, he’s the guy that tells me that life is a fairytale if I want it to be. He understands the way I love, because he loves in a similar way. He cracks more jokes than I do…He doesn’t read my blog…at all. But he doesn’t need to, because he calls to check in often.
Just yesterday he had some epiphany about soul mates and entwined particles. I could have listened to him talk for hours about it, but we only got an hour into his theory before we had to go on with our day…
So, I have one best friend, and a few friends that I’ve made an effort to at least keep in my life. If you are one of the few in my life that has my trust and my respect, I will have your back. It’s something I don’t take lightly at all. If you’re just a friend, sure, let’s hang out and have a good time, but it definitely takes a lot to get into my “True Friend” Circle. Once you’re there though, it’s pretty awesome.