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Entry date: 6-5-2023 – People Come Into Our Lives – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I get caught up in moments where things just seem to become clear all at once. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has the moments. You probably know the ones I’m talking about today. Those moments where you are like, “Holy shit. Why didn’t I realize this before. It’s all so clear now.”

These moments are not unlike those moments when you are alone, listening to music, and the right song comes on and your brain tells you, “This is the best song for this moment. Savor it.” Does that happen to you? It happens to me a lot.

People come into our lives for a lot of reasons. The primary one is that there is something attractive about the other person and you are drawn to them. Their look or voice or how they carry themselves are often culprits, but sometimes it is something smaller, too. Sometimes it is the way you see them interacting with someone else or maybe their shoes. People are interesting in so many ways.

Others, though, come into our lives because they are connected to someone you make contact with along the way. A little brother or older sister or a cousin or whatever they are to a person you know. Sometimes you immediately love them because of how important they are to the person who has introduced you and sometimes you get to fall in love with them all on your own.

Sometimes, of course, you cannot stand these people, but I don’t want to dwell on that today. Not on a Monday. Probably not ever. Dwelling on bad stuff only makes more bad stuff.

I’ve been lucky enough to gain extra family members over the years because of the friendships I’ve had. People I would do anything for because of how much I love someone who loves them. You don’t even really need them to reciprocate this feeling. Well, I don’t. Maybe other people do, but that’s not the point.

The point I’m dancing around here is that people come into our lives for a lot of reasons and life is better when we embrace it, for better or for worse. Gaining an extra mom or dad in your life is not a bad thing, just like gaining a little brother or sister or cousin. There I go again. I’m talking in circles today.

I’ve had mostly positive relationships with my closest friends’ siblings and parents. They have enriched my life way more than they have hindered or hampered it. Some of them have shuffled off this mortal coil and I have grieved (and in some cases continue to grieve) alongside my tribe. Some have struggled mightily, and I have offered help and support however I can or could.

The best parts, though, have always been when those “bonus” friends begin to build a relationship with you outside of your initial connection. When they reach out on their own or allow me to reach out to them without there being some pretext of “I’m doing this because of your brother or sister.” These are the times when you know you are doing something right.

Friendship is about doing the right thing. It’s not always about pleasing the other person. I wish I would have learned this when I was a lot younger. You can disappoint people and still love them. You can say the right thing even when it hurts. Friendship is about honesty and trust and respect and communication and boundaries. Being a good friend means saying “No” and “I can’t be part of that with you.”

I’d like to think I have been a good friend to just about everyone as often as possible, but I know I haven’t. I’ve been selfish and learned some hard lessons because of it. I’ve held things back I shouldn’t have and learned that speaking one’s mind is not always just a way to release your own frustration, but also a way to help others release theirs.

Being a friend is about continuing to learn about the people you choose to share your life with, even when you don’t have the energy to do so. Loving the people that your friend’s love is part of that, I guess, too. I’m waxing nostalgic as I contemplate this whole “love” thing.

It really sucks that so many people don’t feel loved or understand that things like compassion and forgiveness are not signs of weakness, but ways of being strong for yourself, first and foremost. I should start a religion.

No. No I should not.

See you tomorrow.

I am a dork. No recollection of this moment at all.

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