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.
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.
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?