Friends. They make our lives complete. There is something about a good friend that makes you feel more appreciated, and like you have a place and purpose in the world. You never really know when you’re going to make a friend out of someone. I mean, sure you can meet someone and have a good feeling about it, but it’s hard to say right off the bat.
This describes one of my best friends Allie. We met in second year of university, but our interactions were always through schoolwork and completing an assignment for one of our classes. She was nice, but I never really got the chance to know her. We were simply peers, nothing else.
All right, fast forward about two years to the year 2011. I was just going through the usual humdrums of life: going to school, completing assignments, doing readings, and working out. My friend Allie made a facebook post asking if anyone was interested in going to see Fefe Dobson with her at one of the local colleges. I figured why not. It would be fun to go to the show and maybe I could get to know her better by doing something fun outside of school. We had a great time at the concert and I got to see a side of her that I had never seen before. I remember how she cried when she tried to get one of the security guards to give Fefe a little message. She explained to me and her other friend that Fefe’s songs are what helped her get through high school. I was a little surprised about how emotional she was about the whole situation, but I figured that there was probably a lot more about her that I didn’t know.
Over the next couple of months I went through a couple of changes. I had a break up, got my heart stomped on, and had too much time alone to wonder about the complexities of the world. My summer job wasn’t starting until July, and I hadn’t yet figured out what I was going to do with myself until then. One evening I randomly received a text from Allie, telling me I should come out with her and her friends to karaoke. At first I was hesitant, because I had gotten to the point where I spent so much time alone that it was almost more work to go out and socialize. But then I decided to go out with her and her friends. Why not! It’s not like I had anything more exciting going on. As I ventured out in to the world of karaoke, one thing became quite apparent to me: my friend Allie had a booming voice and a ton of self-confidence to back it up. The way she interacted with everyone (including strangers at the bar) amazed me. She just seemed to talk to people with ease and confidence, and was able to strike up a conversation about anything without seeming weird or awkward.
Overtime we became closer, and even though neither of us can really remember exactly what brought us closer together, I learned so much about who she is and what her story was. I aspire to be like her, as she has such a strong sense of who she is as a person, and she is not afraid to express it. She is one of the most loyal people that I have ever encountered, and will do anything for her friends. There is something about her that brings out the free-spirit in me, and I know I can tell her anything and she won’t judge me, regardless of how silly or shallow it may sound. She is the type of person who will drop everything if you need her, and on more than one occasion she was there for me when I needed help. Off the top of my mind I can think of the time where she just listened as I whined, complained and cried about issues I was having with someone, to another time where she rushed over as quickly as she could to my apartment because I had just had a seizure and no one else was around to help me out.
Now, not to make this a sob story, but I have struggled with making and keeping friends all through my elementary to high school years. When I was grade twelve I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me, because so many of my ‘close’ friends ended up bullying me or betraying me in someway or another. I found it hard to trust that people were my friends because they liked me for who I was, instead of for some alterior motive. Allie has re instilled the confidence in me to believe that there are people out there who want to be my friend because they like me for who I am. Never once has she made me feel like I owe her for anything or that she resents what she has done to help me. I think we both appreciate that we both need each other, and it never feels like a stretch to ask her how her day is going and call her up and talk about things and get updated with her life. Even though Allie has been going through some tough times, she is always there for me and always tries to maintain a positive attitude about her life. On the flip side though, she is real about the situations and never tries to sugar coat things. This honesty and openness is something that I appreciate, and it really helps me to build a strong friendship with her.
I feel like this blog post had been a jumble of thoughts, but basically what I am trying to say is that Allie is such an inspiring person because she isn’t afraid to be herself. When I tell her about parts of myself that I am not always open to discussing with others, she listens carefully and gently encourages me to take a better look at them too. She has shown me that it is okay to follow your own path, regardless of what it may be. I respect the hell out of that, because it takes guts to do what you really want, instead of just going along with what everyone wants you to do.
So even though I never knew that Allie and I would become good friends, I see how rich our friendship is, and how much richer my life is because of it. To me, that is invaluable.
Here’s a little quote that I know Allie will appreciate. Love ya girl!