A Month of Gratitude, Day 10: Kinship

It’s said that friends are the family you choose, and this is something I’ve always lived by. When your blood relations turn out to be disappointing, or toxic, or simply absent, you can make better choices. Form your own crazy, interwoven tribe from shared loves and shared experiences.

I feel fiercely protective towards my friends. I don’t do “frenemies” which I gather involves wishing people the best on the surface while secretly hoping to see them fail. Me, I’m either all in for you or I’m not in at all. I can be slow to warm up, but once you’re in my heart there is little I wouldn’t do for you. I will always answer your 3 am phone calls. I will bring you bail money. I will help you hide the bodies.

On the other hand, when I feel my trust has been broken, it can be hard to ever get that back. I can be quick to white-hot anger and my vicious tongue that follows is a well-known thing. I’m working on being more forgiving, more empathetic.

While nothing compares with real life friends, who can hold you and hug you and sit gossiping with you all night over lingering dinners, I’m also grateful for the friends technology has brought me. I don’t consider them any less “real” for being far away. In many cases it can be easier for people to open up their true selves online, they feel safer and less judged. When I think about those I care for, there isn’t some gaping divide that makes one group less important: Chris down the street vs SALLY FROM THE INTERNETS. I love them both.

I think the best kind of friends are those who are always rooting for each other, pushing you towards being your best self, pushing you to succeed and celebrating your accomplishments with the same joy brought by their own. I like that feeling of feeding off mutual energy, bouncing ideas off one another and devising ways to make them manifest.

I also like friends who will be brutally honest when needed. No, that dress doesn’t flatter you. Yes, that article does need to be revised. Friends who will call you on your bs if they see you doing something stupid or treating someone badly. Yet who will also help you figure out how to repair things if you ask.

For a sort-of loner I’m extremely blessed with friendship. If you’re reading this and I haven’t told you lately, you should know that I am thankful for you and I am holding you safe in my heart.