the nature of friendship

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I’ve been thinking about friendship lately. And about the relationships in my life. The big ones and the small ones. Sometimes they all come together, twining around each other and holding strong. And other times we spiral out from each other, single strands.

I’m one of those people who likes to that I don’t have a lot of friends. Even though, when I start thinking about it, and counting all of the people I care about, I guess I do. It’s just that I have more specific ideas about friendship. And there are really only a few people I let fully into my heart. And a few people that I want to give myself to, even a little bit. I mean the daily grind is easy. It’s easy to give those parts of yourself away. They just grow back and multiply. You guys know those parts. They’re the parts that joke about TV shows, and coffee, and what you did that weekend.

Those things can be the basis for strong & true relationships. And sometimes you just meet someone, and you know, your relationship with them is going to grow into something that belongs in your heart. And sometimes they sneak up on you. But it’s those deep relationships that I care about. It’s those relationships that I value. They’re not made up always of lengthy discussions about the heaviest of subjects. They’re made up of something quieter. The feeling you get when you’re with someone who just knows you. They’re made up of those moments when you don’t have to say anything. The moments when you can look over at that person and even if you’re not talking, or even if you’re talking about trivial things, you know: it runs deeper than that. Like blood. Like a web that’s twined together.

Right now, I’m feeling like adulthood contains less of those concentrated parts of the web. And more of those parts made up of endless single strands. All of that metaphor to say, I’ve felt lonely. Growing up is hard. When you’re in school, every day is full to the brim with relationships. A lot of them are transitory, but there are the few gems, and they’re always present.

When I was in school, I felt built up by a pillar of these gems. Rocks. Bricks, I should say, for how steady they were. They made up my foundation. And now, my pillar has crumbled. I’ve talked about this before. So I’m left in the rubble to pick up the pieces. Not to say that I’m alone. There are still those moments of meaning. I still know that I am cared for and loved. But those moments I was talking about, those moments where you just feel so known, those come slower and further apart. Sometimes the spaces between can feel lonely.

The nature of friendship isn’t always steady. It moves, changes, breaks, morphs. You have to be enough on your own. You have to know, truly know, that those relationships still run deep. And so it’s always a growing process. The single strands of my web keep reaching out, and the lonely spaces will learn to be less lonely, and then they’ll close up and there will be that concentrated overlapping of people, and after a while we’ll spiral out again on our own, and I’ll still be known, somewhere. I’ll always have people who know me.


  1. Hi Brittany, I just found you via Pink Ronnie. I can really relate to this post, I also tend to not let many people in, but i do think its nice to have a few close friends than lots of friends that aren't truly close to your heart. Love the black and white photos :)

    1. Thanks so much for your comment :) I'm glad you can relate. And I agree--I'd much rather have a few close friends than a bunch of casual ones. But to each his own :)


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