I still don’t know what a true friendship really is.
I mean, it’s not as if when you find your soul mate (and I use this word purely for its friendship-related use) you also get a chart showing you how to get from point zero of your friendship to infinity and beyond; some friendships actually never make it past a certain point, some start from minus infinite and build up towards a more positive goal and some, unfortunately or not, get stuck at that beginning point – zero. And let me tell you, no matter who you are and what you do, you will go through a huge amount of the so-called zero friendships in your life. Like it or not, they are necessary and only time will show you that.
Back to the point, though. I have managed to gather clues from my scattered (and some of them, already ended) friendships in my heroic attempt to define true friendship. I do admit that to a certain degree I have done this influenced by the way-too-many detective shows and books I have read during my existence. Maybe a pretty big degree. Yet a huge part of this job was done unconsciously; I always feel a mixture of emptiness and joy whenever a friendship isn’t meant to last. Emptiness because, well – do I need to make it any clearer? And that tiny feeling of joy comes along because I somehow feel free from a sort of useless and time taking friendship. But it is temporary. The joy, I mean. In the end, I always learn something from every single one of these experiences, so no time was wasted after all. I am not sure I can claim the same about the amount of feelings and tears and frustration and worries I end up investing in such friendships, but I guess there’s no such thing as only winning, so I’ll let this be. So I was trying to tell that this played a huge part in forming a coherent sentence that would and should define true friendship.
If you expect me at this point to actually break it down for you in a list or a guide that would help you separate true friendships from not-so-true friendships, I’m sorry. It’s not going to happen. And it is best not to ever happen. Why, you ask?
True friendship can not actually be defined – it continuously defines and redefines itself throughout its phases. When you think you finally get it, the key to just go out there and label friendships, you couldn’t be any more wrong. Somehow, destiny or God or Buddha or whatever deity you believe in decides to change the plot and bring something new in your believed-to-be-unmasked friendship. And it will be exactly what you need when you need it. And if that’s not wonderful - having the Universe give you exactly what you need without you asking for it using your true friend as the perfect carrier(most of the times, you don’t even know you need it) – then I don’t really know what is.
And it’s all glitter and champagne and laughter and star-gazing and memory-sharing and a thousand more breathtaking little moments and joy in life that carry this forward, acting as the surface that protects the very fragile, yet evolving, core of your friendship. And even if you tear apart all these layers trying to reach the bottom, like erasing your make-up after a long day trying to rediscover yourself, you won’t be disappointed. You can’t – rock bottom is the foundation on which you build such a friendship, and those layers are nothing but bonuses life keeps on giving you.
I may not have that definition ready – and never will, as a matter of fact – but I have a better grasp at what ruins a supossedly true friendship. Believe it or not, some of them are not meant to last – you just thank for what you had an go on. Some of them maybe weren’t even part of this category, so it was only a matter of time until they crashed down.
So, yes, sometimes things are different. Little cracks start making their way up from the outside world. And while you can get away with a couple or more broken layers, you know the cracks may reach the bottom. They may shatter that basis of your friendship and if that happens, don’t blame it on the other one involved. If those cracks made their way down, letting doubt and lies and lack of communication bloom, you are both at fault. And it’s a sign that something is wrong when only one of you takes action. I mean, it is a given that usually one cares a tiny bit more than the other, but it is no excuse to let things destroy such a beautiful relationship.
I sometimes see friendships as bridges. We, humans, are so different from one another that it’s actually unbelievable that we also find people with similar tastes and opinions and I call those ones soul mates. Well, even soul mates have an abyss separating us; it’s just that its seize is way smaller than in the case of two strangers. So we build a bridge. We build this connection between us and in a miraculous way we build it simultaneously. I am standing on one edge of the abyss and my soul mate is on the other edge, but we both have the desire to meet halfway. So we make that wish come true and we build this bridge. A strong enough bridge to overcome storms and floods and whatever else (human) nature can bring as a destroying weapon. In time, we’re supposed to make sure our bridge is stronger than never; we have to care for it or else we start losing parts of our friendship, irreplaceable parts most of the times.
And that’s when bridges break. A broken bridge is nothing more than a broken friendship. Maybe it loses a nail or maybe the wood is coming off and no one cares enough to replace it; it just slowly starts disintegrating itself. Sadly, the outcome can only be anticipated.
If things escalate quickly, the bridge will turn to ashes and those two standing on the opposing edges to strangers. It’s back to no talking, back to the pursuit of a true soul mate.
If a veil of casualty covers the bridge, it will remain in its broken state for a long time to come, while the two involved will carry on with their separate lives and from time to time try to meet on the now shaky bridge to talk about the past. Yet they will never attempt to fix the bridge, the friendship – it is already at that frozen point on the friendship scale. All they have is the past and the lingering feeling of what used to be, yet the future is more than uncertain; it’s nonexistent.
So do not build too many bridges at one time. You risk having them breaking down sooner than you would expect, and we all know once a broken bridge goes down, so does a part of you.