Friendship Is Not A Competition

18 Jan

Note: This is the first part in a series of posts on the topic of friendship that I’ll be posting over the course of the next few days.

The past few weeks have been filled with chaos, confusion, split-second decision making, and an unhealthy amount of stress. Leaving Arizona was one of the hardest things for me to do, no matter how temporary it may be, because I learned an endless amount of things about life while living there. It wasn’t just about having my own place or the feeling of independence that came with it, but it’s the deeper meaning of life that I discovered each day.

During the first few months in Arizona a lot of things changed; I made new friends, lost some due to immaturity and lack of understanding, while my own understanding of what the word friendship meant became much more defined. When you live 2,500 miles away from your place of origin maintaining multiple friendships can be difficult, but I did the best that I could given the circumstances of the time. I wrote letters, sent cards, stayed up-to-date on Facebook and MySpace, and emailed as much as possible.

But rarely did I ever receive much back from those people, the ones whom I considered to be my closest friends. The only reason I could come up with for this was that certain people were irrationally jealous that I was able to move forth and they were not. But I also took into consideration that maybe not everyone is as interested in sending cards or writing letters like I am.

Maybe some people don’t know how to display their feelings or maybe it’s easier for some people to bottle things up instead of saying “Hey, I really miss you too and I’m sorry for being so distant since you left. It’s just been hard on me having to see one of my closest friends move away and I didn’t know how to deal with it.” Maybe all I want is for you to be able to communicate with me.

One thing my mom said to me during one of my visits was that there really is no right time to move out; you just have to do it when you feel ready and are willing to deal with anything and everything that comes with it. I was surprised to hear her say this given the fact that I’m her only child and she can’t seem to fully let go of me or show me that she really understands that I’m no longer a little girl, but a 25 year old woman with a purpose, responsibilities, and a desire to be on my own.

Living in Arizona has greatly increased my level of awareness and by awareness I mean exactly that. I’ve always been aware of the differences between myself and others, though not in a condescending way, but in that I understand that as people grow they also change, as do their preferences. I could tell that I was slowly changing growing and developing into this completely new person. My preferences were evolving as I learned about new things, formed new ideas, and became more aware of a deeper meaning in life.

I’m not 20 years old anymore; partying, spending money on clothes, makeup, and other unnecessary items, and associating myself with surface-level things (and people) was just the basis for the changes I underwent during my stay in Arizona. But how do I continue my friendships with certain people when they aren’t growing along with me, even in their own respective direction?

Firstly, friendship cannot even be considered that when one half of the pair is only concerned with themselves and the shallowness of their existence. Life does not revolve around hair, makeup, clothing, and partying; especially when you’re nearing 25 years of age.

Friendship cannot be based on selfishness or jealousy. Just because one person has moved ahead in life does not mean that the other one can use their bitterness (and irrational jealousy) as an excuse to be in a shitty mood or to not contact the other person. What’s worse is when the irrationally jealous friend is completely unaware of their actions.

The world does not always revolve around you, irrationally jealous friend, because you must be aware and understand that everyone grows at a different pace than the next person. You, too, will one day move forward if only you let go of the misplaced jealousy that you’ve tangled your life up in.

Which brings me to my next point: friendships grow as the individual grows. The friendship reaches certain points throughout its course where something changes which then shifts the course of the friendship maintenance. For example, when one person gets a new job or moves away, thus making it difficult to see each other as often, the other person shouldn’t get mad because the circumstances have changed. The bond of friendship should always remain the same, with resilience and flexibility for the unstoppable changes of everyday life with the respect to both (or all) parties involved.

Just because I moved away doesn’t mean that we’re no longer friends, but it does mean that changes will definitely occur and together we must work with the changes by going with the flow instead of fighting them. We tend to fight change because of our own misplaced anger and resentment, as well as the obvious fear of change and all the responsibilities that come with it. Maybe I’m a step ahead of you in one area but it doesn’t mean that you have the right to bring me down because you’re used to us always being on the same page.

The older we get the more things change and with that must come consideration. You can’t expect me to be interested in hanging out, partying, getting my nails done, and doing some of the things we used to do when we we’re 20 years old forever. At some point in time my focus had to shift towards my future, my career, and all things relative.

When a significant other enters into your life you’re supposed to be filled with happiness and the excitement that comes with a new relationship. You’re not supposed to be ignored by your friends or be given half-ass excuses as to why you can’t come out, when really it boils down to you not wanting to be the third wheel because of your irrational jealousy and because you’re not satisfied with the current status of your own life. It really hurts when you only call because you’ve find some random dude, who you claim you’re going to marry just because you have so much in common, so you can feel equal to the other person again. Friendship is not a competition.

Maybe you don’t think that you’re unhappy with your life or the way it’s unfolding, but that’s probably because you’re too wrapped up in the meaningless endeavors that you like to call “adventures”. The ones that lead you nowhere but back home where everything is done for you; your bailed out of everything your dumb enough to get trapped into; where you’ll never really have to grow up. It’s kind of like you’re Peter Pan and home is Neverland.

It’s not fair nor is it mature to assume that I’ve chosen to spend all of my time with my boyfriend instead of my friends. It is also inconsiderate to assume that I automatically place him at the top of my priorities. Assuming things is not the smart way to go because you will more than likely come out on the bottom and not on the top where you think you should be. You have to work your way to the top through honesty, understanding, caring, patience, and a full understand of all factual information of any given situation.

This is all I can manage to write for now but keep an eye out for the continuation of this story.


2 Responses to “Friendship Is Not A Competition”

  1. malaika June 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    i reali felt nice after reading your experiences coz even i have been facing the same.
    My best friend has been taking me as a competition n i m really hurt.She compares my beauty(outside looks) n fight with another mutual friend asking who looks better.
    Its been 9years for our friendship and i dont know whether this is what best friends should be doing.


  1. The Third Wheel Syndrome « She is Electrifying - January 25, 2010

    […] to happen which means that aspects of the friendship will also change. As I wrote in last week’s article, a friendship will experience ups & ups and go to through changes which require flexibility and […]

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