Or “The Abbi(s) to your Ilana, or the Ilana(s) to your Abbi”. You get the picture.

Friendships are one of the most vital relationships we establish in our lives. I could quote a thousand phrases said on friendships and you’d tell me you’ve heard them all, know them all, etc., etc., etc.

This entry offers nothing new as well, nothing you haven’t heard before. But I do feel like, with nearly 3 decades of walking on Earth, nearly 3 decades of established and failed friendships, I do have a few things I would like to remind myself of.

During my teenage years, My Mom (like yours) would throw fits at me for choosing to spend more time with my friends over her.

People say NO MAN IS ISLAND and automatically think, “No man could ever manage to do things alone“. And maybe yes, that is partially true in some cases. But people often overlook that for the most part of our lives, the only other friend we’ll truly ever need is ourselves. All Men are “I”(s)lands. Corny. But I stand by those words.

When we were kids, our elders would always tell us how important it is to “make friends“, and for Society, its kind of alarming for someone to be holed up in a room, never really interacting with people. Parents and Gramps and Gramms and Uncles and Aunts and older Cousins and Counselors and Doctors and Therapists and TV Show / Movie writers mean well, but in my world, I’m like, “Do you know how healthy THIS actually is? Why are WE the weird ones? We’re called Introverts, by the way? We’re supposed to have become a household name by now, I mean it’s 2015“.

When I had no choice but to be left alone (most of the day) for half a year, it drove me nuts. I was still an Ambivert then, so you’d understand how troubling it is. I’m not a person who is fit in any aspect (well, physically I’m cool) to be left on my own with all these thoughts. Eventually, I calmed down. I don’t remember how it happened, but it just did. I saw myself as another person I should be kind to, I should have fun with, I should be and feel comfortable with. Being this old, you’d think I’m way past this phase of self-discovery and all, but I realized, you never really stop knowing yourself. You’re bound to change after a year, a month, a week, even a day. You’re never really meant to stay the same. And that’s both a good and a bad thing – which is why there are parts of yourself you should definitely HOLD ON TO, and never let the world, or life – take away.

Which explains why some friendships crumble to the ground. It’s no one’s fault, really. It’s just how it is. Most of the time, it’s because you grew up, and they didn’t (LELZ I KID, sort of).

Just because you’ve become friends with a person / group of people for a long time doesn’t mean you just keep sticking around even when it’s become toxic. NEVER EVER. NEVER. EVER. Accept the fact that leaving them will make you look like the asshole, but this is the Titanic – you’ve got to save yourself, kid. I mean … wasn’t that the whole point of the Titanic movies or …

You can stay friends with people and not actually be (friends). Sounds mean, doesn’t it? But that’s the reality of life. Talk to them, hang out with them, but don’t give them so much of yourself. Don’t invest so much of your heart, mind and soul to the friendship, because the world is cruel, and life is full of surprises, and people WILL constantly disappoint you. And you may constantly disappoint them. That’s just how it is. We are all SO different, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you start to notice how you and this person don’t really mesh well after knowing them for so long.

But there is always hope, of course. In your life, you will come across 2, 3 people who just GET you. You both change, but your birth cords have been tied together since the day you met, and you can’t pull away, and you will never feel the need to, because your cords will continuously grow despite your differences, making you polar opposites , and you will never argue about, well, anything (at all, if not barely). Sure, there will be a LOT of disagreements – but so much respect. How blessed am I to actually have at least 3 of these people in my life, shapeshifting to chairs, walls, canes, casts, band-aids, journals, a bathroom stop during a long drive (of course not literally, but in that context), whatever it is they think they need to be for me. They are my everything. When I think of love, their faces come to mind, because I only really ever knew and felt what it meant because of them, and because they have taught me well on how to handle things MYSELF. God has showed me His goodness because He has blessed me with these people. And this is something I pray we all have, will have. They are and will be (one of) your miracle(s).

Regardless, whether you have found the perfect Abbi to your Ilana, Leslie to your Ann, Mindy to your BJ (despite by bittersweet feelings towards them, which is annoyingly confusing but you really adore them and you’re pining for them on most days and then Mindy subtweets heartbreaking stuff and you always assume it’s BJ and you go to his Twitter / IG page and give him the side eye and it’s really none of our business BUTGUYSPLEASECOULDYOUJUST), the moral of the story is that we must learn to be our own Ilana, our own Ann, and our own Mindy (because you should always be Mindy) first. Don’t be afraid to know and hate yourself a little (for all the flaws you would soon find out – it’s like Pandora’s Box, you see, only it’s not pure evil. I mean, if it is, you could try seeing a therapist, or attend meetings and all that. Acknowledgement is key, always. The rest follows) – eventually, everything will fall into place. You will learn how to position yourself in certain situations, and take control of your life. Captains have to know their ships – it’s the only way they can make full use of its capabilities. How to steer, how and when to do damage control, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and this is very much so when it comes to, well, ~*living*~

And contrary to the quote “Friends are the family that you choose“, I beg to disagree. You don’t really choose each other. True friendships require no effort whatsoever, but the purest of love and understanding. The rest are just sprinkles on the cake.

And I can do without sprinkles.