Friendship (Letters to My Daughter) #atozchallenge
Dear Baby Girl,
I Love you, even when you’re a crank pot.
Some of the best times you will have in your life will be with friends. This is a tricky topic for me to write about, because I am still learning lessons about friendship. I have made a lot of mistakes, and have had to learn how to be a better friend. My hope for you, is that you have an abundance of great and lasting friendships throughout your life.
Friends are so many things at different times in our lives. They can be like surrogate family members, who will support you through thick and thin. They can be instigators of fun, mischief, and drama. They can be a shoulder to cry on, a person to help deal with stress. Friends are people that can sometimes disappoint you. Friends can stay in your life forever, and some will fall away, while others will be removed. Friendship can come easy, and friendship can be complex. True friendship, great friendship is hard to come by in this world. Friends are easier for some people to make and find, while others struggle to find friends. Some people cannot maintain friendships, and some are good at keeping them.
There are a few virtues to focus on, and you will find lasting friendships.
Honesty & Truth
My advice to you, is to always be honest with your friends. Honesty is hard to come by these days. The best friends I have are the most honest and real people I know. People are attracted to honesty like a moth to the flame.
If you can be honest with all of your friends, you will have less (if not no) misunderstandings. Misunderstandings both large and small, have the potential to end friendships. Being honest can even lose you friends in certain situations, because truth can be scary.
Example: Let’s say you are worried about your friend who has a boyfriend that verbally abuses your friend. You hear it, and you want to protect your friend, so you tell her that it is not okay to be talked to that way. That is truth, and that is loving. But your friend may not want to hear that, and get’s angry with you for talking badly about her boyfriend and she ends your friendship. That may happen, but you have to be honest because truth is loving. Your friend in that scenario needed to know that her boyfriend is bad news, and she needed to know you were there for her in the aftermath of a break up. If you just ignored it or acted like it was normal, then your friend may really think it is normal, and okay to be talked to that way, when its not.
From time to time, your loyalty and your bond with a friend may be tested. You might have a group of friends, and while your best friend of 4 years is away from the group, the other friends start making fun of your best friend. These are moments in your life that you have to decide to be loving and wise, versus mean and foolish. It may be easier to join in the cruelty, just so you don’t stand out, but you will regret it. It takes courage to stand up for your friend in that situation, but no matter the outcome, you will not live in regret. Be honest with the group and let them know that it’s hurtful and wrong to say mean things about your best friend.
Give great effort to always put your friends needs over your own. The trick will be to find friends who mutually respect and love you in the same way, as to reciprocate your serving them. This does not mean let a friend bully you or boss you around, but you should give and give because there are always coinciding rewards. Whether its gained wisdom, gained loyalty, gained love, gained companionship, or simply the feeling of joy in doing something good for others. To give is to love. Give your friend you ear to listen. Give your friend your time, to show them their importance in your life. Give your friend forgiveness when needed, and understanding when needed.
Friendship should be fun. Friendship should make the world feel brighter, and burdens lighter. Friendship should be an escape from the stresses of this world. Seek friendship in as many people as you can.
Simply, just care about people. Care about their lives, families and listen to what they say. These skills will help you be successful in all that you do, not just friendship. These skills will help you understand people on a deeper level. These skills will help you in whatever career you choose. These skills will help you be a great parent.
Speaking of parents and friendships… I have to explain something that you will not understand until you are older. It is the truth, so know that I say it with love and only love. Your mom and I, though we may seem like your “friends”, we are not. We are your parents, and with that comes great responsibility for your life, until you are grown. Do not get sad, because we still get to have the experiences that you have with friends. We get to be silly together, laugh together, talk about everything, do fun stuff together, be there when your sad or stressed. We get to do all the things that friends do, and sometimes you won’t see the difference, but there is one. A friend will have a hard time telling you no, but we will if it protects you. We will have to teach you lessons about life, prepare you for the world, which can be hard at times, and that is something friends do not do.
I was not very close with my dad growing up, because I thought he was very hard on me. Yet, when I got older I saw that every time he was hard on me, it was to benefit me later in life. Some of the lessons he taught me when I thought he was being mean, have truly helped me most in life, since moving away. My dad was not my friend, but he taught me so much, and I am grateful for that.
Guess what? After I was on my own, and he did not have to teach me lessons all of the time, we became great friends. He’s one of my best friends. So, I had a great parent, and now a great friend.
I hope to be a great parent to you, and then I hope to be one of your best friends. I love you so much lil’ one. I cannot wait to see you with your little friends, giggling, watching princess movies and sharing life together. They will bring you joy, and your joy brings me joy.
I love you Winslow,
Sorry this post was late. Thank you for reading this series. The support that I have received, has been more than I expected and appreciated more than you know. If you want to read another post I wrote on friendship, check out:
The Worst Friend I Ever Had