To the tired best friend,
But as I laughed at Schmidt and the lovable Nick Miller and the all around adorable, laughable antics of Jess and her crazy friends, something about that post stuck with me.
I am the selfish best friend.
I am the selfish best friend and I know it.
I know it with every single part of myself, and I need you to know, that in spite of that knowledge, I still cannot help it.
My problems are that annoyingly catch pop song on the radio, and I just cannot stop singing them.
That may sound trite, but I am so fully aware of the ways in which I burden you. I understand, in every capacity, that I am making things harder for you, that you have your own problems, worries, and anxieties, and that constantly shouldering mine as well is taking an inevitable toll on you.
I am acutely aware of that; I mean it, I am.
Perhaps more importantly, I am thankful for that; I am thankful for you. Each time I cry onto your shoulder, each time I pour my soul out onto your lap, in that particularly endearing, word vomit sort of way, I am infinitely thankful for your existence.
I will never tell you that enough, for once, not because I am selfish, but simply because it cannot be said enough.
But here, now, things are going to get a little sticky, a little messy.
See, I’ve seen many friends come and many friends go in my twenty three years, and all the while I have observed a great deal about what makes a relationship lasting.
To be fair, most of said observation was done from a romantic perspective, searching for what made the perfect couple, but like Taylor Swift, I’ve come to see the vastly under appreciated, tremendous value of your relationships with friends.
Now, to proceed.
As I’ve gotten older, I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at identifying what I want from a relationship, what I need, and what I deserve.
I really do tread this line with great trepidation; I meant it when I said it would get messy, but you are not a true friend, if you cannot shoulder the burden right now.
In any real, legitimate, lasting relationship, it goes without saying that sometimes one person has to be stronger than the other; I deserve that from anyone who intends to occupy space within the walls of my heart, be it romantically, or otherwise.
Yes, at the moment, our relationship is utterly, undeniably parasitic.
I am taking more than I am giving. I am demanding a great deal from you, and it is not fair.
But imagine this: I am drowning in a stormy sea of my own anxiety and uncertainty, and yours is the hand I reach out for.
Sure, you’re already weak, and I could pull you in with me, but if I don’t reach out for your hand, if I don’t ask for your help, if, more literally, I do not confide in you with my problems, I will surely drown.
I myself am deep within the storm at this very moment; I’ve endured the rain and the wind, and the subsequent pain, for months, and I have been the selfish friend on countless occasions over the course of those months.
I have also tried very hard not to be the selfish friend. I have held back my true feelings; I have bitten my tongue to hold all the tears inside of me in fear that my selfishness, my burden of a friendship, will be too much for you to take.
And finally, at the sign of even the smallest of cracks, I have had someone stick out their hand to me, to reach out into the sea and grab me, and tell me not to hold back. I have had someone tell me that no matter how heavy it gets, my pain is not mine alone; that sharing the pain, although at times selfish, is welcomed and wanted.
That is true friendship. That is real, legitimate, in the trenches, last a lifetime friendship.
All my days are not promised to be ups, but I do not expect all of yours to be either.
Right now, you are carrying more of the load, you are doing what feels like all the work, but know that should you choose to stick around, should you choose to help me carry my problems right now, while I can’t carry them on my own, you will be a permanent fixture in my heart.
I will crawl in the mud and the muck of the trenches with you when you are down there, too.
I will dive into the storm if need be, just to pull you back to shore.
I will tear myself apart for you when you need it because I know you will never cease to do the same.
Relationships are not always easy.
We’re all willing to admit that when it comes to romantic relationships, but the same holds true for friendships, real friendships, best friendships.
I’m not always capable of giving you 100%, but when you need it, I’ll give you 150%, no questions asked, without a second thought.
So, to my very own tired best friends, who will never stop listening, thank you for putting me before you even when I don’t deserve it.
To the rest of the tired best friends out there, it’s fine to walk away, but don’t kid yourselves, you weren’t best friends with the person you’re abandoning. You may have been at one time, but you’re not leaving a best friend behind, and saying so is unfair to you both.
Best friends, like Friends level friends, know that walking away would hurt deeper and longer, with an intensity unthinkable, compared to the weight of any amount of troubles.
Be the friend you wish to have and other cliche phrases.
The selfish best friend
A very special thank you to the Monica to my Rachel, the Taylor Swift to my Karlie Kloss, the Mikey Freedom Hart to my Jack Michael Antonoff, and the Marius to my Enjolras, but without the dying. You dove into the storm this week, me at my most vulnerable, and you swam me back to shore.