Breaking & Building Bonds

Remember recess? 
Remember elementary school when everyone was friends because you all wanted to be? 
My mom never told me to be friends with these people. It was never an obligation. When I was 10 or 12 I just wanted to be friends with everyone. What happens between leaving the safe cocoon of sixth grade and entering the vicious world of high school that makes us so afraid of human interaction? Even if you kept friends throughout those pre-teen years, how long did those relationships last and why are we so willing to let those bonds go when encountering rough waters? Nobody is perfect and yet subconsciously, I think we look for people who are. For me, I know that when a friend does something to really make things tough, I don't confront the situation head on and instead, make things really awkward and tense which eventually leads to pretending the friendship never existed. Why do we do things like this? Why do we avoid our problems and let them lead to something much more devastating and later blame it on the fact that, "I just don't get along with girls"?

Most people would argue that the fear of rejection is what keeps us from seeking out lifelong relationships, but I think it is more a fear of acceptance. What if someone were to accept everything about you and want to know every detail of your existence? Wouldn't that scare you? What if someone had access to every deep, dark secret? Even when we are out looking for someone to confide in, someone to hold us up when we're weak, we are still unwilling to fully commit to making that relationship work. I don't think anyone can say that someone else knows every single thing about them. There's always that one thing that could forever ruin the friendship that we're not willing to risk. Sometimes, people even use this secret, this inner most thought, to push the ones they love away. Why? Because we have that power and if things aren't going the way we want in a relationship, it is an easy escape. 

There is such a fine line between being friends and being acquaintances. Never knowing what the other is thinking can lead to unsureness and self-doubt. Have you ever made friends with someone on the first day of class and thought, "This is great, I made a new friend", but after a night of self-doubt think, "Wow, maybe he/she doesn't really like me sitting with them every Wednesday"? Although this thought process is common, you have to realize that maybe the other person is thinking that they are the one you don't want to sit with. When it comes to friendships or relationships or whatever you'd like to call them, you can't constantly think that you are a nuisance in that person's life. Maybe, if we can learn to communicate better and not think that everything is so awkward or weird, we'd be able to move past this scary concept of making friends. Maybe if we learn to accept the fact that not everyone you meet is going to make your life harder, we can start saying "hi" to strangers. Maybe, if you just let one person in, you'll learn that a friendship with no secrets can actually be a blessing. Of course, I'm saying all this as I eat hummus in my dorm room alone, but I know that in the end, we all need somebody, and that somebody, needs us too. 

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."

- C.S. Lewis