Where Do I Belong?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (possibly overthinking), and I want to attribute it to the fact that I am now 20. Or maybe, thinking is the wrong word and it’s more reflecting.

Let’s go with that – reflecting.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship, a concept that is so valuable to me and I would hope to everyone. In life, friendship is the one thing that keeps us all going. Without friends, I don’t know where I would be in life.

When I was younger, I used to think that I was only allowed to have one best friend, or at most, only one group of close friends. I could be friendly and nice to other people, but they would never be as close to me as the group that I had chosen to be my best friends. I know, it’s a strange way to think, but as I grew up, I found that I wasn’t the only one that thought in that way.

Broad City friendship cheers ilana glazer abbi jacobson
(Or in English, my friend to the end)

So there I was, I had that tight knit friendship with girls that, to this day, I still admire for who they are. We had the type of relationships as young girls that enabled us to talk to each other about anything. We would fantasize the moments when we would finally grow up into women, our future weddings and who would be in the wedding party (and fight over who would be who’s maid of honour), talk about how our children would have playdates and who would carpool when. It was these kinds of imaginative and innocent discussions that led me and my friends to believe that we would never separate – we would be best friends for life.

We were, for a while anyway. Even towards the end of elementary school, I noticed bonds unraveling and new bonds forming. I felt so awful that my friends and I were drifting apart and that I was befriending new people. And this was the refrain all throughout high school and now into the phase of life that I am in now.

High school was interesting, because despite the fact that I had friends to make life bearable, I never felt like I truly belonged in any group. There were always discussions I would miss, and inside jokes that I would never fully understand. I constantly asked myself where I belonged – was it this group, or that group? Who were my true friends? Did I even have any to account for?

I came to a couple conclusions as a result of my nights of thinking and thinking and thinking some more. It really dawned on me when I had a discussion about friendship with a friend that I have now that friendship evolves constantly. By virtue of the fact that humans change constantly, so too do our relationships. And it’s not the fault of anyone; it just happens. Sometimes, we can’t stop these changes from happening. But just because our friendships change or even end, it doesn’t mean that completely cut them out from our lives.

My friend had been dealing with changes in her relationship with a friend that she had – she felt like she was growing up and that her friend wasn’t. What’s a person to do when the other friend isn’t really on the same page?

Friendship knits together people of different experiences and backgrounds, and that’s what makes each friendship so unique and beautiful. It helps you to learn more about the world and gain new perspective through the lens of the other person. If we befriended clones of ourselves, we might get super bored with them and ourselves! We need that difference, that friction, to keep life interesting.

What I realize now is that true friends are the ones that bring that new perspective into my life. There were people in my time in high school that really helped me see things in a new light, and through that I am very blessed to still have them in my life.

But I think the biggest struggle that I have been dealing with was just the fact that one of my closest friends has changed, and so have I. And I have begun to accept the fact that it’s okay. Ultimately, friendship is supposed to build you up. You are supposed to feel comfortable with that person, and feel like you can open up to them about anything and not feel like you are being judged.

At this point in my life, I have finally found not only where I belonged but also the friends that help me to feel like I belong there. Friendship changes constantly, and that’s okay. If you value a friendship enough, take the time to put the effort in to make it last in the long haul. But ultimately, as with any relationship, remember that it is a two way street. Put your whole heart in and make the effort and time, and hopefully the other person does the same.

Friendship is what helps life become more bearable and fun – find those friends that help you to be your best at all times, calls you out on your bullshit and ultimately makes you feel good.

PS, the title references a song by David Myles, who is one of my all time favourite artists. And, AND, he’s Canadian! Check out the song “Where Do I Belong”, and the rest of his new EP here!

x R

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