“What has been the best thing that has happened to you so far in life?”
I always get an initial shock when I first ask people this question, they question my motives, they take like a minute or two to think, and then they finally answer. I am always curious about other people, what they learned in their own lives, and what they could possibly teach me. Were I to answer the question myself, I would say Dutch Brothers Coffee, and then I SUPPOSE my actual brother (love you, bro).
My favorite answer came from a stranger I met in Hawaii and she said “making good friends.” To this day, I think that has to be my favorite answer so far. I think why I liked it so much is because as human beings, we all crave love. That is who we are, beings made to love and to receive love. So being able to find however many people out of the 7 billion in this world who loves who you are, for you to love who they are, to confide within each other your joys and your struggles, and ultimately make each other better, that is one of the coolest things to experience.
I think it is a tough process to go through to find our “good friends.” We meet people in high school, in college, at church, at work, etc. We quickly try to find people to associate ourselves with because we all want to belong and I think that is how friendships originate. “I am friends with this person or these people because they are cool to hang out with.” But I reflected and realized that the motivation for being friends with someone changed from “belonging” to “trust.”
What allows close friendships to happen is ultimately the trust we give that friend and what they do with it. When we want someone to be our close friend, we allow them to get to know who we are, we begin to trust them. Someone who takes that trust and in turn, begins to trust us, allows us to get to know who they are. They are no longer our friends because they are pleasant people to be around with, but they are our friends because we genuinely care for them and they genuinely care for us. These are the friends who we confide in, who are not scared to tell you the truth, but ultimately, these are the friends who love you, who want the best for you, who do things for you not out of obligation but of desire to see you flourish.
It is definitely a process because we all go through something that is called life. Life will pull us in many directions, life will introduce us to many people, and life will lead us away from people. But it is through life that we become more aware of ourselves, who we are, what we are called to do, and why we do it. The hardest part of life is seeing those who were once so close to you be so far away later in time.
Conversely, one of the biggest joys I have experienced so far is making those good friendships. Even as we went throughout life and its struggles, our desires and effort to continue to be in each other’s lives overcame the circumstances and obstacles that came in our way. These friends have seen me at my highest and they have seen me at my lowest. We get into fights, for sure. We may disagree in terms of our political stance, of our religious beliefs, of how we view ourselves and the world, etc., but we are able to overlook that and embrace each other as we are. To be able to call a few people out of many my good and close friends, or to even just one person, my best friend, that is the best thing that has happened to me so far.