The Friends We Grow Up With

I have 5 days until I leave my college town. 10 days until I leave Michigan. 14 days until I leave the states entirely.

I remember counting several months like it was yesterday. I remember talking to my
“先輩” (upper classmates) about their experiences and joys and struggles when they went abroad for the first time. I remember absorbing it all like a little sponge just beaming because I would be in that position soon.

I keep thinking about those moments. This past year. In 5 days I officially am separated from it. I’ve spent this year sorting out and learning more about my anxiety disorder. I’ve proved that it is indeed possible to be friends with your ex. Live with them even! And most importantly, challenging myself to let others know me.

That’s been the hardest. Because it is such an empty thing. Get to know me so we can part ways. I still don’t understand such a thing. I had a thought once this year, “how many people like you can I meet?” I’ve met varies people this year. People who hide behind masks. People who do seemingly awful things, but have the biggest hearts. People who never make excuses for their actions. And people who have every excuse in the book. People who are sensitive. People that are afraid. People who simply exist to live this life to get it over with.

And though I think often… Certain people weren’t worth getting to know. Weren’t worth trusting. And in the end just proved more reason to why others aren’t worth close connections and sharing secrets with. I couldn’t have learned all I have this year with out each of them.

And those I grew up with… those people who know my past and my struggles and the small windows I’ve opened as we grew through our teen years, they have become more valuable than I ever thought possible. This small handful of ones from my so called youth… when I think of them and their lives and how still to this day, their support reaches me, I realise that if I never meet another person again that can prove to me friendship is worth something, to have these select people to remember… well, that is enough for me.

These people who some how know when to send a random message. These people who take time out their busy lives to see me. These people who think about me every day just as I think of them. The ones I’ve survived nasty fights with. The ones we could cry about our childhoods with. The ones I’ve wished upon stars with. The ones I’ve held their hair back. The ones who I could truly be myself with. The ones who never once asked me to change. The ones who really loved me for who I am. Awful faults and all. I hope one day to meet others like this. But maybe because of these people my standards are too high.

I’m not really sure what I’m saying or why I’m writing. I think a piece of me needs to say goodbye to a few things I’ve lost in the past several months. I think perhaps I just needed to clear my head and express these things in order to make room for the journey I’m about to embark on.

I have two weeks to soak in these faces I grew up with. Two weeks to express how much these friends mean to me and will always mean to me. No matter how I’m hurt or feel like friendships don’t matter, these faces prove how wrong I am.

Just because no one has proved to be as loyal as these few, that’s nothing to be sad about at all. I’m really grateful to have an unbeatable standard when it comes to friendship.

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