Family, Friends and Faith
Every so often, usually when some messed up thing happens in someone’s life revolving friends or family, a video of Madea talking about friends and comparing them to a tree will pop up. It’s a good clip, but the part about the branches bugs me a little because it implies, to me, that certain people in the world are only out to hurt you, and I can’t fully believe that.
I think there’s two types of friends in life. There’s the type that are there for a short time, and those that are there for the long haul. And maybe “short” means a few days, weeks, months or years, but it’s still not the same as the friend that is there for you regardless of how often you talk or catch up. I think both friends and boy types of friendship are something to be valued.
Friends that are there for the “long haul” have celebrated the best times of your life and helped you through the worst. These are the people you can lean against when you can’t stand, and the people you call first to tell the good news. Maybe you talk to them every day, but sometimes, these are the people who you talk to on occasion. I have a few friends like this: we were very close in that we talked often when we were growing up or in school, but we’ve lost touch over the years. I still consider them friends even though we only talk once every year or every couple of years. I’ll see something that will make me think of them and send it to them in a text, e-mail or Facebook message, and we’ll talk and catch up and then maybe it’s another year before we talk again.
There’s a spiritual and emotional connection with those people that is hard to replace. They’re created by all the good times we shared that far outweigh the bad times. These are the people I call my family, even if we aren’t related by blood.
Everyone has good times and bad times in their life. If we can’t agree on anything else, I think we can agree on that. But there’s a distinct difference in bad situations that end positive and bad situations that end negatively. All bad situations eventually end, but how they end is how they differ. I’ve gotten into arguments with my friends before, but working through those arguments and apologizing when it needs to happen is what moved them from temporary friend to true friend.
Temporary friends, I believe, are there to teach you just one lesson, maybe two, before they move on and out of your life. Sometimes the moving on can hurt and sometimes it’s like they weren’t there to begin with. Whatever it is that happens, those people are there for a purpose. I believe everything thing and everyone has a purpose, and most of the time we don’t even know what that purpose is until after it happens.
That’s where faith comes in. Faith is the complete confidence or trust in someone or something, and it’s definitely not an easy thing to get, have or keep. When bad situations happen and I start feeling down, my faith that it’s going to end helps me through it. I don’t have faith that it will end positively, but I do have faith that it will end, which means something different can begin (whether good or bad). And that faith has gotten me through a lot of situations.
I think that even if we lose faith, that we’re still being carried and help through tough situations, whether it’s by family, friends or the Gods. And I think that all people are put into our lives for a reason.
When I was growing up, my family and I hit a rough patch surrounding my coming out. I ended up on a version of house arrest without any technology access or ability to leave (they took away my driving privileges by taking the battery out of my car). My home didn’t feel much like home for awhile (this was ten years ago and things have changed for the better), and I vowed that when I had my own place, it would be a sanctuary for people who needed it.
There’s an energy here of happiness and joy and calm. If you can’t have peace in your own home, where can you have it? Disagreements and differences are discussed rationally and calmly without fighting, and anyone is allowed to stay so long as the drama is kept at zero. My home is a sanctuary for all my friends and family who need it, regardless of the past.
I guess, in a way, that it’s a place people can have faith in because there’s a trust that it’s here for those that need it to be. I miss the times when I could just go to my neighbors, unannounced, and it was okay. Now, it feels like an intrusion to even think about doing that. Is that part of growing up or just a product of the times? Maybe a little of both. Change is inevitable, but at least I know I still have my sanctuary when I need it.