The Friends We Have

PathI’ve never been one to go looking for new friends. The whole, “Join our club, meet new people!” sales pitch never really worked on me in school. If I wasn’t interested in the club, then I wasn’t interested in the club. The possibility of friend requests on Facebook wasn’t going to change my mind.

If that makes me selfish, then I guess I’m selfish.

When I moved away to university, I only knew one person going to the same school as me. Looking back – a new school, new town, and no friends should have had me worried all summer. I wasn’t. I didn’t even think about not having any friends when I arrived on move-in day.

Everyone else was in the same boat, anyway. It wasn’t like I was entering a residence where everyone was in an alliance and I was the sacrificial lamb chosen to be voted off the island first.

Sorry, Survivor reference. 

Still, the way I looked at it was – I’m going away to school for eight months and then I come home for the summer. At the end of those eight months, I’m probably going to have friends. I don’t know who they are yet, but I’ll have eight months to figure it out. If I go home without making any friends, well then, at least I’m home and can cry in my pillow all summer.

I made friends; my pillow stayed dry.

That mindset, by the way, has gotten me through a lot of things in life. The whole, “picture what it will be like once you get through it” mentality.

For instance, I was always a bit nervous before presentations. Who wasn’t nervous? All eyes on you and the sweat stains under your armpits. Undershirts are key, kids.

What calmed me down was knowing that – no matter what – after twenty minutes, or thirty minutes, or an hour, or however long my presentation was, it would be over and I’d be back in my seat wondering why I was nervous at all. It was just a matter of time.

So, whenever I’ve found myself in new situations with a bunch of strangers, I know it’s just a matter of time before I become friends with them. And that’s not me being cocky – though I am a wonderful human being – it’s just confidence in knowing that how something starts, isn’t the way it will end.

If I learned anything from living in residence, it was that a group of strangers could become a family in eight months. Random people, from different cities, went from very few words on move-in day, to more words than a dictionary can hold over the course of the school year.

It was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Working at a camp for four summers introduced me to many people. And every summer I went back, I told myself that it wouldn’t be as good as the previous summer. That I wouldn’t bond with the new staff the same way I did the old staff. That it wouldn’t be as fun.

And every single time, I was wrong.

Just like move-in day at school, the first day of pre-camp is very quiet. Most people don’t want to stand out too much. But as the week goes on, friendships are made. Whether it’s during a group activity, lunch, CPR training, or when someone asks you for a pen.

Or, on the rare occasion, you become really good friends with someone after camp ends. It’s happened.

The bonds made at camp, whether you’re a camper, or a counsellor, are some of the strongest bonds you can make in life. It’s just different. I still keep in touch with people I worked with six years ago.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had some great friends over the course of my life. People who reluctantly accept me for the non-sushi eating individual that I am.

And as I sit here right now, I’m well aware that there are people in this world who I have not met yet, but will be friends with one day. That’s just the way life works.

If I gave my cell phone to my twelve-year-old self and told him to scroll through the contact list, he would have a hard time recognizing any of the names.

The friends we have are people we didn’t even know existed, until their path intersected with ours. If you think about it, a lot of things have to line up for two people to meet at a specific moment. Yet, it keeps happening for all of us.

I love it when things happen naturally. When something happens because that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Sometimes people just get along and there is no reason for it. There is no one size fits all formula for a friendship.

I have close friends with whom I share many similarities. In university, my roommate and I were convinced we were separated at birth – our birthdays are close enough for it to be possible – that’s how similar we are. Yet, we are also very different.

Speaking of different, some of my other close friends are people with whom I have very little in common. It doesn’t make sense, but it works. In a way it’s almost better. Because if I ever want to know what they’re thinking, I know it’s just the exact opposite of what I’m thinking.

Again, sometimes people just get along and there is no reason for it.

Which bring me to the WordPress community. When I started this blog, I didn’t expect to become friends with people from all over the world. It just happened. Some bloggers have even made the transition from strictly communicating with me on my blog, to communicating with me via email, or social media.

I never thought that would happen. I never thought I would allow that to happen. But hey, expect the unexpected.

Sorry, Big Brother reference.

I want to close this post with a quick story that I think sums up the essence of what a friendship should be.

One of my good friends found out I had a blog very early on in our friendship. I encouraged them to read it. They said they would, but first, they wanted to get to know me on their own, without my blog spoiling who I was.

In a world where it’s so simple to take the easy way out. Where a quick “Facebook stalk” can sometimes tell you all you need to know about someone, I thought it was pretty cool this person didn’t want to go that route.

It showed me they actually cared. And I think that’s all anyone can ever ask for out of a friendship.

Maybe this is too idealistic for me to say, but I will anyway…

If two people were meant to meet, their paths will cross, eventually. We won’t know when. We won’t know where. We won’t know how. We sometimes won’t even know why.

We will just know.

Because eventually always seems to arrive right on time.

Which is why we have the friends we have, isn’t it?

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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45 Responses to The Friends We Have

  1. Liz says:

    Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

    Sorry, Cheers reference. 🙂

    I one billion percent agree with everything. The dealing with first-timer anxiety, meeting new people, how awesome wordpress friends can be. All of it.

    I have to say I’ve been slacking and consequently missing a lot of your posts. I plan to catch up on reading them today. I have missed the bit of humor and skilled writing that your stuff brought to my mundane work week.
    Happy Friday!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Perfect reference, thank you!
      I hope you don’t mind poetry, because that’s what I’ve been posting lately haha. Though I’ll try to get back to some humorous posts! It’s been too long.
      And I will have to catch up on your must read posts as well. Happy Friday!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Liz says:

        I love poetry as much as humor. Maybe not as much, but very close. It will most certainly be a treat today when I’m wishing I was anywhere but the office!

        I have very few must reads because I’v recently purchase a camera and am trying to learn how to take a picture. Be gentle if you end up reading anything at all haha

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        Excellent. There’s a bunch of poems here for you to kill time at work with lol.
        “Trying to learn how to take a picture”…this is gonna be good!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Issa says:

    “Maybe this is too idealistic for me to say, but I will anyway…” i won’t call too idealistic maybe a little cheesy…but dude you make good points…and besides that friend was right not to check out the blog first before getting to know you…I’m from Kenya and I did find this blog of yours and your attachment to pizza

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Jessie Reyna says:

    You know high school reunions that I will probably not go to? I wish we had that for WordPress bloggers. I think it would be a blast to meet everyone we talk to almost everyday.
    P.S. Sushi is delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I wish we had that too. Like a once year event run by WordPress where we can go sit and see some bloggers read their posts on a stage to an audience and then we all mingle afterwards and eat pizza.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jessie Reyna says:

        You can do whatever your little heart desires! As for me, there will be no stage or spotlight, but just me in the back listening to everyone else reading, preferably with a bowl of cheesy fries.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Haha I never said I’d be the one up on stage! That would be terrifying. Cheesy fries…is that basically like pouting but without gravy?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jessie Reyna says:

        Yes, pretty much. I had poutine once in Ottawa. Can’t say I’m a fan! I feel very un-American saying I don’t like gravy haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        It’s ok. I don’t like poutine and everyone here freaks out about that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jessie Reyna says:

        I can see why! Poutine is super Canadian! I’m surprised it’s not a felony. The diner I worked at a few years ago always attracted French Canadians during the summer months and they always asked for poutine even though it wasn’t on the menu. I forced a smile even though I wanted to yell, “Order something American!” But the French Canadians were always so nice I could never do that haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh trust me, if I could be convicted of this “crime” I would’ve been a long time ago. Haha did you make them a poutine anyway? Poutine was created in Quebec so for French Canadians that’s basically their bread and butter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jessie Reyna says:

        I noticed that haha I wouldn’t be surprised if a family told me they have a plate sitting on their mantelpiece. At first I had never heard of it before so I thought it was just them speaking in French until my boss told me. The cooks grunted and cussed me out but I always had them make it haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Haha I’m sure they appreciated that. It’s a weird word to hear for the first time too. The first syllable isn’t exactly appetizing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. rebbit7 says:

    Insightful post, Paul. Well written and pertinent to almost everyone in life. I liked how the post was so relateable, as I found myself agreeing with everything you said. Like you, I didn’t go out and seek friends during my first year of college. Looking back, while I wish that I had opened myself up a bit more, I am very grateful that I was able to make and establish close relationships with those who I did become friends with, even if only a few.

    Same goes for WP bloggers. Even though we don’t know each other personally, it’s extraordinary that technology allows us to grow close together and bond like friendships in real life. The support and encouragement that one receives from blogging helps one grow and continue to be inspired to blog.

    …and that, my friend, is invaluable.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Well said! I was pleasantly surprised to find that bloggers make up the friendly part of the Internet and are always there to support each other. Coming into this, I was prepared to face the same kind of people that comment on YouTube videos. That hasn’t been the case at all, and I’m so glad.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This was beautiful. Made me laugh at all the right parts and leaves me in a pondering mood. I like how you see the world. It seems like you can conquer anything with this “can do” attitude. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

  6. heymeghan91 says:

    Sushi is gross.
    Survivor is cool!
    I’m too tired to write more. HI PAUL

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Silvia says:

    Loved the article!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, how could anyone not make friends with you, Paul? First of all…you’re Canadian! Second, you know, Paulo and his kitchen—personally! I mean, it’s almost as if you and him…ARE ONE! And finally, you have the greatest first name ever given to man. Paul! Okay, so you just happen to share it with me, but in no way does this make it any less a great name, in spite of some naysayers—but then again they’re jealous of us. :O)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “Because eventually always seems to arrive right on time”

    Thank you for writing such an appropriate post to my life right now haha.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. You know what Paul, you’re pretty cool. I’m glad I came across your blog. You’re not only a great writer but I bet, you’re a pretty awesome friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. wgr56 says:

    “People who reluctantly accept me for the non-sushi eating individual that I am.”

    Brother!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Barb Knowles says:

    Wonderful post. I like your poetry but I’ve missed this type of article. You perfectly articulated the theory, which I believe as well, that the random crossing of lives/relationships that sync is meant to be. You mentioned your 12 year old self. How would you explain making friends via WordPress?
    Glad to have you as a friend, Paul.
    ps. I hate sushi

    Liked by 1 person

  13. hmekeel says:

    I lived a few doors down from this girl at college last year and we didn’t really know each other. This semester we met at the dining hall and are now best friends. I don’t know why we had to wait a year before really meeting, but it’s all in God’s perfect timing. I’m not exactly sure how we found each other on here, but I’m glad we did! 🙂 I always like reading your thoughts. Maybe we’ll even cross paths someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I can’t remember if I came across your blog first or if you came across mine, I just remember reading yours and thinking that it felt like I wrote your posts because the style was so similar. And now here we are (insert number of months) later!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t know why I found this post so relaxing. It was nice!

    And I could’ve totally used the “it’ll all be over soon” pep talk before I sang my duet on Sunday. It bombed. Gr.

    Humor & Lifestyle // http://www.rebekahkoontzsite.com

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Little Rants says:

    “I made friends. My pillow stayed dry.” No wonder mine isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Little Rants says:

    I’m doing great! Lol.

    Like

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