I Am Not Friend Enough


I met someone recently. Or not so recently. It’s been several years that I’ve known “Truth.” It feels like a lifetime and simultaneously like we met yesterday. We were inexplicably drawn toward each other from the beginning, brought together through laughter and sarcasm. We have continued to stay connected through humor, science, forbidden topics like religion and politics, and a love of all things unique. But not too long ago I met him all over again – or more – or differently. Whichever.

Truth has made me laugh and made me roll my eyes. But, one day he made me think – really think. There was a realness, a raw openness to his words that made me listen much deeper than I had before. It was as if he’d picked at the dusty corners of my soul and found the words I was never brave enough to utter. He gathered them up, wrote them gently in a book and handed it back to me. They were his words – my words – it was my story, in his voice, to read out loud or to close up and push back into the dusty corners. I sat with those words a long time. He trusted me to understand. He trusted me to be kind. How did he know I was writing the same book?

I looked at Truth differently after that. He wasn’t just my casual friend who was good for a laugh or advice on a few specific topics. He’d shown me depth of character that I had great respect for. This was a friend I was lucky to find.

Truth and I talk when we can. But it’s disjointed. Busy schedules in opposite directions make it challenging to get too far into a discussion. If I had a magic birthday candle, I might wish for 2 or 3 hours of uninterrupted conversation with Truth. Although, we’d probably keep diving deeper into subject after subject and that still wouldn’t be enough time.

Over time, Truth has become my acoustic block – absorbing what isn’t necessary, reverberating back to me what is clear and pure. He’s working to show me how to remove the noise from my life – from my heart and my soul. He reminds me that I deserve to enjoy life, to be happy from the inside out (not just smiling because I feel like I should). I’m trying to learn from him. To be more discerning in my own life. To be an acoustic block to others – a pay-it-forward of inner peace. I appear to be a slow learner. But, he’s got a lot of deep-rooted negative resonance to contend with in me. He is patient, which is good. He’s also consistent, which is better.

Truth has been the lighthouse I reached for during my storms. Steady. Calm. Stabilizing. The light he shone back at me in my darkness was my own, bolstered by his. It was a beautiful way to support me and to show me that I can do this on my own. Well, someday, maybe. Truth has saved me. Mostly from myself. Like a ship not paying attention to its surroundings, I have entered some dangerous waters and required guidance to navigate back to the safety of open waters. He has shown me the way and even offered a harbor for rest when I needed it. I am so grateful for him and all that he gives.

Truth has provided me with hours of entertainment, hundreds of belly-laughs, dozens of recommendations, boxes and boxes of figurative tissues, grade A advice, grade B jokes, and an all-around feeling of joy in his presence. I have given Truth……well, there must be something. There should be something. Nope. And, this is my problem. While this is an important friendship to me, it is very one-sided. I fail to see what benefit I bring to Truth’s life. He doesn’t need me, so how can I provide anything?

Truth told me once I was his biggest cheerleader. Yup. Damn straight, I am! And I will continue to be his cheerleader for work, for hobbies, for adventures, for family – all of it! I will support him and cheer him on with the biggest pom poms I can grab for as long as he’ll let me. This is all I have to offer Truth. I am truly excited for his new endeavors. If telling him that makes him a little more confident, then let me shout it. GO, TRUTH, GO! GO, TRUTH, GO! I love hearing about the beautifully unique ways he interacts with his family. If prompting him for more stories of his  kids makes him laugh a little more, then bring it on. DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN! GO! I am honored when Truth shares his treasure finds with me. If those discoveries are a little more enjoyable because I celebrate with him, then tell me more. S-C-O-R-E, SCORE, SCORE, SCORE!

I am not friend enough for him. This is all I have to give to Truth- my enthusiasm for all that he is. It is genuine, I assure you. It is not enough in repayment, I assure you. His friendship is like none I’ve known before. Maybe this is my first real adult friendship. It’s nice. Now I know why people do this whole ‘friend’ thing. I honestly feel like my life is better for knowing him. I hope someday, in some little way, I can return that gift.

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