Finding the Right Friends

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My sophomore year of college was different. I don’t know really know why, maybe it was the fact that I was a tour guide or because I was deeply entrenched into the community at my school, but either way, friendships with the popular heads blossomed. In this new found small-town fame, I began to juggle multiple friendships, thinking that going wide would not pollute intimacy. It was not unusual for me to go to extreme lengths to maintain this popularity. I would stop by two or three apartments on the way back to my place every night. I started forming myself into a person that would please the masses; this formation sadly was at the price of my best friends.

During this time, it would have been easy to stay immersed within the never-ending chase of exposure if it were not for two of my closest friends, Jesse and Caleb ( and others in the picture above). They saw the way I manipulated my identity to fit my new found status. They saw the way my new ‘friends’ were just subconsciously encouraging this lifestyle because they were doing the same. One October afternoon, they sat me down and spoke honestly and directly to me about my unhealthiness. It was not a magic fix, but eventually I got back on track, focusing on the things that matter instead of the rat race of social superiority.

You’ve all decided to sacrifice the future for the present. You don’t talk about it. You don’t get all together and say, ‘let’s all take the easier path. Let’s indulge in whatever the moment might bring. And let’s agree, further, not to call each other on it. That way, we more easily forget what we are doing.’ You don’t mention any of that. But you all know what’s really going on.
— 12 Rules for Life

Find friends that call you out. Find friends like Caleb and Jesse. To no surprise, they are still my best friends today because I know they want the best for me, even it means having a hard conversation.

Do you have friends that refuse to let you stay unhealthy?

Jake VaydaComment