(I hate this black man.)
So Patrick and I are doing this blog thing together. When we both post a new one, we send the other an exciting text announcing our newest blog. I read Patrick’s today where he made this comment about me…
“My new sister is Britt. She is not impressive in any way, shape, or form, (LOL). She’s a pretty cool kid sister.”
Ha! We have this friendship where we shut each down in the most uplifting ways. In less than an hour he called me unimpressive and mocked my speech impediment. Yet, his friendship is one that I truly have valued since I’ve been at Virginia Tech. He’s an older guy, so I can go to him for wisdom about my failed relationships or to give me the stop sign when I’m about to lose my cool at the bar. When we met, we both had this awkward Martin Lawrence sigh of relief saying ahhh another black person. This is not to discredit my friends of other races, but there is something about the kinship that happens with someone who looks like you.
But this post isn’t all about Patrick, it’s about the amazing thing that happens when two people become friends.
I have a lot of friends. I’m not trying to sound like a pompous asshole, but I do. I have a lot of friends because I really enjoy those little moments you feel when a friend blows your mind. This could be anything from watching them perform to hearing some unintentionally clever thing they said. The joy my friends give me is irreplaceable. I have friends I can laugh with, study with, drink with, talk about life with, and anything under the sun. I’m not always the best friend, but I like to think there are generally good intentions behind my friendships.
I like for my friends to know my struggles, my issues, and the things that make me crazy. I don’t fear this being open knowledge because I’m confident that my friends don’t use this against me, but as a means to help me reach my next rung on my rope ladder. Patrick makes fun of my stutter all the time. All the time. Patrick also knows my dreams of being a speaker. While my stutter could make that a little difficult, he still lifts and builds me up through the jokes and encouragement. It’s the comedy of friendships that sustains them and lifts us up in ways we might not think about. I could be sensitive about it, but no… It is funny. So embrace it and laugh at it.
I wish I could write a note to all the friends who have impacted me in some way with a memory and a message of gratitude. I wish I could go back to the days of freestyling in Pocomoke with David Hutchinson, falling asleep within 10 minutes at Ashley Bayton’s house, hanging out in the Safeway shopping center with Katie Lubet and Sarah Morin, Britt talks with PJ Boggio, Flower Valley pool with Meghan Moritz, having deep talks in Chester with Beverly Luckett, playing softball with the Dizzy Bats, Arts and Crafts with Jess Wilson, singing with Powerfied Youth, talking on the phone with Mounir Bouterfa, and hanging out in Red Square with the Flexies. All these memories in such a short period can only speak for a lifetime of friendships I hope to make and keep. In the words of Brad Paisley, I live for little moments like that. But really I do. I live for those little things and smiles. I live for the laughs and hugs. If this short 23 years is a preview of a lifetime, sign me up.
Message that person you met at orientation. We have all these friendships, but let them go to waste when we get so busy with life. Spend some time on the playground swings (It’s quite fun. Patrick and I did last week. He made the whole swing set shake.) and think about all the valuable people you have in your circle. Your biggest fan is probably the person you never think to think about. The time you spend beating yourself up, one of your friends is wishing they were half the person you are. Smile for yourself and your friends. It’s at least worth a try.