I’m not sure if it’s age, wisdom, or dumb luck, but I’ve managed to fall ass-backwards into the most amazing group of friends a girl could ask for. My friends are the kind of people who always have my back, support me fiercely, and love me even when I don’t love myself. They keep my secrets, call me on my shit, and make me laugh until my cheeks hurt. I don’t know what I did to deserve love and support like this, but I’m immensely grateful.
Finding good friends isn’t exactly a unicorn situation, but for me, this kind of love and loyalty hasn’t always existed. I survived the viciousness and villainy of middle school girls, had my heart broken a few times, and lost friends I thought would always be there. I wouldn’t say I’ve suffered an unusual amount of mistrust—no more than anyone else, but after 30-some-years of life experience, I have trust issues.
Okay, they aren’t really issues, but I definitely don’t trust many people. Maybe it’s because trust takes time and energy that I don’t want to waste on nonsense. Maybe I’ve been burned one too many times. Whatever the root cause, I’m just wildly uninterested in the games and bullshit that sometimes come with putting yourself out there, so I tread lightly. In my book, trust is earned, it’s not just given automatically because we are friends. Building trust means being vulnerable, and while I’m a huge fan of transparency and vulnerability, I don’t let my guard down all willy-nilly.
I have lots of friends, but not many of them are close friends. It’s not that there isn’t room in my life for more friends, because of course there is. But true friendships take time, and few people can live up to my expectations—mutual judgment-free love, support, and trust. I know, rigorous, right? But you’d be amazed how quickly people will dive off the trust bus the minute they stand to benefit in any way. I’m just not here for that, and I can spot a shit friend from a mile away, so don’t come at me with your fakeness, Helen. I see you.
Some people might describe me as guarded, and they aren’t wrong. But I’m fine with it. I’m cautious, selective, and particular about who I surround myself with, because we are who we hang with, and I know exactly who I am and who I’m not. If I get a gut feeling that someone might not be trustworthy, I listen to my gut because it’s rarely wrong. It’s unfortunate, but some people just suck.
Is this a jaded way to look at it? Maybe. But life is short, and I only keep what’s good and purge the negative. I protect my happiness and do my very best to keep negative influences at bay, because when it comes right down to it, I’m a sensitive person who feels deeply. I have always been someone who takes it all in, good or bad—I feel it. Being a highly sensitive person is a bit of a blessing and a curse, really, because feelings—all the feelings, all the time.
So, yeah, there is a wall there. But, if you are a well-meaning, kind person, that wall will crumble with ease. One negative action and that bad-boy will strengthen ten-fold. I’m not overly analytical or paranoid, I’m just cautious, and trust isn’t something I throw out like parade candy. It’s earned and it’s valued.
Those in my circle are there for a reason; they feed my soul. There is reciprocal love, support, encouragement, and inspiration. We fit into each other’s hearts without effort or expectation, and when we make mistakes or cause unnecessary hurt, we own it and we make it right.
There are no lies or misgivings, and I would never betray their trust, because when someone trusts you, they are giving you a piece of their heart, and they expect you to take care of it.