People long for the perfect friend. Someone who intimately shares every detail with you, has all the same interests as you, and will laugh at all your jokes. Someone who knows you inside and out, and would agree to go skydiving with you the second you ask.
But if I were to meet all of my closest and longest friends for the first time today, I would not choose them to be my friends. I wouldn’t believe that they could be, and I’d honestly believe that they’re pretty shallow, boring people. On the surface, people can be pretty darn dull and stereotypical.
It takes years to shred away the bravado and the ego of someone. To look beneath the surface qualities of the jock, the geek, or the artist and see the human that’s beneath the layers of masking tape and colourful wrapping. It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone you can shamelessly confide in, and they will respond without judgment or derision.
But these aren’t people we find – these are people we make. My friends? I still don’t tell them everything. Sometimes because I know they’ll choose not to listen, or because they’re not interested, or because I simply don’t want to tell them. Even over several years, they haven’t completely earned that right. However, I trust them a lot more than I would the average acquaintance.
If you have any really good friends, they have one quality that separates them from everyone else in our lives: resilience. More than just “time spent together,” a true friendship takes hardship. It falls down and picks itself back up, sometimes several times. It lasts through the hardest of circumstances and miraculously the friendship persists every time.
This hardship isn’t only expected in a true friendship, but required. When we see that our friends have something broken or wrong about them, it lets us realize how human and mortal they are. This is the part we admire and long for, the secret part that no one else gets to see.
The part that is not perfect.