The Gift of Friendship

I am not one to open up to people much.  It’s not that I like to withhold information but everyone has an individualistic pattern of how they deal with things.  Mine is to take in a bad or negative situation and stew on it, preferring not to talk about it or work it through and letting it affect me emotionally and cause me pain I am not aware of, until later.

But my friend Michael has, recently, been encouraging me to open up to him and to turn to him with, pretty much, any problems or issues I am having.  He wants to help me though I am reluctant to reach out.

However, this morning on my way to work, I did reach out.  There has been a situation, recently, that has really bugged me- more than I thought it would.  A person who calls me one of their closest and best friends did not give me a gift on my birthday and it has been bugging me.  I think I have been feeling confused about this situation because I am so generous when it comes to celebration.  I love everyone to feel happy and joyful and what better way than with gifts.  Even at book fairs, I am the one giving out items just to watch people smile.  I want to spread joy in any little way I can, even if it is just that- little.

But this friend who yearly buys a birthday lunch for me offered nothing this year and it hurts.

So, this morning, I reached out to my friend Michael- the man who words always fail to describe who he truly is and how much he means to me.  He is someone I look up to and respect, even at those times I don’t agree with him or I want to walk away.  He is very laid back and casual about things that upset me because he feels that most things are meaningless.  He always has his eye on the bigger picture and he has urged me to view the same but it is difficult, at times.  Life is hard.  Life is stressful.  Viewing these little injuries to your ego is hard to overcome.  And that’s what it is- a small injury to my ego.

That’s what Michael told me this morning after he asked me “What does a gift have to do with friendship?”  He alluded to the fact that a homeless beggar on the streets can still be a good friend to someone even though they have less.  They can be the best friend to someone while owning nothing at all.  Friendship comes from the heart, it does not come through “things.”

Then he told me not receiving a gift had more to do with my ego and that I should let it go.  Even though my birthday means so much to me and it is one of the two most important days of the year, it does not change the fact that my friend is loyal, genuine, and will “go to bat for me” every time.

So, I smiled because Michael is so smart.  Infuriating, at times, because he is so wise when you can’t see past your nose- but he was right and I’ve let it go.

Thank you, my friend, Michael.  I love you more than words can convey.

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