Friday, July 31, 2015

We Do Friendship Different

Dia and I as babies.
Hello everyone! Today is the last day of our July Everyday Geek Challenge. Don't forget to stop by Dia's blog for her post.

I've been looking forward to writing this post since the start of the challenge. It's actually something I've wanted to write about long before the challenge, but never put together.

You see, Dia and I are best friends (as if we haven't stated that enough already).

And we have all the markings of best friends. We go buy coffee together. We split huge portions of mall Japanese food. We dress up together. We do weird things together, like Dia plucking my eyebrows. We watch Netflix together. We giggle a lot, and usually end up walking into things.

But--when it comes down to it--we do friendship different.

And the only way I can describe it is that our friendship has hit a deeper level. Honestly, we treat it a lot like most people treat romantic relationships rather than friendships.

And the difference lies in how we deal with the not-nice side of loving people: the fights, the ruts, and the simple feeling of being ticked off.

For pretty much the first 8 months of 2014, Dia and I were in a fight. On both sides there were a lot of annoyances...some were petty, some were big. But bit by bit, we allowed them to grow and fester until we reached the point of perpetual-ticked-off-edness. We thought the problem was time apart, but time together felt almost forced. When we checked in to chat, both of us were short. There was a film between us, and no matter what, we couldn't fake it and pretend to not see it.

Finally, it culminated in a summer of not talking. No big blow up fight (well, not right away...) but no messages, no texts, no calls, from either side. We were both too proud to give in.

Eventually, in the beginning of last August, I called Dia. I had been planning this call for a week, and had even made the point to call her on my phone rather than skype, to catch her off guard. I wanted the upper hand (yes, I am sick).

And that's when we fought. We yelled at each other about all the times the other had been hurtful, had not showed up, had failed to understand. We yelled about misunderstood comments and the feeling of not being wanted.

And at the end of the call, I said, "what do you want to do?" And Dia said, "Let's cool off. And in a week, we'll skype and just talk about it."

And that's what we did. Exactly a week later, we sat down on skype and just talked. We explained where we had actually been hurt. We apologized. We brought up things the other had said in the heat of the fight for clarification. And we talked about what had made us grow apart, and how to fix it.

Since then, Dia and I have been so much better. We've had our arguments and certainly our ruts, but we're better at dealing with them now. And we've both gotten better about just admitting when we're mad (because it's a lot better than festering for 6 months!).

And here's the part I'm most proud of: I was retelling this story to a mutual friend, in an attempt to be helpful, and she was blown away by the fact that we were fighting. She had seen us in the midst of it, and even though she's a close friend to both of us, had never realized how bad things were between us.

And that's because even in the midst of it...we were best friends. We were sisters. Yes, we couldn't stand each other's presence for more than five minutes. But we still would have picked each other up on the side of the road at 2am if need be.

One of the things that was a huge underlying issue with me in our Big Fight was not feeling wanted. I was worried that I wasn't Dia's first choice, had been replaced, or wasn't needed. That my presence wasn't missed. I know a huge reason we've been able to deal with fights since then better is because we've established that that's not true at all! Both of us need each other, and want each other, and will always try our best to keep the other around. And it's only with that trust that these ups and downs are possible.

Dia and I say that we had to 'grow up' our friendship. Here are some things we've talked about, found, and believe in our friendship:

+ Family isn't limited by blood. And 'best friend' describes a much deeper tie than any BFF necklace could ever comprehend.

+ That being said, your friends being your family takes more work, and has more ups and downs. But while there are lower lows, there are also higher highs. And it's worth it. Considering someone to be your sister means you love them even when you don't like them. It means you show up regardless, no ifs ands or buts.

+ You don't need to see each other all the time to maintain a friendship. Dia and I live pretty close, but have drastically busy and opposite schedules. We have long stretches without seeing each other, but that distance never leads to problems when we're together.

+ That being said, don't be a hermit. Dia and I both have hermit tendencies, and really have to force ourselves to do something...but we always are glad we did! Step out of your self for your friends.

+ To outsiders, there is never a problem. It's like the 'don't fight in front of the kids' thing. Be careful who you let know about your little tiffs.

+ Always be honest. Don't shy away from hard conversations or awkward questions or big fights. Playing guessing games is horrible.

+ Swallow pride, let things go, and forgive a lot.

+ The best thing you can do is just to let that person know you want them. I personally find it so easy to be self-absorbed. My schedule, my job, my skating, my school, my room to clean, my problem to address. Step outside of yourself. Listen to the other person. Stay up later than you wanted to so you can catch up over skype. Don't finish your to-do list perfectly so you can hang out. Text them on lunch hour just to find out what their day is like. Let them know that you want them in their lives. People give so much more when they know they're wanted/needed/loved.

Now, in full disclosure: Dia and I have been in a bit of a rut lately. But, it's not like last summer's. And we're working through it so much better than we would have two years ago. I love you Sister Dearest. Thanks so much for putting up with me.

Us this May.
Since we don't have a vlog for tomorrow, this is the last day of our challenge! Thanks for reading through, and my sincerest apologies to you guys (and Dia!) for my lack of participation lately. 

Just a heads up: If you enjoyed our Character Vlog Arguments, (Firefly, LotR), then look forward to a vlog project between the two of us in the near future. And I can guarantee you (whether that be in a month, a year, or five years) that we will joint-post again! In the mean time, stay up to date with Dia on her blog, facebook, tumblr, and twitter. And as always, don't forget to join me on tumblr. Thanks for reading!

Happy Thursday! xoxo

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