Monday Musings: Make The Effort

Hello all!

Today I spent yet another wonderful day at the beach with good friends. Since being  back from school, I’ve realized what good friends I have surrounding me, at home and back at college.

The other day I was enjoying the final rays of the sunset with my good friend Maddie when we sorta had a moment. We were standing on the rocks just standing next to each other, each wondering privately how amazing the beauty of the sun and earth was at that time in space. Me being the sentimental sod I am, I began to think about how much my friends mean to me and how they have always managed to brighten even the darkest of days, when all else had failed me.

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Yesterday I was invited to the beach again by one of my best friends in the world; I have never been so weird or laughed so much with another person. It is rare to find people that or on the same wavelength as you, but when you do find them, make sure you hold on to them.

Although she had invited me to a family barbecue where everyone was going to be speaking in Spanish (which I do not understand a word of), I still went. Why? Because she wanted me there.

Even when it means trying something new, or putting yourself in an uncomfortable position, you should always try to honor what is important to those you care about; these are the types of moments by which friendships are strengthened, and usually the types of moments from which you end up having the fondest memories.

Friendships and relationships are what sustain us in our times of need; they are what inspire us to become great. I want to become a better person so I can be a better friend to more people. This requires work.

I’m sure many of you have “friends” with whom you hang out “on the reg”, but your true friends are the ones who have stuck by your side through the highs and lows of this crazy ride we call life; they are the ones who have seen you cry, laugh, at your best, and at your worst; they are the ones who have opened up to you and welcomed you to share their own lives with you. The friendships that require the most work are the ones that end up being the most rewarding.

It’s hard to be a good friend. Trust me, I know. Sometimes when are lives are hectic and all we can seem to think about is our own problems, we forget to be there for those whom we care about. I can definitely say that I have not always been the perfect friend and neglected my friend-duties because I was preoccupied with my own interests. A lot of times I just didn’t realize that in order to be a good friend you need to be able to open up and make yourself vulnerable to others; it isn’t just a one-way street where you get to help people but not let them in on what may be bothering you. What I’ve learned though is that if you put in that effort to be a good friend, it actually ends up benefiting you in the long run.

So… what does it take to be a good friend?

Well, it means putting your friends first: making sacrifices, being honest, and working through the rough patches even when it could be easier to just give up.

It means you listen and care about their stories, dreams, plans, and worries. By doing so, you not only become a part of their lives, but they become an integral part of yours. If you make a conscious effort to be good to your friends and expect nothing in return, I can guarantee that your efforts will be paid off when you see a smile appear on your best friend’s face when they realize that they are loved and someone actually gives a shit about who they are.

If you make an effort to build strong friendships, you will have a support group that you can turn to in times of need. And trust me, that is way more important than you think it is. Good friends are key to a happy life: people who are there for you no matter what, and who will not judge you for being yourself.

Scrap anyone else who doesn’t see the wonder that you bring to this world, and make the effort for the ones who do.

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