A few people have asked me (offline, of course) what’s with my sudden need to better understand friendship. Why, they wonder, can’t I just “be friends” and not overthink it.
Reasonable. Completely rational. Utterly undoable.
A year ago, after suffering a near-death experience and what seems like months and months of recovery (some might say I’m still recovering), I made two life-altering decisions. First, recognizing that our steps are numbered, I decided I would find a way to make every step count. Second, I started a process of simplifying my life, of narrowing my vision, of shrinking my circle, hoping that doing so would bring my personal raison d’être into focus and allow me to truly make each step matter.
Sometime over the past six or seven weeks, I started to realize that the second half of that equation was not the answer, that I was, in fact, making things harder on myself. I realized that not only can I walk the narrow path and be salt and light to the world, but that I need to walk the narrow path and be salt and light to the world.
My “one thing,” as Curly Joe might put it, matters diddly squat if I don’t share it. Not a single step will count – not one – if I don’t take it in the service of others.
In coming to this conclusion, I made another decision. I decided to put myself out there. I decided to reverse the trend, to widen the circle so to speak.
You know. Make friends.
Turns out, I’m pretty good at making new friends. I apparently suck at whatever it is that comes next.