Redefining Friendship / by Jasmine Tate

As I’ve grown older the definition of friendship has changed. I have generally been very careful with titles because of the responsibility and accountability that (should) come with them.

Some people have different categories of friendships such as work, church and school, but I’ve always thought that friends are people who are apart of your life in all aspects and fit multiple classes.

Throughout the years, I’ve always admired friendships that are now commonly classified as #SquadGoals. Those such as

·         Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda: Sex and the City

·         Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni: Girlfriends

·         Rose, Dorothy and Blanche: Golden Girls

In the past, I built a wall around friendships and had strict guidelines for those who earned the title. In instances when coworkers invited me out for drinks or inquired of my personal life I would often make excuses or change the conversation. I would think to myself “we’re coworkers not friends and that’s not your business.” It wasn’t until I moved to Mississippi for grad school that I began to see friendship differently mostly because of the relationships I built with individuals who are now special friends.

One morning during my daily devotion I was reminded of the friend we have in Jesus and reasoned that if we can be friends with Christ there should be no other barriers to friendship.

I once thought friends are people who are a constant part of your journey whether big or small no matter where it leads. People who are more concerned with your success and happiness than how it compares to theirs. Individuals who are genuinely able to be themselves around you whether good or bad without fear of judgement: those you can laugh or cry with, listen or advise, celebrate or mourn, diet or binge, splurge or save, agree or disagree. I’ve learned those things don’t come with friendship package.

Moving to California and being so far away from home has given me opportunities to reflect on the relationships I cherish the most. Many defend friendships that aren’t nurtured as regularly as others. Often when sayings like “we always pick up where we left off” are referenced.  What I have realized is that there are levels of friendship that vary during different stages of life but no limits to who can be classified as a friend. Although I have amazing friendships, I know that I blocked others along the way.

Last week at work we celebrated Thanksgiving with a “Friendsgiving” potluck, which allowed me to show gratitude to God for the amazing friends of my past and present who have added to my journey.

I’ve recognized that relationships I once admired on TV were an active part of my life, and my true vision of #SquadGoals includes Trent, Brent, Jasmine (yes me) and Jaslyn. I have my parents to thank for that, because my siblings have always been the best friends I could ask for. They have been much more. Aside from them, I’m truly grateful for all other friendships I’ve developed over the years at every level, short-term and long-term from those who I speak with on a weekly basis to those who I interact with once or twice a year. Don’t block friendships or miss an opportunity because everyone isn’t at the highest level; cherish those who are. Good friends make great memories! 

What is your definition of friendship and what comes with it? Share below.

XX,

Jasmine C. Tate