A Short List Of People Who Actually Matter

girls eating around each other in a circle
Katya Alagich

1. I thought he was just this sad guy who hung around the bar sometimes and never really spoke and should wash his hair more often. I liked his hat. I liked that he made murder jokes with me and I appreciated the fact that we have the same taste in beer and in denim jackets. We’re friends, I think. When do you actually know that you’ve gone from someone it’s not weird to say hi to on the street to actual friends? I would assume it’s when you start asking for advice and confiding, so if that’s the case we’re friends. But I just want him to be happy. And I think someday he will be.

2. I remember in 7th grade we got into a fight and she said to me, “You know what you did.” I actually didn’t and to this day, don’t. But I also know we got over it and she’s one of those people I can sit in silence with on my laptop and it’s not weird. We have philosophical conversations about the Kardashians and the same taste in wine. She’s smarter than me. She’s smarter than everyone. I feel like she’s one of those people who isn’t just a friend anymore, she’s my family.

3. I don’t know if things will ever be normal or okay again between us. And frankly, I don’t think I even really know what that means. Does anyone know how to go from being something to just being what you were before? Is that even possible? I don’t really like being around him now because I’ve become insanely comfortable in routine and in not feeling like my stomach is going to drop at any second. But I would be lying if I tried to feign that wasn’t a clear indication that somewhere, as much as I’ve tried my absolute best to deny it, he doesn’t matter.

4. Do you ever meet someone and just know at your core that they’re just…better than you? That’s him. I frequently hear/say, “Wow, he’s the most put together person I know,” and it’s honestly true. I kind of owe him for putting me back together during a year when I wasn’t sure that was possible. It’s not quite as dramatic as “I wouldn’t be alive if not for him” but I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now. Or happy. Or comfortable. Or functioning. And that’s kind of the same when you think about it.

5. I feel very protective of her. And it’s weird because, we aren’t anywhere near each other anymore or even actively involved in each other’s lives but like, I still feel like she should be asking my opinion about things. But obviously when you’re adults that’s not really how life works. That would be really bizarre if you think about it. A mid-twenty-something asking a late-twenty-something, “Should I date this person?” I realized the other day I don’t really know that much about her life anymore and it’s not exactly a sad feeling, it’s just sort of strange to go from seeing each other literally every day to only figuring out what her significant other’s name is because of Twitter.

6. A lot of the time I think they’re wrong and I really want to lay down the law. I want to list every reason they’re incorrect, powerpoint presentation exactly each misstep and mistake, really nail in exactly where and why and how and every possible reason why they are unequivocally wrong. But then I remember what it’s like to try and carve out a place for yourself. To really try and make something yours and build something for yourself. So as annoying as it is and as “OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS” as it can make me, it’s somehow endearing.

7. She’s likely (meaning: absolutely) one of the most perplexing people I’ve ever met, and even knowing something like, what kind of wine she prefers feels like being let in on a secret. But I really respect her opinions and she’s one of the few people I find completely original in a sea of everybody who just wears the same Madewell sweaters and all want to talk about Taylor Swift. I think she’s better than most of us. I don’t think she gives herself enough credit.

8. For most of my life I’ve had trouble making new friends. I’m difficult to get along with. I’m incredibly blunt. I don’t get my feelings hurt very often or easily so I have to remind myself that not everyone is made out of stone like me. But from the fist time I met her, when we jumped into an Uber to go back to my place after I picked her up from SeaTac, she’s made me feel like she gets me. I’ve never felt like I have to write out a giant explanation of “This Is Why I Am Like This I’m So Sorry” in order to feel understood. She just understands me. And that’s something I never expected to find on Twitter.

9. Most of my role models have always been people I didn’t actually know. Celebrities, politicians, women I saw in interviews but never actually met. Writers I put on a pedestal of “I’ll never be as good as them.” And for a long time, she was one of those writers. Hell, she still is. Whenever she writes something I’m literally taken aback at the way she puts stories together, the way she finds the perfect words to explain herself. It’s remarkable. But I can now say that one of the people I most look up to in the world is also one of my closest friends. Maybe that’s normal for some people, but it feels really special to me.

10. I don’t think he really wants anything to do with me anymore. At some point in our lives he went one way, and I detoured along another. But even though that might be the case and even though somehow our paths crossed again after literal years, I hope he knows he mattered. I hope he doesn’t think I just forgot about him. Because I would never want him to feel that. Forgotten.

11. 7 years ago I was in a relationship that was disappearing before my very eyes and I could just feel everything melting in a way that at 20 I didn’t really have the words to express. I was scared, I was lonely even though there was someone sleeping beside me almost every night. I didn’t know what to do with myself. And then this amazing, lovable, high strung, hurricane of a thing entered my life and I’ve never been the same. She’s quite literally the reason I get up every morning and the only thing in this world I think I really love unconditionally. And maybe that’s laughable or dumb but she made my world make sense when I wasn’t sure that was possible. And even if you find it kind of stupid, you have to admit it’s special. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Kendra Syrdal


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