It’s 1 AM. You’re belting out the High School Musical soundtrack and you don’t care who’s listening. Your roommate is dabbing at those daring enough to peak through your first-floor window. Your neighbor strides in without knocking and joins the sing-along effortlessly. Every one of you is sober right now.
It’s hard to achieve, I know… but you can make a fool of yourself and not care what people have to say about it… without the influence of alcohol. That is, if you’ve found the right people.
If you’ve found the right people, you can ugly cry in front of them. You can laugh until you snort. You can reveal embarrassing details about yourself, like a certain High School Musical fangirl or Justin Beiber addict within you. You can be your silliest self and serious self at the same time – you do not have to compromise one over the other. But most importantly, you can do all of these things without fear of judgment.
The way I see it, the stages of human interaction pass by like snapchat filters. At first, there’s the flower crown filter. Yes, this friendship has no conditions. No, I do not come with baggage. I am one glamorous human being, and you’d be lucky to be my friend. Then you select the black-and-white filter. Editing out any red blotch on your cheek, you are the essence of sophistication. Sure, you’re still presenting yourself in a certain way, but at least you’re not glamourizing yourself to the flower-crown extent.
Then comes the dog-ears filter. You’ve let a few jokes slip through the cracks. You’ve chuckled at inappropriate moments. They realize that you are not the perfectly poised human being that others believe you to be, and yes, you do have a rather dark sense of humor, and yes, you laugh a bit too long at jokes.
But it’s when you stop using the filters – that’s when you’ve reached the full stage of friendship. Sure, you’ve got a few pimples sticking out, and yes, your hair is a bit disheveled – but so what? You don’t need the filters to add anything to the picture – for the ones who use their eyes, these things will already be there.
And that was a painfully long metaphor, I’ll admit! But what I’m trying to say is, you know you’ve found your people when you’ve surpassed any kind of editing your personality. Or better yet – you skip the filters altogether because you know that these are your people from the get-go!
You realize that you do not have to conceal or edit yourself. You do not have to create your best self. It was already there – and it is your friends’ job to bring it out of you.
Think about the people in your life right now. Past and present friends; classmates, workmates; friends of friends; potential friends.
What have they contributed to your life? How have they made your time here better? Have they taught you anything about yourself? Have they inspired you in any way? Do they bring out the best in you? Or worst? Do they help you grow – or do they push back your personality? What purpose have they served in your life?
Unlike snapchat, you shouldn’t feel the need to sprinkle your personality with fairy dust in order to be liked. True friends will make you feel like that fairy dust already runs through your veins.
They will help you learn that the person you always wanted to be – the person you are with them – already exists. And that’s something worth holding on to. And if you don’t have it, it’s worth looking for.