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A friend of mine

April 3, 2011

I made a friend last summer. She’s shy sometimes and a little unsure of herself, and she’s mentioned she doesn’t have many friends. I didn’t either.

We met at the college, and since we were both struggling with the course, we spent plenty of time studying. It took months for us to talk about anything other than math, yet her company was still enjoyable. As the weeks passed, I saw her relax and begin to joke and smile. More time passed and we found ourselves talking about life, church, even relationships. But only a little. And it’s taken a lot of time to get this far. I don’t pressure, I follow her lead, I fill the spaces in the conversation sometimes.

A few years ago I didn’t let anyone in. The only friends I had were the ones who stuck around after I told them to go away, accused them of outrageous stories, and so on. Which was only one person. When I had some space around me I calmed down, but it was miserable being lonely all those years. It took a long time to make new friends.

While I don’t know my new friend’s story, I hear many of the same fears in her as I had before. She’s afraid to talk to people she doesn’t know, she doesn’t take compliments well, she seems hesitant to make important decisions. But she goes on solidly and does well. I know she desires friendship, perhaps closer friends than she has now. But it took me years to let anyone back in. It was a gradual process. If I want to help her I have to give her space, and let her feel comfortable to wander in closer on her own if she feels like it. It’s been great getting to know her.

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