Empowerment Through Friendship

“Friendship is a critical part of growing, it’s an easy and hard process. Friends are there to help you at your worst, and celebrate you at your best. Your friends, which eventually become family, learn you in and out. We develop a strong bond and create a loving unbreakable team. As an only child, I value my friendships so deeply and place them on such a high pedestal. My best friends are the reason I am who I am and are where I am today; without them, I wouldn’t have become the person I am and I can say that wholeheartedly. They come into your life at the right time and for the right reasons. If someone says they’ve made it somewhere without friends, or they don’t care about having friends, they’re lying!” – Sharyce C.

“The beauty of friendship is choice – the liberty to choose a family you weren’t born into, but met somewhere along your journey. They are people who come into your life and help you reach your destination. They won’t change the trajectory of where you’re heading, they can’t remove the inevitable obstacles ahead, but they go and grow through life’s motions with you. A real friend is irreplaceable and a divine example of what unconditional love truly is.” – Maxine C.

“Friendships are special bonds that are mended through sharing interests, experiences, values, and so much more. However, there’s many aspects of having or gaining a true friendship to me. A good friendship to me is someone who reciprocates the same energy that I often give to others. This may include but is not limited to my support, loyalty, humor, advice, love, and more. A strong bond is important to me because it insures that I will always have someone to lean on during tough times and to share my life defining moments with. To cross paths with like minded souls, and to build friendships through your lifetime, is a transforming contribution to your self development. I am fortunate to experience long term and strong bonds with the ones that I call friends.” – Alexandra A.

“Life is based off of experiences you have, as well as moments you share with those you love. Friendship to me is being someone’s confidant, being loyal even when the relationship goes sour, and not agreeing just because you think that’s what he or she wants to hear. My grandmother always told me a real friend is someone who will put you in a position to make money, someone who will life you up and not bring you down, someone who, most importantly, is there for you when you don’t realize you need support. For me, my closest friends will always be my family. When two individuals that love each other come together, they create just that. Not just in male and female relationships but, friendship as well. True friendships can be just as precious as family. People say blood is thicker than water…but nothing is thicker than love.” – Adelle T.

“Friendships are an extended part of family that I can hand pick myself. Speaking from my own experience with friends, and dealing with multiple personalities, it can be tough. To me, a friendship is just like having a committed relationship, minus the sex. We grow together, we laugh and cry together, and we have disagreements together. It is sad to say, but people walk away from friendships quicker than walking away from a toxic relationship, which I am guilty of myself. But why? Because it is easier to let go then to face the problem head on. Friends are there to make you a better person and tell you things you may not want to hear but you need to hear. I walked away from some friendships in the past for reasons I can’t even remember, but I know most of it was pride. Although I lost a lot of friends, I wouldn’t change my journey for the world. As my relationship with God strengthened, I realized he placed people in my life for a reason. Some people are meant to serve their purpose and go. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. Others, will stay for a life time. The friendships that are meant to stay for a life time, hold on to, because it is hard to find a genuine friend nowadays. 

As I continue to grow, pointless relationships seems to no longer matter. Which leads to the reason why I keep my circle small. I personally don’t allow certain people around me because I am not sure what their intentions are. My main focus is my energy and great vibes. I tend to observe a person to see if they genuinely care or if they’re trying to use me. The more I meet people and grow with my friends, the more I realize who is really there for me when I need them the most. A friend will support you, gas you, encourage you, and teach you. So, what do I look for in a friend you may ask? I look for a wise, positive, and ambitious person. Friendships can take over the world, and build an empire! Stay true to yourself, check on your friends, give love, and hold on tight to a good friend when you find them.” – Tenille

“I remember how nervous I was the day that I stepped foot on my college campus to start freshman year. There were so many questions flooding my mind…’how will I survive four years? how am I going to make any friends? I don’t know anyone here’. Naturally, I felt too overwhelmed to think of any answers, and tried to remain focused on the orientation day ahead. After settling into my dorm room, I decided to step out for a quick bite before the introduction activities began. As I walked into a packed elevator, I noticed a girl standing to the right with a huge smile plastered across her face. Probably trying to lighten the awkwardness as the elevator went down, she broke the silence with an extremely lame joke. In fact, besides herself, I was the only person who found the situation extremely entertaining and broke into laughter as others looked at us like there was something gravely wrong with us. Alison has been my best friend since the day we shared that moment eight years ago.

While hitting it off right from the moment we met definitely set the tone for our friendship, there is so much more that I have gained by having Alison by my side all these years. When things were good, we would walk to the nearest Rita’s Water Ice and celebrate over our colorful gelatos. When our lives hit rock bottom, we would still get ice cream, but accompany it with a sappy movie and a good old crying session. More importantly, we faced it all together. If there is one friend whom I’ve found consistently standing by my side during all of the defining moments, it has been Alison. Her kindness is contagious; she goes to the ends of the world to support the people she loves, and it makes you want to become a person worthy of her love and warmth.

In my eyes, this is what defines empowerment through friendship. To lift up the people you love, encourage them to stay true to themselves, and to give them wings and watch them soar. Friendship comes in many different forms, but the underlying value should always be empowerment. After all, friends are the family that you get to choose. Today as I write this, I realize that I could go on about my best friend with no end in sight, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that your story has an Alison of its own.” – Shalini T.

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