We’re gonna dig a bit deeper into how the world shapes us into what we have become.
And so this one’s about friends, and the tremendous effect they have on our selves. And they do, don’t they? In the obvious way, of course, but even more so in another.
Cause there comes a time in every childhood when our friends become, to us, the most important thing in our lives; when we’re not exactly so thrilled to be hanging with Mom or Dad or our siblings on a Friday night anymore; when all the kids we grew up with begin thinking of themselves as adults, and start to see the others we grew up with no longer as just play-dates, but as actual dates (oh shit).
You know…when we essentially “grow up”.
And because of this our friends become far more important than family. Because it’s from our friends that we model our behavior. It’s our friends that shape our personalities, our likes, and even our way of speaking and doing.
They become an escape of sorts from the stresses and problems of home. They begin to define who we are, at a time when we have so much trouble defining ourselves.
And so we think our friends are everything, because everyone else at school thinks they’re everything.
The friends we have become, in many ways, the determination of our worth – the measure of our value, and the thing by which others judge us or label us.
And it sucks and is horrible. And our teenage years are messed up because of it.
But… it’s only possible because of something few realize: that the friends we have aren’t the ones that harm us the most (unless we’re total gang members or whatever).
It’s the friends we don’t have.
Think about it…
It’s these people – the ones we don’t know – that we think of when we go to bed, is it not?Then and still today – at the office, at the job, at the bars we frequent and the places we visit.
It isn’t our best friend that’s on our mind, but the dude we know or saw that has more, gets more, is more. It’s not the person we’ve turned to for years we think of, but the ones we wish we knew or knew us – the ones whose lives we wish we had.
And so we’re affected not just by the friends we have, but even more so by the friends we don’t have.
The popular kids in high school. The richer ones. The hotter ones. The kids with better grades, or a better wardrobe, or a cooler car.
When we’re young, it’s the fact that those people aren’t our friends that causes most our lameness. That we’re not good enough, cool enough, whatever.
In a way, that we aren’t them. A kind of jealousy for the lives of others, and a feeling that we aren’t enough; that we never will be.
And suddenly life sucks – cause their life, cause everyone’s life, is better it seems.
And life becomes nothing more than a comparison – to those who are not you.
And it stays with us for life, when we do nothing to change it.
Cause we spend the entirety of our teen years comparing our lives to others, hoping to be liked by others, wishing we were those others. And when we’re grown, nothing changes. Maybe it lessens a bit, but the underlying inadequacy remains – that we don’t have what others have, that we don’t do what others do, that we don’t live the life that others live.
And so in so many ways it’s these people – the people we don’t know – that drives our lives.
The friends we think we’re missing. The people we wish we were.
And it’s our tendency to compare our lives to those we see that causes so much of the heartache of our lives.