A Friend In Need

10 Mar

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to do the right thing. When you’re young, everything seems so black and white; it’s clear what things are good and what are bad, what things are right and what things are wrong. It’s hard to make grown-up decisions not knowing the outcome of them. If there was some kind of guarantee that things would turn out OK in the end, then it would make things so much easier. Knowing the result at the beginning would be so handy. It wouldn’t ever  be a struggle to decide the important things.

That’s life, though; you take risks without being sure that you’re doing the best thing for you. You just have to trust that it’s right, and hope for the best.

When it comes to being a friend, and giving advice, it gets even more confusing. You want to encourage your friends to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. You want them to be happy, but at what expense? At letting them do something you know isn’t good? It is their life, after all; it’s not yours. Their decisions don’t have nearly the effect on your life that it will for them. Ultimately you do want the best for them – and that means happiness. But it’s difficult to sit back and watch a potentially bad decision unfold. When you think someone is making a mistake, how can you point it out without ruining the friendship? Where is the line between being a good friend and being selfish? The line between wanting the best for a friend and wanting your own way? You want to be a good friend, but at the risk of their happiness? What’s better – a happy friend or an honest one?

It’s been a difficult week. I’m not ready to deal with adult decisions this week at all, but I’m having to. I struggle with trying to be a good friend. I think I am most of the time, but I really worry that I sometimes overstep my boundaries and cross into that over-opinionated zone. I know that my life is different than my friends; they make different decisions and live for themselves. When they want my opinion, I tell them honestly what I think. I have to check myself, though, to make sure I’m not saying something out of selfishness. I don’t think I am, but then again this is my perception. I really, honestly think I’m doing the right thing.

I heard something once that said, “Everything will turn out OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” Sometimes I have a really hard time remembering that, or even believing that it’s true. It’s impossible to know what will happen as a result of decisions, but having that roadmap would make life so much easier. Granted, you wouldn’t have nearly so many surprises, but sometimes I think that would be nice. I make decisions for the future, but live so much in the present moment, that sometimes it’s difficult to see how one will turn into the other.

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