One of my favorite movies is TOY STORY. There are plenty of nostalgic reasons relating to the simplicity and comfort of childhood, but there’s something else I’ve always liked about TOY STORY–the film centers around Andy’s relationship with Woody evolving. When a new, cooler Buzz Lightyear shows up on the scene, Woody grows concerned that his friendship with Andy is changing and possibly ending completely. And while being “replaced” by something newer and better is a very real fear, my read on the film by the end is much different as I grow older. Friendships grow and change as time passes, and that’s okay. My middle school friends weren’t my high school friends. College brought so many new friendships. Some lasted. Some didn’t. And while sometimes it’s painful to recognize change, it’s necessary.
“You’re gonna see it’s our destiny”
I’ve been living in Los Angeles for almost four years. The full realization of that will be another post but for now, I reflect on the evolution of my views of friendship during that time. When I first got to Los Angeles, I had one friend in town. Well, a couple others but only one I spent consistent time with during that first year until he moved away. Basically, I left a lot of friendships behind when I changed my life. There were texts and emails, but for the most part, I was starting from scratch. And for someone who fights the temptation every single day to cancel her Facebook account, this is a big deal.
Recently, I saw my first friend that I made in LA. His name is Ryan and he’s fantastic. I met him and Des at PaleyFest almost 4 years ago. There are 100 different ways this one moment changed the trajectory of my life, but for now, I’ll just say that when I saw Ryan the other day at another event, I was reminded of something I’ve learned about friendship since I arrived in LA.
When I don’t believe in myself, they believe in me.
Ryan introduced me to someone at the event, mentioning my long-time passion project: theTVsisters.com. Recently, I’ve been frustrated with the site because it’s gone pretty dormant lately as I’ve focused on other projects. But even when it’s something I’m not proud of mentioning to people, Ryan believed in it enough to mention it. He probably doesn’t even remember but it meant a lot to me.
2015 was a pretty fun year. I started freelancing for a few different websites and like any writer, I was pretty nervous putting my words out there. But again, my friends pulled through. They shared my articles. They sent me texts. They encouraged me. They believed even when I didn’t.
I believe in you.
Many of my friends have some sort of creative endeavor. They write on TV shows. They make documentaries. They represent clients. This is just the tip of the iceberg because my friends are so talented. I’m proud of them all for each stride they make and I make a concerted effort to be supportive. Why? Because they’ve done it for me. So when I promote their event or RT that account they run, it’s to remind them that I believe in them, even if they don’t believe in themselves at the moment.
As time goes on, I notice that the same people keep popping up. There are people I don’t speak to for months, then I think of them and send a random text or message. There are people who with the passage of time I only appreciate more. I have four friends from middle school that I still make an effort to see when we’re in the same city. Because as time goes on it’s nice to look at those consistent people in your life.
“Just remember what your old pal said: you’ve got a friend in me.”
When I look back on 2016 at the end of the year I want the overarching theme to be friendship. I want to remember the new friends I’ve made and consider what changed to possibly grow apart from other friends. Because even though Facebook may say I have 500+ friends, that’s not possible. So instead of focusing on quantity, I’ll focus on quality this year. Because each of my friends really deserves it.
A photo posted by Heather (@nerdheather) on