Dear Cassie,

Growing up, I moved around a lot due to family problems so I never really had any friends. I lived with my mom in El Monte, CA until I was about 6 years old. Unfortunately, after kindergarten graduation, my mom and I were involved in a car accident, and it took her life instantly. Afterwards, I moved to Taiwan to be with my dad’s family, moved back to El Monte at age 9. I continued family hopping until I was 19. So, as you could imagine, friendships never came easy to me. Ever.

Being the new kid in grade school was never easy, especially if you were slightly overweight. You would get all kinds of names thrown at you, whether at a private or public school. Fatass. Loser. Loner. Fatsil. Fatty. Fat Bitch. The list goes on.

On the contrary, television shows ALWAYS made friendship look so fucking easy. Main characters had pre-existing friends before the first episode even aired. I was too young to know about scripts, directors, any of that stuff. I thought all shows had some sort of relevancy to our lives. How come the main characters always look so good? Why does everyone on the show always have friends … even if only a few? Why can’t I have any friends? What’s wrong with me?

As I grew older, I made peace with my past and stuck to the present. I was comfortable with myself and my personality; everything else was out of my control. I moved to South Orange County at 19, and have been a resident here for the last 9 years. This, I proudly say, is the longest I’ve stayed in any one area without moving to a completely different area code or country. It really feels good. Eventually, I started making some friends and it felt so good to be asked to hang out, party, get together, eat, get boba, etc. Life was good.

But, from all the friendships I’ve had, I made mistakes. Friends have made mistakes. The ones who mattered would hash things out with me, and I with them. I mean after all, we’re all human, and we learn from our mistakes, right? Mistakes don’t necessarily make us bad people, unless of course, you are unable to learn from them and repeat them over and over again. Friendships are formed out of trust, so what’s left of it, or what did it start out with if that was the missing ingredient from the get go?

One of the worst types of friendships I’ve come across, is one where you trust the other and talk about something that’s on your mind. Instead of just being there to talk you through your situation and make sure you’re okay, they make up stories and manipulate others to feel the same way they do without knowing all the facts. They think that because of a certain situation, you’re all of a sudden not happy and could be happier. Let’s be real – couldn’t we all be a little happier? If we had more money, more time, more power, more strength, if we had one more day with a loved one, less problems, more solutions, more fame, more publicity, more privacy, WHATEVER it may be – we could all use something that could make us a little happier, don’t you agree?

Now, this friendship is so twisted, to where there’s all this he said/she said bullshit, and if you do this, you’d be much better off. As friends, I feel that as much as you care about someone, the most you can do is to be there for them and allow them to make their own decisions. Their happiness shouldn’t be based around YOUR definition of happy. Maybe there are other factors to said situation that you know absolutely nothing about because it’s too personal. But for you to just walk away is not only discouraging, but a means that you’ve given up – which yes, people do a lot nowadays too. And, you’re giving up what, the fact that they’re not living up to your standards? Not good enough for you?

Just something to think about …

What kind of a friend are you? How do you define friendship?