On Friendship…

As any outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) can attest, the camaraderie of enjoying the outdoors with good friends only enhances the pleasures derived from the experiences. Yes, catching a trophy fish or watching the sunrise over a frozen corn field is a great experience in and of itself. However, when those same things are done with close friends they are exponentially better.

Now, I’m not saying that enjoying solitude in the great outdoors from time to time is an unpleasant experience; quite the opposite in fact. Those moments where you can reflect on life in private are invaluable. However, this post is about friendship so I’m going to focus on that today.

I’ve always been of the mindset that a person doesn’t need an extreme number of friendships in life. The thing that I find to be much more important is the quality of the friendships that you do maintain. Personally, I would say that I have about 5 friends that I consider to be close relationships and 1 person who I consider to be my best friend. Now, every person has their own definition of what a best friend is. To me, it is the friend that you would do anything for, can tell anything to without being judged, and the friend whose company is always enjoyed to its fullest. Funnily enough, that friend for me, the person I am closest to, (i.e. my best friend) is the one who lives the furthest away from me.

When I first met my best friend, we were about 520 miles driving distance apart. How the heck did we meet you might ask. No, it wasn’t in some strange chat room or something like that. No, it was actually an online college class that brought us together. Now, I have taken a ton of online college courses before and would be hard-pressed to name you even one other person from any of those classes. The only one is another one of the 5 close friends I mentioned above who I happened to also meet in the same class as my best friend. Anyways, for me, I always just did my work in online classes with any interaction limited to class discussions. However, for some reason, I felt a push to get to know this one person better.

There was a class project that gave students the option to work with a partner. I would usually have just done it myself and had that be the end of it. However, in this case, I emailed my now best friend and asked her to work on this project with me. That is totally out of character for me, but there was just something about the little information I did have about her that told me I had to get to know this person better.

To make an extremely long story short, we spent the rest of the summer (it was a summer class) chatting online just about every night, usually for several hours. We just immediately hit it off. I don’t think we even talked about the project for the entire first week! So our friendship grew faster than anything I had ever experienced before and we became best friends.

Having been best friends with her for somewhere around nine months now, I can honestly say that I have learned more about what true friendship really means in that time than in the rest of my 23 years combined. The paths that led both of us to take the same online class from two different states is tough to fathom, but I do believe that we were meant to meet and have the special friendship that we do.

Having a few close friends instead of many distant ones is just the much better choice in my opinion. That way you can put the effort into the friendship that it takes for that friendship to last and be fulfilling for both people.

When you then spend time doing outdoor activities with those close friends, the amount of fun had by all only increases. There is a certain amount of giving each other a hard time about missing a shot or losing a big fish, but that is all part of that outdoors camaraderie that I mentioned before. So in the end, here is my advice. Work hard to maintain some close friendships and get out into the woods or to the lake with those friends. One day, you’ll be thankful that you did.


5 thoughts on “On Friendship…

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post! Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I love the story of how you met your best friends. It is a unique story and you would never think that such a close friendship could form through an online course. That is awesome! I also agree with you about the importance of the quality of a friendship. I too, would rather have one close friend that I know I can always count on and that is always there for me, as opposed to having a bunch of friends just to say I have them.

    • Thanks for reading and for following my blog! I never expected to gain such a close friendship from an online class either, but that just goes to show you that you never know where the next great thing in your life will come from.

  2. Brian this was such a nice post! I think it’s so great that you put yourself out there a little and look at what happened. I myself have had many encounters with long distance friendships and relationships, and it seems at this point I’m so used it to. It’s amazing the things the Internet and social media has allowed us to do. I remember when I was 13, I dated a guy that lived in NY. I was living in Massachusetts yet we ended up dating 3 years! We would stay up all night Instant Messaging each other and just getting to know one another. Even though we were just kids, our friendship was incredibly strong because of it. I also agree with what you say about having a few good friends. I consider myself to have 4 best friends and I could not love those people any more. I so much would rather have it that way than have a group of 20 or so people I don’t know as well. It’s definitely the way to go!

    • Nice to hear from you Samantha! Thanks for stopping by my blog.
      Since you have encounters with long distance friendships, let me ask you something.
      Did you find at all that you got closer to people that you got to know via IM or chatting because you were more comfortable saying things in that medium instead of say, in person?

      • To be honest, yes I did. Although that sometimes was a problem when there were face-to-face interactions. You can feel so close to someone saying things through the computer or texting, but everything changes in person. It’s definitely something I had to get more comfortable with (in person) after getting to know someone so greatly through online/text. It takes work, but of course it can be learned.

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