The following are few important lessons I learnt over the gone year – 2011 (see Part 1 here):
To be very frank (and you can call me weird), I didn’t know the meaning of a close friend until about early 2011. As far as I remember, until first semester, definition of a friend for me was somebody who shared similar interests, mutual respect, and trust. I remember objecting to Rama to call him names (in return of his such various favors) by saying “dude, I respect you!”. But I have learnt friendship was much more than that - sharing your deepest secrets, laughs and cries together, making fun of each other, having frequent fights but getting along soon after and more. Looking back at school life, I had one such friend; hundreds of acquaintances otherwise. You want the count, see your Facebook (and next sub-section). Somehow, there was loneliness in college, nobody to call a friend with its new definition, getting along was not so easy, something was obviously wrong.
I did an experiment once using WhatIsWrongWith.Me, but failed to get too many sample points to form a decent conclusion, only one of the 5 responses seemed honest which called me ‘a guy who is afraid to make friends actually close friends’ and having ‘very very bad dressing sense’ among other things. I failed to recognize who could it be from, until he told me himself months later. This and some other self-discovery related events initiated a feeling of self-remorse and burning need to correct these things.
To loosen up, I went out, apparently had lot of fun, made blunders - did things I would never imagine myself doing (not anywhere near ZNMD in scale though), made some better acquaintances (one such, who claims he has no friends only acquaintances - pretty close to my idea of friends now), and more. And as I discovered later, this led to more harm than gain - including loss of interest in things I was passionate about, growing carelessness, and even integrity of self. Anyhow, going over all these experiences, I did gain realistic perspective of relationships - all’s well that ends well.
Friends != Facebook Contacts
This new year’s eve, I sat down to review the list of friends (Damn FB, it has made it so tough to organize friends list with the introduction of timeline, why can’t they just show the list in alphabetical order? Or provide an option to sort friends list with various parameters?), and removed about 140 after checking whether we ever had a message exchange, or any other interactions by using “See Friendship” option. Now I have made it a point to accept requests only if I know the person or if they respond reasonably to my simple question - do we know each other?
Part 3 will be out soon. Criticism welcome on this and other posts.