They’re the ones that I want

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By: Katie Duffy <kduffy@hilite.org>

Some girlfriends and I went to see “The Jane Austen Book Club” a few weekends ago at the new Arts Cinema at Keystone at the Crossing. Having all been Austen fans prior to seeing the movie, we had high hopes for the film and were anything but disappointed.

Afterward, as we were leaving the theater, it was if we all had the same thought simultaneously: we were going to start our very own Austen book club.

We were so excited that we decided to plan the first meeting right in the middle of the parking lot (yes, maybe we’re a tad overly-enthusiastic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way). The next day the bookworm in me couldn’t wait to go out and purchase the first of the six Austen novels we were going to read: Emma.

Where am I going with this?

It was toward the middle of junior year when I realized how much I was beginning to gravitate toward people truly like myself. This, in a large part, had to do with the fact that I was beginning to have a firmer grasp of who “myself” really was.

Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to discover two amazing groups of people that uniquely epitomize many of the traits I now see within myself. This is not to say that we like all the same movies, shop at all the same stores, play the same sports or even partake in all the same activities on the weekends, but we do share the enjoyment of each other’s company, which to me, is more important than anything.

The way I see it, friendships have serve as an outlet of expression of the person that I’ve become, and I feel as if many could relate to me on this level. I’ve realized that I’m somewhat of an extroverted introvert, which works perfectly with the people I surround myself with. I can be loud and fun and goofy when I want to, but I can also be serious and pensive at times.

Being close with people that share the desire to discuss books, the future, religion, politics and other beliefs is extremely important, as is being close with people who can make me laugh for hours on end about nothing in particular. The coolest part about my friends is that they are capable of both.

Most importantly, I’ve realized how essential it is to befriend people that complement your personality. For me, “popularity” in its shallow context is a thing of the past. It pains me to say that I was ever concerned with something as petty as someone’s “social status”, but we’ve all been there (it’s called junior high).

I’m just grateful to have realized its insignificance and to be able to focus my attention on the people that will make me smile and make me grow as a person.

And as this year continues and merges with the next, we’re going to head off to enter the next chapter of our lives. This can best be described by that old, corny, proverbial song we were all taught in the first grade: “Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” And without sounding too much like a Hallmark card, I’d like to say how lucky I feel to have found out enough about myself in high school to have established friendships that I will always perceive as “golden”.

I’m not naïve enough to think that we’re all going to grow up and live next door to each other and have kids that will be best friends, or that our lives will be like one of the later scenes from “Boy Meets World,” but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the memories we make now, and by no means would it be farfetched to think that I will remain in touch with some of these incredible people.

At the end of the day, it seems so simple: quality of friendship surpasses quantity. Though they are numbered, I feel as if I benefit and grow in some way or another from all my closer friendships.

On the weekends, I know the people I call are the ones I really want to spend my time with, whether we’re attending a concert, going out to dinner, watching a movie or even holding a book club.

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