In 2015, I kept only one of my New Years Resolutions: to watch all 10 seasons of Friends.
I laughed a lot. Just a few episodes in, I understood the hype.
I cried a lot in 2015 because my life was not turning out the way I imagined it would. Then I’d turn on Friends with Jennafer, sigh at how ironically accurate the theme song described my current situation, and choke on my Coke Zero because I was laughing so hard at Joey almost “getting” Chandler with a power drill.
This show along with a wonderful Tim Keller podcast (I don’t get all of my wisdom from wildly popular television sitcoms) gave me great insight into what friendship actually looks like.
Friendship takes time and effort on both ends. Like everyone else, I don’t have an infinite amount of time, so I’m accepting that I can’t be close friends with everybody. Even having a close nit group of six seems overwhelming to me at this point in my life.
I have just a few close friends, and that’s wonderful because each of those friends are a gift from God and exactly what I need. Obviously, I’m God’s gift to them as well. Duh.
Friendship is selfless, but I’m actually very selfish. Shocking, I know.
I’ve struggled with being insecure in most of my friendships because I always feel like I’m more invested than the other person and that eventually the other person will realize I’m really not that cool and will leave me. Which ironically means I worry too much about what I’m going to get out of the friendship instead of what I can add to the friendship.
God calls me to be more like Jesus in every aspect of my life. Jesus laid down his life for his friends—even the ones who betrayed him. And by His Spirit working through me, I can invest my energy into being a friend who loves self-sacrificially instead wasting time being afraid all my friends will leave me.
In light of those revelations, some of my New Years Resolutions for 2016 are as follows:
1. When at a function that includes dancing, to dance with the same abandonment with which Phoebe runs. I admire how Phoebe doesn’t care about what anybody thinks of her.
2. When it comes to my passions, to not be ashamed to talk about them with the same excitement with which Ross talks about dinosaurs. (Ross is my least favorite friend and finding a redeeming quality in him was like Joey searching for the correct answers in Pyramid, but Ross loved paleontology and was not afraid to let everyone else know how much he loved it even if they all thought his day job was about as exciting as watching fossils fossilize.)
4. When it comes to social situations that are outside of my comfort zone, to show up and try, and when that fails, to provide a sarcastic comment that would make Chandler proud and add to the awkwardness of said situation.
5. When it comes to my dreams, to chase them with the same courage Rachel has when she leaves Barry and realizes she can be a hat even though her whole life everyone’s told her she’s a shoe. She’s brave to determine that she has to be herself and can’t base her life solely on the opinions of others.
6. When it comes to friendship, to love my friends with the same love Joey has for a meatball sandwich when he mistakes a car backfiring for a gunshot. Though I would never date him or want to be his partner on a game show, I would love to be his friend. Joey exemplifies great loyalty to his friends and always puts them first even at his own personal detriment. I want to be that kind of friend.
One thing I do not plan on doing this year is buying a pair of leather pants, but I do plan on writing more. I’m actually already a third of the way to beating my record for last year—a whole 2 posts. Watch out, world.
*Jennafer is the Rachel to my Fat Monica and the Joey to my Chandler.