“I have this dream of being best friends with everyone in the world. I’ve also always been a proponent of using the word “love” more in everyday life. People in general are just a little more scared to use it I guess.”
Those words were from one of the first e-mails exchanged with someone who’s now one of the best friends I’ve ever had. We were just getting to know each other at the time, and he surprised me with saying exactly what I try to live by: tell everyone that means something to you just how much they do. It’s not always easy, though. These days, you need to be cool. Develop a thick skin. Hide your emotions, or the world will eat you up. I’ve always been told I’m more sensitive, or feel much deeper than most. I remember exes telling me to stop crying so much, friends telling me not to invest my heart so much, people telling me that if I didn’t get so emotionally attached, I’d save myself a lot of pain. I was talking to my friend about this again recently—I suppose we’d been talking about our resolutions and hopes for the year ahead, and in talking about my goal of filling 2011 with passion, it brought me back to the topic we’d discussed so early on: going all in. Being as open, authentic, and deep as possible; putting hearts not only on sleeves, but on lapels, buttonholes and pockets, too. Sharing absolutely everything you are without reserve, without fear of judgment. I’ve been told more than once I’m a sort of “all or nothing” type person, when it comes to friendships or relationships. I either connect deeply, or not at all. When the other person is on the same page, willing to look beneath the surface and truly see beyond the realm of what the world may consider “normal”, that connection with another human being can be magical. The Irish have a phrase for “soul friend” I enjoy; a mutual bond built on truly knowing each other’s hearts. No wonder we became such fast friends. I wish it weren’t such a rarity.
Less than a year ago, some of the people I now hold dearest hadn’t yet manifested in my life. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without them. I’d like to think I went all in with them, too—and if you’ve been reading for a while, I tend to do the same thing here. Put absolutely everything out there because that way, the ones who stick around know your authentic self. I thrive on true interpersonal connection—not simply having people around all the time, but having a select few with whom you can share the very depths of your soul. I think as we grow up, we tend to believe what we see all around us—that quantity is better than quality: more money, social interactions, more followers, and more Facebook friends equates to a more ‘successful’ life. We skip the quality in favour of accumulating more quantitatively because that’s what’s normal in our formative adult years, and it leads to a perpetual cycle of chasing that which we believe we lack, and never feeling truly fulfilled. We’ll send text messages rather than picking up the phone; choosing lifeless and ambiguous messages of 140 characters over the real emotion of someone’s voice. We’ll spend hours online rather than visiting a relative, learning someone’s story or creating something meaningful, or experiencing the world. We’ll chat with a friend about work, relationships, or the latest episode of The Bachelor, but we won’t talk about how grateful we are simply that they exist in our lives. And we won’t use the technology created to make us feel more connected to actually… connect. As a group of last year’s troubadours so aptly put it, we are the Battery Human.
I feel so passionately about making the most of the time we’re given, knowing it could all be taken away tomorrow. So, at the risk of defying social normalcies and at the risk of having it trampled, I put my heart out openly to anyone who enters my life, and give it freely to those who stay. It’s taken a beating over the years, and it’s probably got a few more battle scars to come, but at least, at the end of it all, I can say I lived without reserve. I used up all the love I had and spread it to everyone who mattered. Because what good is having amazing people in your life if you never let them know how you feel? If your best friend, or a beloved relative were to be gone tomorrow, if they’ve had any sort of impact on your life at all, if they’ve ever been there for you through something tough, or if they’ve ever encouraged to believe in yourself or follow a dream… the best way to say thank you is to just be transparent. Pour your heart out to your loved ones and let them know how much they mean. Someone did this for me, recently, and it left me speechless; every gratitude I couldn’t voice in words bundling together to launch in streams from my eyes instead. A dear Internet friend I’ve yet to meet in person did it again today. Words truly cannot do justice to the feeling of warmth and appreciation I felt in reading these posts. People don’t do that, these days; they don’t tell each other they’re loved. People keep their hearts in cages locked tightly by the fear of what other people may think. And to see someone offer such displays of friendship and emotion felt incredible, and I was left with a sense of deep gratitude, of worth, of true blessing, and a sense that I want absolutely everyone I care about to feel the very same way. They say that to the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world. If there’s anyone like that in your life, why not take a moment to tell them?
I hope my friend continues his dream of being best friends with everyone in the world. If you have a friend, why not give them the very best you can? I hope he continues to use the word “love” more in everyday life, too. I’m going to try to do the same. People may be scared to use it, but I don’t think anybody in the world wouldn’t appreciate feeling… appreciated.
Ah dear Emily,
This is definitely an amazing post to read because I share your views. I always try to be there for my friends and give my all because there is no other way to be true friends. I was never the kind of personal who enjoyed superficial friendships probably because I am INFJ I suppose. I recall a story called “True Friends” from 101 Zen Stories which I shall share.
A long time ago in China there were two friends, one who played the harp skilfully and one who listen skillfully.
When the one played or sang about a mountain, the other would say: “I can see the mountain before us.”
When the one played about water, the listener would exclaim: “Here is the running stream!”
But the listener fell sick and died. The first friend cut the strings of his harp and never played again. Since that time the cutting of harp strings has always been a sign of intimate friendship.”
Time is an illusion. There are only so many moments we have with true friends and it is important that we treasure each and every one of these moments. I am glad you are willing to share so openly your life and views with us. It is a great gift which we should treasure deeply. True friends are hard to come by and life is short. The way you give so openly and without reserve so that you have little regrets is exactly the same philosophy and views I expressed in my article on love and appreciation haha!
Thank you for sharing your life, love and passion with us! 🙂
Irving the Vizier
And thank you for your kind words! True friends are very hard to come by so I really think when we’re lucky enough to find one, we should absolutely treasure the time we have with them 🙂 Thank you as always fellow INFJ!
So, I just want to thank YOU for writing inspiring things that brighten my day. I can really relate to you, and I’m very sensitive like you as well. I’ve enjoyed following your blog, and it seems like you are a friend (even if only a blog friend). Thanks for being amazing Emily Jane!
Awww, I’m so glad we started reading each other’s blogs last year – it’s definitely made the Internet seem a much more friendly place 🙂 Thank you!
I love, love, LOVE this! I’m really working on gratitude and letting those important friends know how much I truly care about them before I leave for Prague. Except, I hate emotions and doing so means being emotional! Ahhh! 🙂
Oh, but they’ll absolutely cherish the fact that you took the time to tell them what they mean to you! I’m SO excited for your upcoming journey… 🙂
This post is one of the main reasons why I keep coming back. You’re open, honest, and speak (and LIVE) from the heart. Kudos to you, Emily. I wish more people in this world were just like you.
Awww, you are too sweet!! ❤
ahhh bravo em. this was so sweet and what i love about you is how you make the biggest and best ideas seem so simple to do, thats what is so inspiring about your posts! your friend sounds like a very wise person and i’m not surprised you get along with t he same sort of outlook. just like the lady above said more people should be like you!
Aw thank you so much. I am very lucky to have people like you in my life!
Love & hugs Emily. =D
To you too Pham! 😀
Lovely reminder, girl. Thank you for making my day, this has inspired me to drop my friends a little note today “just because”.
Oh yay!! 🙂 Let me know how it went!
What an amazing post. I actually say “I love you” a lot when saying goodbye to friends. I actually had an ex get jealous because he thought that it was weird that I would say that to guy friends as well. As if I can’t love my guy friends just as much as my girl friends. So silly.
That is silly. I’ve always wanted to be able to say “I love you” to guy friends as well as girl friends but for the ‘jealous ex’ reason I’ve always abstained. I do tell them how awesome they are though and in emails that they “are loved” 🙂
You are well on your way to being best friends with everyone in the world. You have a huge following on WordPress, and I suspect an equally huge following in life. All because you inspire people. It’s a real gift.
Oh, thank you for such kind words! I wouldn’t say a huge following by any means at all, and in life, I would have to say I am just blessed with a small handful of incredible souls I couldn’t imagine life without – and that’s worth more than anything 🙂
What a WONDERFUL dream to have–to be best friends with everyone in the world. Love . Ah love. Sometimes I feel almost hippie with how much I love the idea of spreading love around, but honestly love makes the world go round (yikes, I do sound hippie!), but really, we do need to pour our hearts out sometimes….Sometimes.
All the love in the world for this post.
After the …. I meant to put All the time. I think I just had the word sometimes on my mind–sorry about that. Ha
Haha, not to worry! Love definitely SHOULD make the world go round… and all we can do as individuals is do our best to ensure we’re giving it as much fuel as possible 🙂
Try as I may, I can’t befriend every single person out there because not everyone is willing to reciprocate the type of friendship I’m looking for. 😉
For me, it’s more of just be nice to everyone out there. But to the friends, I hold ’em near and dear, and I let them know just how much they mean to me.
And that’s all you can do really. Let those you care about know how much they mean, and be as nice as possible to everyone else. You’re right, not everyone wants that type of friendship – but it doesn’t hurt anyone to be nice 🙂
I think my natural urge or tendency is to put up walls and push people away, but you are so right. You have to keep putting yourself out there. Sometimes I wish I was less emotional. I wish that I didn’t fall so hard. On Saturday, I sat in a coffee shop, darn near sobbing – while the person across the table displayed no emotions whatsoever. Part of me was jealous of him, but mostly, I am sad for him. And for others that are like that. Yes, I feel things, and it means getting hurt, etc, but it is all worth it because it helps me make connections with people. It shows I still have the capacity to love. My heart is scarred and bruised, but I can still love. And that is a pretty amazing thing!
It’s an incredible thing! I used to wish I didn’t fall so hard, too, because it was so heartbreaking when the other person didn’t reciprocate. But looking back, I’d much rather I lived with my whole heart out there and felt the absolute depths of friendship and love, than got through it with less heartbreak, but more superficial connections.
You are so right on with this. And this post hits me so close to home. Lately I’ve been realizing how opposite of this I am. I hold everybody at arm’s length. I’m afraid to let people get to close, both emotionally and, I’m learning, physically. I feel weird if people who I care about stand too close to me, look too deeply into my eyes. It makes me squirm. It makes me say weird things and lose coherence in my sentences. My eyes freak out and try to look anywhere but theirs. As long as you’re standing a couple feet away from me, I can look into your eyes all day. But if you get to close, I freak out. And this is teaching me about how I am on the inside too. I have plenty of close friends, but still…I don’t like letting them get too close. This is something I want to work on, too. Letting people in. Letting my guard down. I keep it up because I feel this way, I’ll never get hurt. I think it’s protection. But it’s not–it’s more like self imprisonment. You know? Anyway…thank you for this! ❤
It’s commonly seen as a protection mechanism, I think – keeping a distance in order to keep safe from hurt and heartache. But it TOTALLY is self-imprisonment – denying yourself from the potential of really amazing connections with other people’s just to avoid potential short-term pain. I’m happy to see that you’re wanting to work on it 🙂
Oh for sure. And the funny thing is, I feel things and care about others very deeply. I just don’t like to let people see it. Which is super backwards! Hehe.
I totally agree. I also think people need to be more trusting that people do have good intentions. Sometimes, even if it seems a bit unlikely, we should give people the benefit of the doubt.
That’s the problem, I think – people don’t EXPECT people to be nice. I remember talking to one of my close male friends, and he was saying how a male friend of his thought it was just wrong that we were friends, that men and women simply shouldn’t be friends because there “HAD” to be other motives and hidden agendas. I hate that it’s so common for people to think that there’s some other motive for being nice and really wanting to get to know people other than simply wanting to have a connection with another human being.
I swear, there are certain posts that you write that speak to my heart right at the perfect time. Being completely honest with your emotions is so completely scary, but so completely worth it!!!
Aw that makes me happy to hear! And it is 100% worth it 🙂
no kidding…your post prompted me to express all my feelings to a certain guy. That only produced a very good outcome!!! I should wear my heart on my sleeve more often!
I’ve been on the love boat for a few years now, and I LOVE this post. Hop aboard, there’s room for everyone. 🙂
Huge love and big hugs to you, Emily. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Thanks for the welcome! 😀 Haha, so glad to see other passengers 🙂
“We skip the quality in favour of accumulating more quantitatively because that’s what’s normal.” I completely agree. Though I (shh) love me some texts because I love to multitask, even if we’re talking in person, and the phone totaaaaaaaaaally kills me now.
That’s why I had to put it on my list!! I have to re-learn to talk on the phone because I’ve become so used to texting and talking on the Internet that it’s almost uncomfortable to have an old fashioned phone call. Luckily I have a buddy willing to keep me on track with that and we’ll have long phone calls every few weeks to give me practice 🙂
It’s funny because there are times when I get so incredibly emotional over some issues, and others I’m just a machine and can’t even try to summon any tears. I’ve cried once, and only a few tears, over my father. Once. I am so the opposite of someone who wears her heart on her sleeve, but I wish I could be better at it. Sometimes, I wonder why I’m so out-of-touch of my emotions. I envy you a lot, Emily. I wish I was better at showing my emotions and feelings.
It’s not a bad thing – whether or not you show them on the surface doesn’t mean they’re not there 🙂 I’ve had countless talks with a good friend of mine who rarely shows emotion at anything at all, and I ask him why – why not allow yourself to get excited about good things, share with your friends how much you appreciate them, cry when you’re sad – he just says he’s developed this coping mechanism to operate “closer to the middle” of the emotional spectrum because nothing good comes from being too extreme. I disagree wholeheartedly. I think allowing yourself to feel to your capacity is a good way of living life to the fullest, even if it does get your heart bruised along the way. It’s only temporary. They’re only battlescars – a testament to a fight for a full life 🙂
“We skip the quality in favour of accumulating more quantitatively because that’s what’s normal.”
I feel like you just had an einstein moment.
Awww, you made my day!! Thank you! 😀
You too! You have an interesting blog.
What a fantastic post! So well written & it really resonated with me. I’m with you on this- I’ve often been told that I can be too emotional, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. To be empathetic to the people around you and to truly feel everything to that extent is just another part of who I am!
I have a feeling we’d make great RL friends because of it 🙂
This is a beautiful post, Emily…wondering if you’re a Cancer like I am! I, too, wear my heart on my sleeve (and sometimes get hurt because of it).
I don’t have a lot of close friends, but those who are close are dear to me! Quality is much more important to me than quantity!
Actually I am a Gemini! I’ve not read too much into star signs but it definitely could be interesting 🙂 Quality IS so much better than quantity – I think that’s something we learn more and more as we grow up 🙂
You’re a gemini? No wonder I am always turning to you to talk about all the metaphysical ideas (eg. science fiction, sincerity, voice, honesty, etc.) – I’m also a gemini!
So I just wrote a kinda long comment and my internet went offline.
Anyway, I just want to say that I agree. And I love this post. I may not be to expressive to my RL friends but I can say that I’m the just-a-text-away kind of friend. When they need me, I’m there. I even skip work for them sometimes. Well, depending on how big their problems are but still… Haha.
I swear, my first comment was better. :p
lol, I hate hate hate when that happens!! I would definitely be there for a friend in a heartbeat too or answer a call at 3am. I guess it comes back to “treat others how you would like to be treated” 🙂
I’m starting to think that spreading love is a huge overarching theme for people in 2011. And I’m loving it.
I’m so glad that 2010 filled you up with so many amazing people and encouraged you to spread love to the world. Some people might not feel the need to say anything and take it for granted, but you’re calling the rest of us to create a higher standard for ourselves. Thank you.
I love every time I read about people wanting to spread more love, and I’m so grateful to my friend for really inspiring me to want to do the same with such a unique stance on it 🙂 Thank YOU for your incredibly kind post yesterday, it seriously BEYOND made my day, and thank you once again for your words here. They mean more than I can convey ❤
Love your post, and after looking through your blog, love your blog as well!
Keep it up!
PS- Is it just me, or were you a part of a blogging contest on a popular Canadian wedding website last year? 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by! Yep, that was me… lol did you vote? Haha 🙂
I see you’re a newlywed too! Congrats – I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog!
I think I don’t comment anymore, because all my comments tend to sound the same. But in an effort to be different this year, I’m gonna go ahead and say whatever it is I’m inspired to say (even if it IS just like yesterday’s comment).
You are simply an inspiration. And after reading all last year, I know that getting to where you are now wasn’t a fast track. I know it took true work and dedication. But to see how positive and confident you are now in living your very best life is again…inspiring! Thank you so much for that.
Awwww thank you!! I am so glad to see you back around here and you are going to have an AMAZING year 🙂
Exactly. Is it any wonder that the people who understand me the best right now are the ones who read my blog, where I am more honest and more myself than anywhere else? Of course it isn’t!
This post made me even more excited for the new friendships as I take them in to the new year!! And who knows who else we will even meet!
I see sayin what you need to say is a big topic this month on blogging 🙂
“You need a hug?”
We are very similar people. Everything you’ve suggested doing, or talked about doing before, is exactly everything I believe in and the way I want to live my life. Going all in with love. Wearing on more than just our sleeves. Always telling the people who mean something to us just how much they mean. Using conversation instead of text messages or Facebook. Never, ever leaving without a hug.
But you know, I find it difficult sometimes. Not because I get afraid (although I do sometimes), but because some people just don’t get it. Some people just don’t need heartfelt messages and big hugs. That’s just not the way they operate. I say, “Love, hugs, and rainbows”, and they say “what?” Our energies clash, and we hardly know what to say to each other, and although I want to say something, they don’t even feel the need. So I think one of the challenges for me, and I guess everyone, is just finding the people who know how to take what we have to give, and everything that they communicate to me—through their words, their eyes, their bodies, their presence—says, with an open heart, “I know.”
“So, at the risk of defying social normalcies and at the risk of having it trampled, I put my heart out openly to anyone who enters my life, and give it freely to those who stay. ” This is why you are great, this is why you are courageous, this is why you are beautiful, and this is why I love you. Great post today Emily.
Becoming a mama has made me much more in touch with my feelings and I find it much easier to tell people how I feel about them now thank goodness!
I love that! I definitely try to get to know/be close with the people I touch in my life. I’ve often wished that that would be my job: to people’s best friends =) To help them through life, with whatever they are dealing with. To learn, to grow, to travel, to visit. That would be awesome…. I guess that’s what blogging does in a sense!?
This is beautiful, and I for one agree wholeheartedly with putting yourself out there and reaping both the heartache and the beauty. Anything else is really only being half alive.
I don’t thing that technology is the problem as we can choose how we use it. For myself, it has more than enhanced my personal relationships as texting, FB etc is an efficient way to keep up with those we love when the demands of life take up most of your time. I do not have a job that fits into a 40 hr work week, but even when all I can do is work I’m still in contact with those that matter.
That said, I just watched a TED speech by Brene Brown that talked about exactly what you write about here… being vulnerable is the key to a whole-hearted life.
Thanks for putting it out there and keep doing what you’re doing!
you have a lovely journal full of positive vibes… i’ll visit again
With every new post, I am more convinced that we would get along just splendidly in RL! 🙂
Em, oooh how this post warms my heart.
You are very loved.. and no matter what life throws at you, you know you will continue to be loved. Cuz you withstand all odds.. and I love YOU for that. 🙂 And so much more.
My favorite part was the fact that you give your whole heart out there for anyone who walks in your life.. Brave? No, its just you. You know that the people that matter will stick around, and 5 years in, Im sooo proud to say Im still a friend. 🙂
Love you tons, and lets make 2011 a year of passion indeed!!
Your every new post seems better than the previous one. Don’t know how you do it, but it’s admiring. This one touched me because I, like you, am too emotional. People used to tell me it’s not worth it. Over the years, I realized that it’s what makes me special and I’m proud of it. On a side note, I’m reading a book called “Understanding The Hidden Nature of Our Daughters” and one of the points that the author makes is that the most important thing for a female is the intimacy imperative. Most women, no matter how successful in their careers, will tell you that it’s the relationships that mean the most to them. You and I are no exceptions. It’s a beautiful thing to be who we are.
I love your perspective! I’m glad that I managed to a few relationships on a deeper level the last year. Sharing one’s heart is so much more sacrificing than just sharing opinions or life circumstances.