//no homo (?): it’s kind of a rant

“You realize you’ll have readers thinking X character is gay, right?” “They’ll have to really stretch to keep thinking that after a while. Besides, I decided I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to sacrifice intimate non-amorous relationships for the sake of slash-happy shippers.” “YOU SHOULD PUT THAT ON YOUR BLOG.”

That was the summary of a conversation I had with Lauren, when we were discussing my novel The Dying of the Light, and its upcoming sequel. There are several main themes prevalent throughout the series, but one of the largest is brotherhood, pure and simple.

Or rather, it should be pure and simple. Unfortunately, Western culture is often too shallow, too hyper-sexualized, and – frankly – too under-educated to grasp the idea of an intimate, non-amorous relationship between two people. It’s the same culture where two guys don’t feel comfortable hugging each other (unless it’s a manly half-hug – you know the one), and two girls can’t hold hands without people assuming they’re lesbians.

(To clarify: I’m not saying gay people are mythical creatures that don’t actually exist. I’m simply stating that – well, neither are intimate, non-amorous relationships.)

I don’t like using the word ‘platonic’ to describe intimate friendships, and I haven’t since I looked up the actual definition of the word. According to the Oxford Dictionary, there are two meanings of the word.

  • of or associated with the Greek philosopher Plato or his ideas.
  • confined to words, theories, or ideals, and not leading to practical action

 

People usually use it in the second sense – but as anyone can see, that’s the wrong use of the word. A ‘platonic’ friendship, in the true sense of the word, wouldn’t be a friendship at all. It would lack action. It would be stagnant.

We call intimate friendships ‘platonic,’ and sadly – the word fits all-too frequently. We’ve become so sensitive that we’ve even created the phrase ‘no homo’ to explain away any intimacy between two people of the same sex. It’s jarring for me, even as an American, because so much of my time is spent in east-Asian culture, where intimate friendships are the norm. Girlfriends hold hands ‘platonically.’ Guys are physically comfortable with each other in a ‘platonic’ sense. People aren’t afraid of touching another person for fear they might be misunderstood.

Lauren told me she was speaking with a soldier who had been stationed in South Korea for a brief period, and he was astonished (and weirded out, for a while) at how physically comfortable the soldiers were with each other. Arms slung around shoulders, hugging, kisses on the cheek – these are normal. And they should be normal.

Without this part of non-romantic relationships, we’ve lost a huge and vital element in any deep relationship. People point to David and Jonathan and say, “They kissed! They were gay!” in spite of the fact their supposed sexual orientation is never mentioned…except marriage. To wives. Who, according to history, loved their husbands very deeply and had no cause to think they weren’t well-loved in return. It’s a strange and uncomfortable phenomenon, and a relatively new one; this idea of stiff, hands-off, two-dimensional friendships.

When Western culture sees two people who are physically and emotionally intimate with one another, it’s hard for them to believe they aren’t romantically involved. In this day and age, it’s practically unheard of.

And I’m sick of it.

I used to be extremely concerned that my characters would be misconstrued as gay. When I first began to write intimate relationships, I didn’t know how to make them happen without coming across in a way I didn’t intend. About a year ago, I threw in the towel. I was tired of jumping through hoops, of sacrificing potentially incredible character relationships and development just so readers wouldn’t think they were gay.

I decided I’d had enough. I simply wasn’t going to worry about it. I wasn’t going to care what readers somewhere, at some point, may think. They could think whatever they liked, and they could be wrong. Slightly less than a year ago, I began The Dying of the Light – which is now rapidly hurtling toward the end (of book one) – and to date, it’s my favorite novel I’ve ever written. It’s the deepest. It’s the most complex. It has a plethora of intimate same-sex relationships that will only deepen over the course of the second novel – and the only straight-up canonically gay character is the villain. (I know, I know. I’ll probably get told that’s discrimination or false representation at some point, but you know what? That’s how I wrote it. Deal with it or don’t.)

I just don’t care anymore. In fact, I’m learning to care less and less about what people might think when it comes to my writing. If someone finds a Paper novel too fluffy, that’s fine. They are pretty fluffy. If someone thinks a book is too dark? That’s also fine; they can go read a Paper book. There’s a line between listening to feedback and jumping through hoops to accommodate readers. (It’s also important to note that, as a Christian author, a huge part of the reason I write is to put forth ideals and themes that are important to me. I don’t fling a big idea into a novel because ‘it sounds like fun’ (and if I ever do, I have Lauren to tell me to hold up) – I do it because I think it’s important, and it helps further something I strongly feel needs to be furthered in the literary world.)

Readers can slash-ship my characters all they want, if it comes down to it, because it doesn’t change anything. I’m no longer afraid of the idea, because, well – the reader isn’t always right. And sacrificing depth for the sake of a potential readership so saturated in shallow, hyper-sexualized Western culture that they can’t tell a romantic relationship from a non-romantic one is frankly not my problem.

There. I feel better now. As harsh as this particular post may have sounded, it stems from a deep exhaustion. An exhaustion brought on by the lack of intimate friendships in current culture, from real-life relationships to those I read (or don’t read) about in novels. I’m tired of seeing an extremely important dimension removed from relationships that suffer for it. I’d like to see more intimate relationships. I’d like to see more people – and characters – tell each other ‘I love you.’ I’d like to see people be comfortable holding hands. I’d like to see this happen more often – because I have it, and I want other people to have it, too.

And if I can’t make it happen more often in the real world, I can make it happen in some fictional ones.

 

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//the care and keeping of INTJs: a definitive guide

“I’m an INTJ.”

— 99% of people who are not.

Everybody wants to rule the world. Hence, everybody wants to be an INTJ – the MBTI type best known as the archetypal Mastermind. Everybody wants to be an intellectual fount of strategy and analytical power – except most INTJs. It’s a point of irritation for me, watching so many people claim the title of INTJ when they so clearly are not. I understand wanting to be one on the outside. There are definite pros to being an INTJ. But first, let me sit you down and tell you a story.

My soul-sister is an INTJ. I don’t mean she’s a relatively smart person who really, really wishes she was one – she is one. She is the physical embodiment of this type, and as a female INTJ, she is in an extreme minority. Read: 0.8% of the population.

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”— Harlan Ellison (or, the most INTJ quote I’ve ever seen)

They possess the following characteristics:

Ni: They will not do anything – and I mean anything – without turning it over, studying it in various shades of light, and using a magnifying glass. Before they take action, they will be sure to take action in a way that gets them the desired result. They do not do things willy-nilly, nor are they pansters. They will have everything planned out, down to the tone of voice they’re going to use when they say ‘hello,’ and what temperature the room will be when they say it. (This is only a very slight exaggeration.)

Te: If something is wrong, they will fix it. They will not do this as a group project. They will take the flaw they find, sit down in the corner, and do it alone because it’s easier, faster, and they can probably do it better than you. (This is not an exaggeration.)

Fi: Or the ‘Feels Box,’ as Arielle and I call it. I have the key to this one. It’s where INTJs store their feelings, emotions, and personal values. This is an important component of an INTJ, but they sometimes overlook it, which is why it’s important to remind them via sticky note or possible 2×4 over the head, that it exists for a reason.

Se: This is a quirky bit, as INTJs are hyper-aware of people’s auras and vibes and will read between lines that aren’t even there, but they can also be so hyper-aware that they boomerang and shut themselves off from the world. This isn’t always a bad thing – they need alone-time, they need to recharge and think. But if an INTJ seems aloof – well, they probably are. (I didn’t say they were perfect.)

If this sounds contradictory, that’s because INTJs are walking paradoxes. They’re brimming with dreams and ideals, but cynicism (because let’s face it: people can be awfully thick) often gets the better of them. This often leads to a ‘I’m the only one I can trust to do anything right’ mentality, and separates them from the rest of the pack as more of a lone wolf. This places them in a leadership position (no INTJ is happy following the herd), but also easily creates an independence bordering on that of a hermit. If you know an INTJ, let them be the leader they are but don’t let them hole up in a cave for thirteen years. Make sure they get some sunlight and food.

RULES, SCHMULES

INTJs hate rules, restrictions, and regulations. This is often because they simply don’t work the way other people do – they need flexibility. They also want what they want when they want it, and find it hard to tolerate situations where they don’t get whatever they want immediately. They can be demanding and impatient, but a healthy INTJ will learn to tolerate mortals – um, humans – and even learn to work with them and speak the language conversationally. Which leads me to the subject of FRIENDSHIP.

An INTJ will have friends, but not many. They take George Washington’s words – be cordial to all, but intimate with a few – to heart, and it’s rare if they’re intimate with more than two or three people (not including family members). Even then, it’s very rare you’re seeing more than the tip of the iceberg. If they allow you to see the seventh level (of seven, not including purgatory) it means you have earned their trust, respect, and love. I’m honored to have reached this level with my resident INTJ, but it was not easy and it was not overnight. Respect their need to take things slow and make sure you’re worthy. It’s worth it.

An INTJ will not care about normal, social constructs of friendship. They will prize loyalty, intelligence, wit, and creativity in a friend, someone with whom they can hold stimulating conversations without feeling as if they’re ‘dumbing themselves down’ to be more accessible. INTJs want to be able to be themselves with someone who actually understands, which is not easy to find. If you don’t understand them at first, keep trying. They’re puzzles, but they’re highly rewarding puzzles and they will make you grow and learn and deepen in ways you didn’t think possible.

INTJs aren’t usually big on physical contact, so if they state they would be fine hugging you or touching you affectionately, congratulations! You’ve unlocked a new level. It means a lot. In fact, an INTJ will say many things that Mean a Lot, and you need to train yourself to be aware of them. They’re designed to be subtle and slip under the radar. Vigilance is recommended.

INTJs are extremely strategic and Machiavellian in the way they go about things. They pride themselves on their minds and work very hard to continue learning new things. They work out mentally – all the time. 24/7/365. Even in their sleep. (I’m not kidding.)

An INTJ will trust their own intuition above all else. If you reach a point in your relationship with an INTJ where they are willing to take your view of things over theirs, that is a Boss Level achievement and is, quite frankly, amazing. (Note: if an INTJ ever tells you ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ or something else implying you gave them a new thought or may have a better view of something, they have just paid you the highest compliment they can.)

AN UNHEALTHY INTJ will not want to talk to you if you disagree on any point. A HEALTHY INTJ will want to talk to you and find out new angles and new perspectives. If you run into the first kind of INTJ, don’t judge the rest of their kind by that one encounter. INTJs grow and learn and change just like the rest of us, and often they take more time because they analyze every teeny, tiny dust-mote of information to death, and then they have to sign it in triplicate and then re-analyze it to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

COMMON INTJ WEAKNESSES mean that they are often…

Arrogant: INTJs have little tolerance for ‘lesser minds’ and are very confident in their mental abilities, which means they can come across as stuck-up much of the time. Note: though INTJs can be truly arrogant, they are also often mistaken as such simply because they do know more than you and they are probably better-informed and have given any given subject more thought than the average person. Often they don’t mean to come across as arrogant, it’s a by-product.

Judgmental: Imagine trying to hold an argument with Spock when he knows he’s absolutely correct and you know he is, yes, but he’s also missing the Human Element which is kind of important. Spock isn’t quite understanding this, because he has the Facts, and he has Logic on his side, which means his more rational view is by definition Correct. You’re pretty sure Spock thinks you’re stupid. You might be right. Now try and look at this situation from Spock’s point of view, and you’ll see why INTJs can be so judgmental.

Overthinking. E v e r y t h i n g. Some things need overthought. Sometimes this is a blessing, not a curse – but sometimes, your INTJ needs to just let it go, because they’re beating a dead horse that cannot possibly get any deader. This is where you need to intervene, take the stick, and help your INTJ focus on something else. Anything, really. Bury the horse corpse and move on.

Rule-breakers. Granted, ‘well-behaved women rarely make history,’ but say an INTJ sees a fence. And that sign says ‘warning! Electric fence!’ What will the INTJ do? Will they think ‘ah, okay,’ and move around it? No, they’ll wonder ‘but is it really electric? Why is it there? What is the property owner trying to keep out? Are they up to something?’ and they’ll proceed to test the fence, and see if it really is electric, and if so, will it kill them to climb over it?

This pretty much sums up the cons to having an INTJ personality, in a very abbreviated way. Most problems INTJs have can be traced back to one of these four roots. But again, each of these ‘flaws’ can be a strength – given the right situation. IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE: An INTJ is still a human being with emotions and feelings. They aren’t impervious to insecurities and anxieties – if anything, they’re more prone because of their tendency to overanalyze and overthink everything. Be understanding and know that when speaking to an INTJ, you are not speaking to a cold-blooded reptile or a heartless Sphinx. Emotions are somewhat baffling to INTJs and they really aren’t always sure why emotions exist in the first place. Because they don’t really get them as easily as most people, they’ll often act more confident than they really are, providing a shield for the part of themselves they feel least-confident handling.

A FEW MORE TIPS

When dealing with INTJs, an important thing to remember is instinct. INTJs have many instincts, and most of them are not social. When an INTJ is in distress, their first thought is not ‘get help,’ it’s ‘push all help away, I’ll handle it.’ An INTJ’s idea of ‘handling it’ usually means ‘I’m going to pretend I’m fine, while simultaneously eschewing all meaningful human contact. Don’t mind me, I’m just spiraling into the Pit of Despair because I don’t want to appear WEAK.’ The way to work around this? Refuse. Put your foot down. Drag your INTJ into the light kicking and screaming if you have to, but you must sometimes take drastic measures for their own health. They don’t want to talk about what’s bothering them? Pester them until they open up. They say they’re fine when they’re obviously not? Call BS openly and tell them you know they’re lying. They need direct, blunt, up-front honesty. You can’t be subtle. If you try to be subtle and gentle with an INTJ in distress, you will get absolutely nowhere. Only after they’ve opened up and are beginning to handle things better can you ease up on them.

Another important point: INTJs may seem like they have no sense of humor. This is not usually true. They do have a sense of humor, but that sense of humor is buried down beneath several layers of ‘My Humor Is Too Brutal For Most People,’ ‘I’ve Been Told I Sound Mean,’ and ‘I Don’t Know If This Is Actually Funny, Or If It’s Just Me.’ Once you get past all these layers, chances are good you’ll find a delightful sense of humor. Buried treasure, mates. Buried treasure. (In fact, most things about INTJs = buried treasure. You dig, you get rich. Plain and simple.)

My last point is this: all relationships work in stages, but an INTJ has very distinct stages taking you from distant acquaintance up to friendship and beyond. Arielle is not only my soul-sister, she’s the Lewis to my Tolkien, the Peter to my Edmund, the Dae-Young to my Shi-Jin, the Jonathan to my David, and my work-wife. She understands my soul in ways nobody else does, and we are the most unlikely MBTI pairing available (myself being an INFP). We have many nicknames for ourselves, but we often call ourselves yin and yang. You can be friends with an INTJ – you just have to understand how they work.

Step one: the INTJ will talk to you. This doesn’t really mean anything except they’re willing to trade words. They’re feeling you out.

Step two: the INTJ will initiate a conversation with you. This is good. It means they were interested in what they saw, and they’re actively working toward seeing if you’re compatible.

Step three: the INTJ will enjoy talking with you, and will open up a little so you can better exchange ideas and thoughts. Be sure you open up as well – INTJs are excellent at reading people, but they need you to be as honest and open as you can. They do enough mental work already – don’t make yourself a chore.

Step four: you talk all the time. You agree on most things. You have stimulating, intellectual conversations on a regular basis.

Step five: you talk all the time – about personal things. You can go from stimulating, intellectual conversations to dumb jokes, catchy songs, etcetera. Once you realize you can talk about any subject and your INTJ is still interested in you, you are officially friends with the INTJ.

Step six: the INTJ wants to co-rule the world with you. This is a prized position and can only be held by one other individual, so if your INTJ offers you this position, you’d better take it. (Take it. Take it for your own sake and for the sake of preventing total despotism. That’s why I did. Well, that and the riches.)

I’ve seen many people attempt to pass themselves off as an INTJ, but I have sent the entirety of this article to Arielle for proofreading, and the response I received was this – “If I didn’t love or trust you so much, I’d be terrified right now and revolving ways to get rid of you.” This is a seal of INTJ approval, meaning I know what I’m talking about. I know an INTJ when I see one. (And do you know how many INTJs I currently know, out of many, many people? Two.) And I especially know a female INTJ when I see one. (Cleopatra is dead and doesn’t count.)

If you have an INTJ in your life, I hope this was helpful to you. If you do not have an INTJ in your life, I’m sorry and I hope you get one at some point, because they are invaluable and I don’t know where I’d be without mine.

ENJOY RULING THE WORLD.

//indestructible women

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‘A loving woman is indestructible.’

I came across this phrase by Steinbeck several weeks ago, and I loved it so much that I scribbled it on a card and stuck it to my wall. It catches my eye every time I sit down, and thus I’ve had plenty of time to mull it over. I’m blessed to have known many loving women in my lifetime – my mother, more than anyone, has provided a ceaseless example of what fierce, patient, female love looks like. But this particular month has brought the subject of friendship into the forefront of my thoughts, and so I want to take a moment and talk about four very different women I know, and their four very different styles of love. They remind me of the elements – each varied and different, each unique and so strong it amazes me.

Arielle (fire)

She is a flame, loving with a burning passion that singes and sears with fierce heat. She is the fire that never goes out, the beacon buffeted by wind and rain that may occasionally flicker down to embers, but which rises again at the first opportunity. We greet each other with ‘Morning!’ and delve immediately into discussions about history or philosophy – but on those days, the days that aren’t so motivated or inspiring, we might just exchange comfort and exchange Pinterest links. When I had begun to freeze over, her warmth thawed me before I had time to turn to ice. She is a paradox – a white-hot fire, as stalwart as a stone pillar.

Lauren (water)

She is the many forms of water. She is rain, giving rain where I am dry, giving me enthusiasm where I have none. She is the ocean, deep and dark and turquoise, holding more wonder and mystery, terror and beauty than anyone fully knows. She makes me laugh harder than anyone I know, and encouragement is her middle name – even on the days when she doesn’t feel it. Like playing in the rain refreshes my spirit, so Lauren’s kind of love refreshes and cleanses. She is the roaring of a waterfall and the companionable whisper of rain on tree-leaves.

Jenny (earth)

She is the soft deep-green moss of spring and the brilliant red-orange hues of autumn. She is the wonder of fireflies, twinkling like stars in a summer thicket. She is the deep silence of falling snow and the dazzling brightness when the sun shines off ice. She reminds me of the way winter slides into spring; when the mornings are still cold and leave the earth touched with crystal frost, but then the sun rises and the mist clears, showing the fresh, green shoots pushing up through the hard-packed ground. She is honesty, wit, and beauty.

Hannah G. (air)

She is the playful breeze that tousles your hair, or the raging wind that sweeps the desert clean and re-arranges the sand in new, artistic ways. She is kept always busy by the turning of the earth, but she is always there; always ready and willing. She can make herself invisible and silent, or she can bring scents of faraway spice caravans and the sounds of voices telling new stories. She is mischievous or soothing, kicking up my inspiration like leaves, tugging my hair so I turn and see something I had missed before.

Each of these women is incredibly unique and incredibly strong. All love in different ways, and all – I am convinced – they are far more indestructible than they think, because when they love, they love with strength, endurance, and passion. My life is infinitely brighter and richer with them in it, and I am constantly amazed that God saw fit to bless my existence by bringing it alongside with theirs. They have shown me what friendship looks like, in all its varying, crazy, beautiful forms, and I am forever grateful.

//the art of confident friendships

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I’ve been trying to write this post for over a week, but every time I open it up, dormant emotions kick up and I opt out, writing something a little less painful, something that doesn’t hit me quite so hard. Friendship is a tricky, frequently painful subject to personally discuss. I can talk about friendly acquaintances, I can write fictional friendships until the sun goes down, and I can enjoy being a friend and having friends – but personally, it remains a somewhat knotted, complicated thing. There are times I wonder if I even know what friendship really means. I was best friends with someone through most of my teen years, and it was the toughest thing I ever went through. What started out as a mutual fire for God and love for storytelling bent out of proportion over the years and became a relationship in which I felt trapped and confused. I couldn’t tell up from down. Breaking it off was messy, painful, and could probably have been handled better – it wasn’t even all the other person’s fault. It takes two to make a mess like that.

But it left me with the realization I no longer knew the first thing about friendship. I developed trust issues and mortifying insecurities when I wasn’t looking, and I was left holding the broken pieces of what I thought was friendship and wondering, how do these even fit anymore? What am I supposed to do with them?

Most of my acquaintances most likely think I’m the opposite of these problems. I have many friends and friendly acquaintances. I talk to strangers and approach people with a smile, I send cards and letters and go out of my way to let them know I care, and yet.

And yet.

Some days are fine, and other days I can barely talk to my closest, dearest friends without crippling doubt. Just saying ‘Good morning!’ raises a dozen questions. If I’m the first one to say ‘good morning,’ does that make me sound clingy? Do I come across needy? What if they don’t want to talk to me today? What if they’re afraid to say ‘Hey, I’m busy and don’t have the time, can we talk tomorrow?’

It’s funny, how laid-back I am when it comes to others, and how uptight I am when it comes to me. It’s hard to offend me or hurt my feelings (unless you know which buttons to push). I laugh things off and I mean it when I say, no, don’t worry, that didn’t bother me.

Loyalty is hugely important to me. I cling to stories with strong themes of loyalty and friendship, close bonds where two people lift each other up and keep each other on track. I’m beyond blessed to say I have several of these friendships – enduring, deep relationships where we sharpen, encourage, uplift, and tease each other and I hope these friendships last forever.

And yet, even saying ‘forever,’ makes me wonder about that word. I was digging through the letters and notes I’ve saved over the years (there’s a trunk of them) and I ran across a package of letters from ‘her.’ (Not saying her name may sound dramatic, but hearing it actually gives me that lovely brand of PTSD, so I don’t.) Before I threw them away, I glanced over the content, and saw one word repeated over and over: forever.

I thought that word meant something, that it held weight – at least I did back then. The older I get, the more I realize that not all relationships are the same. Not all relationships are meant to be ‘forever friendships.’ Not everyone is with you to the end of the line. Sometimes people pass through your life to either teach you a lesson, or be taught. But who doesn’t want a forever friendship? I think I have forever friendships. I think I have several, in fact; but lingering doubt gives me second thoughts and makes me question everything.

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Last week, I was discussing David and Jonathan with my old-same (a friendship I truly believe is forever) and she brought up something Jonathan, the Prince of Israel, said to David. “When you are come into your own as the rightful king of the land and I stand beside you.”

Jonathan didn’t say, “By the way, David, um, when you’re King, we’ll still be friends, right?” He assumed with all rightful confidence that when David was crowned, he would choose Jonathan to stand beside him. Was Jonathan overstepping? I don’t think he was. Their friendship was a kind we don’t often see – they fought together, they saved each other’s lives, they swore oaths promising nothing would tear their friendship apart.

It was an unlikely pairing – the Prince of a nation, and a shepherd-turned-warrior, and yet we never see them question it. It was never a problem for them.

I grew up listening to Jamie Lee Curtis narrate Little Women (on cassette tape, no less) and one of the lines that stayed with me was this:

“The big house did prove a Palace Beautiful, though it took some time for all to get in, and Beth found it very hard to pass the lions. Old Mr. Laurence was the biggest one…the other lion was the fact that they were poor and Laurie rich; for this made them shy of accepting favors which they could not return. But, after a while they found that he considered them the benefactors, and could not do enough to show how grateful he was…”

We’ve been conditioned by society to believe we can only be friends with someone of equal standing. Someone of the same age, the same skin color, the same income. David and Jonathan were anything but societal equals. The idea that friendship exists only between physical similarities like money or position is an old song, but an incorrect one.

Friendship – true friendship – looks beyond money, skin, and social standing. Those things don’t matter, because the soul matters. The person matters. This is something I know with my head and willingly embrace when it comes to my interaction with others, but I’m still learning it myself. I’m learning that I don’t need to have tons of money to go out with a friend. I’m learning that I don’t have to second-guess every little thing I say, or backtrack and say, ‘I’m so sorry.’ Slowly but very, very surely, I’m learning the art of confident friendships, of David and Jonathan friendships.

And I want to say, a few nights ago, I cried. I cried because in one evening, I spoke with Arielle and Lauren – my old-same and my girl-bro, my closest friends in the universe – and I could not fathom the enormity of this blessing. Of the full-hearted grace my God gave me when he handed me these two women who are friends of the truest kind. Friends who delve deep and uplift and encourage and cry and laugh and soothe and slap the back of my head when I need it (we all do, now and then). They are what friends should be, and they are teaching me how to be the same. We’re teaching each other – which is, coincidentally, what friends are supposed to do.

“Lamb says somewhere that if, of three friends (A, B, and C), A should die, then B loses not only A, but A’s part in C, while C loses not only A, but A’s part in B. In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.” — C. S. Lewis