Last week I had a fever and spent an entire weekend in bed. After sleeping through as many daylight hours as I could, I looked for something to watch on Netflix. No TV in my room, but I always have my laptop.
I love a mystery and since I discovered this year that I actually like shows based on YA books, I decided to give Pretty Little Liars a chance.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s about 4 friends who are trying to solve the mystery of who killed their other friend Alison, and who is still cyber-stalking them.
It’s a fun show and I like that there is a mystery to solve without as much of the gore and scariness of a non-YA show. I may be intrigued, but I’d never be able to watch Criminal Minds and sleep through the night.
During each episode there is a flashback scene to when Alison was alive. She was not a nice person, nor a good friend. She knew all the other girls’ secrets and held them against her friends.
Watching the show got me thinking about friendship.
In middle and high school, we all had those friends. The girl who wasn’t really our friend but she was popular and we were too excited that she was talking to us to care that she wasn’t treating us like a friend.
As we grow and mature, we become more confident in ourselves and we begin to expect more from our friends. After high school we stop the gossip and we learn that friends don’t talk behind each others’ backs.
We know that our family is a big influence, but sometimes we don’t realize the impact our friends make in our lives.
In the show, once Alison is gone the girls become stronger in who they are and realize that although they loved Alison, she dragged them down. Their friendship without her is the exact opposite.
Our friends can lift us up or they can hold us back so we stay in the same spot as them.
Good friends encourage us to be our best selves.
In college, my friend Kourtney invited me to go to the gym with her and then encouraged me to keep going. Her friendship started the healthy habit of working out that I still have in my life. We drifted apart after graduation, but her friendship left an imprint on my life that I will always remember.
After college my friend B.G. was my running buddy. She didn’t just help continue the healthy exercise habit, she was the one who taught me how to stand up for myself. She pointed out when people, be it other friends, guys, or my mother, weren’t treating me right. And she told me that I deserve better, but that it’s my job to make sure that happens.
Since then I’ve had many friendships begin and end. Now I have high standards for what I expect in a friendship. And B.G. is still there.
Right now my friend Jasmine tells me she is proud of me for moving across the country without really having a plan. She calls me her “Brave Emma” when telling people the story of how I got to Raleigh. It not only makes me feel like I’m ok where I am right now, but it makes me feel like I can do anything.
My dreams aren’t too big or too crazy because I have friends who believe in me.
And the newer friends I’ve made over the last few years have been just as amazing. Friends who encouraged me in all areas of my life. Lifted me up and inspired me. Told me it wasn’t crazy to pick up and move for no apparent reason. Made me feel normal for thinking Zac Efron is hot. You know who you are.
Wherever we are right now, our friends have helped us get there. They have either encouraged us to move forward or held us back in place with them.
Our friendships say a lot about us, and we get to decide who those friends are.
How have your friendships effected your life? Do your friends bring you up? Is there anyone in your life who isn’t adding to it positively?