It takes me 20 minutes to text a friend. No matter the circumstance, I feel like a bother, dead weight, an oozing pimple that just won’t pop. I’m scared that my messages are viewed as inane and excessive. I care about my friends…so why would I want to inconvenience them with my presence? It’s taken me years to realize that I’m an idiot. While there's definitely a difference between leaning on your friends and depending on them, you shouldn’t assume that needing a shoulder to cry on makes you “clingy.”
In fact, needing people isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Admitting that you need outside help is a big step in becoming self-sufficient.
When I was in middle school, I considered myself a “starter friend.” The kind of girl that a Y.A. protagonist, aka anybody who wasn’t me, would meet on their first day of school but later ditch after they met their “real friends.” For example, in the musical Grease, Sandy’s starter friend is the sweet bubbly Patty Simcox. Patty, with her nerdy exterior, radiates kindness but woefully lacks any sense of “cool.” But Patty went through her life not caring what other people thought about her. I, on the other hand, cared too much. I was so afraid to be ditched like Patty Simcox that I isolated myself. I kept people who could have been great friends as acquaintances.
I was so afraid of being too much that I became nothing at all.
But now I don’t care if I turn out to be someone’s starter friend. Friends are meant to get us through different stages of our lives. Just because a friendship ends or only lasts a short while, doesn’t make that relationship any less real or important. The moments we shared were true, and time will never change that fact.
I now know that I need to trust my friends more. They’re the ones who will tell me if they need space. While I still have my issues, I do my best to text my friends “what’s up” without any fear. I show everyone my hand. These days I’m not embarrassed to tell people how much I care about them. They’re my friends. I’d rather say too much than not say anything at all. Even if that makes me uncool, it at least makes me honest.
But that’s just my take. After all, I’m biased. To me, clinginess is a sign of love. You cling to someone because they make you feel better about yourself and you want to be by their side as they succeed. Wanting to check in on someone doesn’t make you annoying, and needing a piece of advice doesn’t make you a nuisance. It’s all about striking the perfect balance. But the thing about balance is that you can’t maintain it on your own. You need to trust that other people are going to be honest with you. And that sweet spot is true friendship.
Written by: Hannah MorleyInstagram: @hannahzmorley