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The Plot Thickens

Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

Reciprocity

One day over winter break, during a week in which I was by myself in the city working, I got home and decided I needed to cry.

I ended up watching Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

It’s a fantastic little film that I recommend everyone watch at least once. There’s a line read by the dying girl, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), about Greg (Thomas Mann), the boy who befriends her. She says: “I’m writing on behalf of someone who gave me half a year of his life at the time when I was at my most difficult to be around. He has a very low opinion of himself, which is why I think it’s necessary that you hear from someone who sees him as he actually is: A limitlessly kind, sweet, giving, and genuine person.”

The last seven or eight months of my life have been the most difficult time to be around me, I think. I haven’t been straightforward about a lot of things, I’ve been angry, drifting in and out of very deep and real sadness. It’s been a bit of a shit show really.

While I’ve recently been turning all that around by focusing more on school and my own mental health, part of my “recovery” (as maybe it could be coined) has centered around me just being there.

I meant this in a bigger sense than just actually showing up for class. I mean that I’ve realized the people I call my friends right now are people who care about me and stuck around despite all the terrible things I did and how miserable I probably made them. They gave me their time even though it was hard. I want to thank these people, but how? 

I know now that I thank these people by doing the same for them. It’s up to me to show up, be present, an active listener, believe them, and be genuine. It’s tricky to be honest about everything (as I’ve expressed in my column before), but it’s what I must do. It’s what my friends deserve. In almost losing multiple people I care about and having to fight and convince them to stay, it has come to my attention that friendships (and by extension, communication) are two-way streets. My friends crossed the road first, now it’s my turn to cross back.

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One thought on “The Plot Thickens”

  1. mary Elmore says:

    Love this insight.

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