March 23, 2014

Cheers

A poem:

The cheer that frequents my vocal chords the most is one for friendship.
Sometimes, after a particularly joyous bout of kindred spirit, all I can muster is a fist pump in the air and a whispered shout.
"Friendship!" 
Followed either by leaky eyes or a smile that doesn't stop, or both.
Because that cheer has never felt so familiar as it does now. 
Friendship.

When I was little, I hated playing with friends.
I think my maximum capacity on friends was very very low and my mom wanted to make it higher.
That was all.
But I cried and fought and cried.
Because it scared me, making small talk, thinking of things to do.
I had one best friend, and a few other friends. 
And I thought it was enough.
I thought that I didn't need more
Friendship. 

And so the cheers for friendship came less often.
It was harder.
Some people say it was the awkward stage.
My mom says it was my attitude.
I say it was two parts awkward, one part mental blocks, with a whole lot of extra stuff for bad measure.
I just wanted one thing,
Friendship.

So I changed schools more than anyone I know.
And at one place, something clicked.
Sometimes, I think it's because the kids there were starved for new people.
Or I suddenly got cute.
Or maybe he wasn't the only one who liked the way I just sat there, not asking for attention.
When really I was trying not to ask for friendship.
I didn't want to have to ask.
And I first, I didn't have to.
It came all by itself,
Friendship.

And I settled.
I settled for a comfortable group of friends where I didn't have to try very hard.
I settled for a dark eyed boy when I've always liked light eyes.
There were classy girls and red cheeked boys who I was dying to be friends with,
but my mouth thought spoken evidences of friendship were enough,
and my heart didn't know how to cheer.
My mouth had yet to taste my whispered shout
Friendship.

One summer, I got what every girl seems to want- a male best friend.
Two, actually.
And there was laughter and there was tears.
But most importantly, I started paying attention to something-
the yearning of my soul for something more than spoken words.
I was beginning to hear echos of the cheer
Friendship.

I started talking.
I started introducing.
I started asking for introductions.
I started listening.
And unlike the clicking that happened in grade nine, this time there was no clicking noise.
Just laughter over shared jokes.
And the "hi, I'm Emma" that I realized is all it takes.
And the buzz of so many phones that I lose track of all the invitations.
That's what it sounds like-
Friendship.

I started noticing the beautiful souls that make up this world.
When I find one who I want to know better,
I get to know them better.
I got rid of boundaries and acceptable time limits that held me back.
I invite them on adventures right away.
Because there's no reason to wait to include anyone in the cheer for
Friendship.

The cheer that frequents my vocal chords the most is one for friendship.
It makes its way through my sun roof.
Through my back door when I get home at night.
Even through my mascara stained cheeks when someone chooses not to cheer as well.
But no matter what, I will keep cheering.
Each time getting a little clearer, a little louder.
FRIENDSHIP.