So I was talking with a friend last night at Ava’s Roasteria here in lovely Beaverton.

(Yay, Kirsten’s shift got cancelled, so she didn’t have to get up at 5am this morning! Yay, that means social life is possible)

And our conversation turned to why we are friends with the people we are friends with. (Okay, the conversation didn’t so much as turn as I asked one of those questions I ask without censoring my brain, and then immediately discover how either a)rude, b) inappropriate, c)easily misconstrued the question is)

And in the course of our conversation, what came out for me (I’m not saying this is true, just that this is what I was thinking to myself during the conversation) is that we are friends with people, really friends, let-down-your-guard friends with only people who kind of a) give us attention and b) allow us to be a certain way.

Let me unpack that for you. We all want attention. People who give us attention, make us feel important. Make us feel like we matter. OF COURSE we want to be with that person. (That goes the other way, too. If you have a friend who suddenly gets distracted by life or another friend or something, it surely makes us irritable and whiny).

Now the other point is more difficult for me to explain. I mean, of course I am Kirsten when I am with all my friends. But I’ve discussed before that certain facets of my personality come out more depending on who I’m with. And there are very few people with whom I am not holding back (actually, that’s too strong of a word, maybe more like “filtering” or “choosing not to express” is better) some part of myself because I think they won’t understand it or not appreciate it or it will bore them.

I can count on one hand the people with whom, under certain situations, I don’t filter myself hardly at all. And so I find their company soothing, and their attention particularly desirable because I can let parts of myself out without worrying what kind of impression I’m making.

Does that make sense?

Not that I have no use for friends who won’t let me express myself utterly completely. On the contrary, as I was saying last night, I don’t believe we should expect everything from every person. That’s why diversity is so great. We can get different things from different people.

But oh how rare and wonderful is it when we find people with whom we can express a majority of ourselves.

And it makes me wonder what my friends are hiding inside themselves.