Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help...

JUPITER IN AQUARIUS
Jupiter's expansive nature in a friendly sign of Aquarius. This should make us more open to making new friends and welcoming people into our lives. Since Aquarius is also a sign of wishes and hopes, this might also be a good time to wish upon a star. I know Jiminy Cricket would be proud of you if you did.

With Aquarius being the sign of friends, I look at the people around me. Having been in theatre, I've traveled through many different circles of friends. There have been a few from each show that I've kept in touch with (mostly through Facebook), but are these really friends or acquaintances? What's the difference? Someone I know used to joke that it wasn't a true friendship unless it was officialized by Friendster (then MySpace and now Facebook). Yet, let's look at textbook definitions.

From Dictionary.com:

friend

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

ac⋅quaint⋅ance

a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.

Okay, so an acquaintance is friend-like, but not as close. Great. Who didn't know that already? Still, many of those I've met on my travels have been friends - we've shared experiences, and anyone who's been in theatre will quickly tell you that it's quite an intense, and often emotional, experience. Those who share such an experience (and don't end up hating each other by the end of it) are usually considered friends. Or would you say that they are cowokers? Colleagues? Where does the line get drawn?

I would say that the levels by which we define our relationships are indicated by how inextricably connected we are to the person and how much we are willing to share with them. I'm not going to share certain parts of my life with my coworkers the way that I share them with friends. Working up from acquaintances to friends is descending into the lower levels of my polluted stream of consciousness. You're going to learn much more about my hopes, my fears, my dreams, my guilty pleasures, my pet peeves, etc. You know, the sort of thing you ask on a first date or a college application.

Of course, in any new experience, we gravitate towards certain people and inevitably, form a clique. Clique has such a negative connotation, but let's call a spade a spade, right? Thing is, have you ever noticed that once you are a given role in a clique, it's very difficult to break out of that role? Look at your friends. Which one are you? Are you the hub; the one who everyone calls to find out what's going on? Don't get this confused with the decision-maker; when everyone's trying to decide what to do and throwing out options, finally, one person steps up and takes the reins. The decision-maker usually tells the hub and that's how the word gets out. Are you the quiet one; the one who sits and observes, rarely contributing, but when you do, everyone listens because what you have to say has power? Are you the drama queen (and just admit it if you are)? Are you the busy one; the one who everyone else's schedule has to work around? Are you the fringe; the one on the sidelines who shows up every so often and contributes and is part of the group, but no one expects you to be there every time? The dependable one? The smart one? There are many categories. If you're not sure, go check Facebook. I'm sure there's one of those picture quizzes that will tell you what your friends think of you.

It may change from clique to clique. In some groups, I'm second in command; there whenever the hub is gone to take up the slack and keep the group going. Others, I'm social director: I plan the events for when everybody comes together. Sometimes, I'm fringe. Sometimes, I'm smart. Sometimes, I'm the Phoebe (odd, but lovable). It all depends on the group of people. However, whenever I get together with a group where I'm the social chair, I have to plan. When I'm with a group where I'm the Phoebe, I'm expected to come out with odd knowledge. It's just the role you play. We are a mask-wearing society. That doesn't make the friendships any less powerful.

All relationships change over time. A true friend is someone whose changes complement your own. That's a rare thing to find, but once you have, it's a role you won't ever mind fulfilling.

Take Jupiter's energy and go make a new friend!

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