My Waystone Friends

There’s something to be said about the people in your life with whom you feel you can never get enough time with. 

As we get older, it’s harder to make new friends. That’s a natural phenomenon. Sometimes, you fall out of friendships because of newly discovered differences. Other times, you’ve simply grown apart. Bittersweet as it may be, it’s nice to cherish shared memories. Nobody can take those away from you. Yet, guilt is a tough feeling to untangle from it. How could you so easily let go of someone who once meant so much to you? It just happens, and it happens to everyone. 

The good news is that a bridge will stay standing until you set it ablaze. The “bad” news is that you never really cross it anymore. It’s not a part of your path as it once used to be. 

As I look back at my relatively short period of time alive–I see memories of happiness with a multitude of people. Many of them, I’m no longer acquainted with. I’m not at their top of mind, and they aren’t at the top of mine. Yet, something gnaws at me. Am I to simply forget the girl I spent hours talking to about the state of the music industry? Am I to forget my old classmate who I shared many walks with, speculating over the contents of an upcoming exam on our way to class? Am I to forget the guy I shared ramen with, imparting my wisdom from my benefit of being a year older? Am I to forget the countless other friends, who were fleeting presences in my life, a blip on the radar? Yes. I can forget them and they can forget me, but we’ll both keep the memories. 

If I were to see them again, I’d probably settle for a knowing smile and a friendly nod. After all, the unspoken bond is an indelible one. We formed tracts in each others’ consciousness, and that made us the people we are today. Many friendships are Hershey kisses, sweet but fleeting. 

In my camera roll, I’m greeted by faces of an unfamiliar past. With many memories, I see a lot of misses. Missed connections, misunderstandings, and misfortune. But that’s life, right? It’s the downs that makes the ups feel more…uppity (contrast is a hell of a thing). It’s a hot, fudge brownie paired with a smooth vanilla ice cream. 

I intend to keep making friends. It comes as easily to me as my inhales and exhales. However, I wish to find more of a second kind of friend–not the fleeting kind, but the enduring kind. 

What I said earlier refers to this kind of friend–

There’s something to be said about the people in your life with whom you feel you can never get enough time with. 

This is the person you can go months without seeing or hearing from, yet once you get back together, it’s like no time has gone by at all. This is the friend who feels comfortable going on at length about themselves, sharing equal enthusiasm in your own tales. You amplify each other’s energies, hanging onto each other’s every word. They are the friends who are on your wavelength. The friend that makes you feel that their companionship is enough for a lifetime. 

I struggled to find a word that captured this type of relationship until one day, the word Waystone popped into my head. It’s perfect. I thought. And it is. 

In Minecraft, there are things called Waystones – “A Waystone is a craftable structure added by Waystones that can be found throughout the world, primarily in Villages. By interacting with one, it is possible to teleport between these using levels.” (link)

These few that I refer to as my waystone friends mean a lot to me. The only reason we found each other is that I had to meet a lot of people and hang with tons of fleeting friends. One waystone friend is worth at least 100 fleeting friends. 

It’s always stress relieving to talk to them; you love hearing about their day, catching up on the tea spills and ticking the days off on the calendar for when you’ll get to see them again.

You may be separated by distance, yet there is warmth in every message, every image sent, every utterance. You’re proud of them and you’re each working in your little corners of the world. It feels more *real* when you interact with them. 

There is no set criteria for a waystone friend. I think it defeats the point to try and assign one. However, a core trait of a waystone friend is how they make you feel. You may feel weightless, or you feel grounded by their existence. Some of my waystone friends aren’t top of mind for me, nor I for them. But that’s just it. We can always pick right back up where we left off. The details are irrelevant, it’s the emotion behind them that matters. 

The critical thing is they make you feel comfortable to be you. They nudge you to be better, aim higher, and keep your chin up. They provide you with the perspective. They teleport you into their world and their happenings with an earnest desire to share what’s going on. Not every friendship or acquaintance is like this. Waystone friends are the closest you could get to a supportive family that’s not biologically related to you. 

I hope that as I get older, while my overall social circle might understandably get smaller, the waystones become stronger. I hope that the connections that remain, strengthen. 

To all my waystone friends. ‘Til we hang again. 🍻

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