If my mother and I share winter pomegranates, Kevin and I peel summer tangerines. It’s the same act of revealing the consumable fruit beyond the surface, but summer tangerines don’t require sharing. It’s a smaller fruit, something people can consume entirely without much difficulty. It’s simple in the way you can peel it and eat it. I think that’s how friendships work. You have something personal, something you don’t have to share, but you sit with them and offer a piece. Our ability to be our own people heavily depends on the people you grew up around and the things they share with you that you take into the future. I grew up reserved – and I think that contributed to my meek and shy personality as a kid. I never spoke up because I never felt heard or seen. When I get into conflict with Kevin, it’s different.
Kevin is a saturated and punchy red. He’s unapologetically direct and honest and that naturally makes other people uncomfortable. He’s not for everyone—and he knows this, but he never waters down these aspects of himself. I, on the other hand, I’m not nearly as honest as he is. I opt for keeping my mouth shut to keep the general peace, and it really doesn’t cost me anything to stay quiet. I’m like this with most people, I answer questions appropriately, careful not to be unnecessarily harsh. If Kevin were asked the same question, he would fully speak his mind, running the answer thoroughly.
It’s due to his straightforward nature that I often find myself trying to match his honesty. A part of this is because he won’t get what you’re trying to say if you don’t say it outright, and being the opposite of Kevin, I must speak bluntly. I become this honest and direct person when I’m with him, even if I would typically avoid this side of me, knowing it often comes off harsh. With every conversation we share, I learn how to make it work for the person I am and for the friendship we hold. He reminds me that the biggest part of navigating any relationship is knowing how to open up about who you are and learn from what the other person has already shared. That is what he has shared with me and what I carry with me now and into the future.
The featured image is a Creative Commons photo (Source). –