There is a term out there in the trope-o-sphere that has come to mean “found family” or “friendship closer than friendship.” It is named after a Japanese word that roughly translates as “colleague,” Nakama. We’re fairly familiar with the concept of found family in Western Culture. In fact, the majority of our television shows follow that idea. In fact, its so common that the Meta-Comedy [amazon_link id=”B002N5N5LG” target=”_blank” ]Community[/amazon_link], even did an episode considering if it was incest to date inside their “family.”
I consider myself fairly blessed, because I’ve always had a lot of love and support from my family. My parents have always been very supportive of my increasing eccentricities. I’ve got an older brother that let me follow him around like a stooge, a sister that didn’t seem to mind me hanging out even though she was way cooler than I am, and a little bro that somehow managed to become cool enough that I was semi-cool by association. Considering I’m a bit of an odd duck loner, it comes as a pretty big shock to me that I’ve manage to grow my family beyond just the blood relatives that are morally and in some cases legally obligated to to care for me, and have attracted a fairly strong Nakama of my own.
Over the past couple of years some strong friendships have been turning into healthy co-ops. In years past, I would worry that we were all becoming unhealthily co-dependent, but for some reason I feel like twitter and Facebook give us just enough passive aggressive outlets that we don’t. When I read today’s #Reverb10 Prompt:
Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
I thought to myself, haven’t I already spelled this out enough? I’m pretty sure I’ve toted the significance of my friends so much that even those egotistical bastards are getting tired of hearing about it. The important thing to remember is that no man is an island. We’re all more like archipelagos. On the surface we might seem like a bunch of individual, disconnected bumps, but deep down we’re really groups that spouted out of the same under water volcano. I try to remind myself, that as awesome as I am, I do not function in the world without my good friends to prod and push me into doing things that would otherwise cripple me with fear.
Where my blood family supports me in my varied projects, its my namaka, my close friends, that actually maintain my existence day in and day out. Its simple to say my friends have changed my perspective this year. Its difficult to delude the significance of them being in my life down to mere moments of it. The people in my life make me who I am, plain and simple. We all reflect on one another, that’s just the nature of humanity.