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Keim Time: friendship, loneliness and Nov. 12

Drew Steinbrink
Opinion Editor Brian Keim spends a lovely night on the Main Quad with some good friends.

This past week held a day that is very near and dear to my heart: Nov. 12. It’s not my birthday, it’s not a holiday, but it is a very important anniversary. Actually, it’s two very important anniversaries in one day.

Nov. 12, 2021 was a day I was very eagerly anticipating back in my senior year of high school. Not only was it the release date of Red (Taylor’s Version), but it was a special occasion for me personally: it was the day of the St. Ignatius vs. Medina High School football game.

Normally I would not be interested in the slightest, but this game was different. After all, I went to St. Ignatius at the time and most people I worked with went to Medina. Therefore, to make a long story short, I had made plans with a coworker to drive to the game together. As friends.

For context, the concept of friendship was relatively foreign to me back then. I had friends, sure, but I didn’t have any of those strong emotional connections that I knew were key to deep friendships. Heck, I couldn’t name more than two people I was comfortable talking to one-on-one. So for me to go out of my way to invite someone to this event, that was a huge deal for me. And I was anxious.

To put it bluntly, the night did not go as I had planned. It turns out I was a little too anxious and kinda sorta threw up while sitting in my coworker’s car. She was not happy. I managed to get everything on the outside, but the deed was done. I had to go home. I couldn’t go to the game with her. My attempt to form friendship had failed and I blamed myself.

To give another abridged account of events, the next few months were rough. My coworker hated me as a result of my uncontrolled stomach reaction. I continued to blame myself for ruining the relationship. I eventually came to realize that it wasn’t my fault, but I still had unresolved issues. The last time I tried to go out of my way to make a friend, it backfired horribly. So why try again?

Flash forward to fall 2022. After much anxiety, I had started college. I had met a few people, but nobody I would really consider a super close friend at the time. Then, one day, out of nowhere, I went to The Caf and saw four people that I had gotten to know over the course of the past few weeks. I was invited to sit down with them. After joining, I was subsequently invited to the library to study with them. The year was 2022. The date was Nov. 12.

The day was wonderful. I hardly knew these people, but the conversation flowed naturally as if we were lifelong friends. After hours of studying and hanging out, we decided to get dinner together as well. In total, we spent six hours together. That was inconceivable to me at the time. Willingly hanging out with a group of people for six whole hours? I don’t think I had done that since, like, elementary school. But there I was once again with people who I actually liked.

The year is 2023. As I write this, the day is Nov. 12. Those four people I studied with that day are Kate, Elizabeth, Drew and Mario: my four best friends. We meet up nearly every day. We plan events together, we’ve visited each other during school breaks, we are friends. Though our friend group has expanded since last year, my connection with those four is something special.

The one thing I can’t get over is the fact that two of the most significant days in my life occurred exactly one year apart. Was it fate? Divine intervention? Just a crazy coincidence? I don’t know. What I do know is that I will never forget Nov. 12 as the day I learned everything I know about friendship.

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About the Contributor
Brian Keim, Opinion Editor
Brian Keim is the Opinion Editor for The Carroll News, hailing from Medina, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in communications with a concentration in digital media.
Often referred to as a “person” who “exists,” Brian is also involved in the JCU Improv Troupe and Blue Streaks on the Run. In his free time he allegedly considers film-watching and book-reading to be two activities that are enjoyable as well as life-changing, if you know where to look.
To request biased film opinions, haphazard Academy Award predictions, or otherwise contact Brian Keim, he can be reached at [email protected]

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