“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” ~ Ann Landers
The topic of relationships is one that I enjoy having discussions and debating about, and as I always refer to, all kinds of relationships that exist. Friendships in particular are soul-stirring; your support system for when things go wrong, and your companions for celebration and cheerful days. I personally don’t know what I’d do without them.
In every place that I have traveled and moved to, the one thing that I look forward (and almost worry about given my introverted-ness) is making friends. When you move abroad and away from your family, the people surrounding you and keeping you from being homesick; are your friends. When I grew up in Malawi, I had my friends with me all throughout high school, with friends who left and came; sorrowful goodbyes and heart-warming hellos. So when I left Malawi, there was no doubt that it was a huge adjustment for me; where I was the one leaving, instead of my friends. And yet I can now say fortunately enough, that from there, I was lucky enough to make a handful of really close friends in Dubai, and a handful of really close friends in Dunedin. And I adore that; this handful that you know you can trust and rely on, rather than the ‘hello-how are you-goodbye’ types of friendships that are on the surface level.
My Mother has always told me that I’m fortunate to have the friends that I do. And there is no doubt in my mind that I agree. I’m so attached to every one of them, spread all over the globe, sometimes making business plans with them in case we fail at life, or making travel plans with them, or discussing how our friendships would be if we were neighbours instead of spread so far apart! #Longdistancebestfriends
I had my best friend in the States tell me recently, that had it not been for me constantly bugging her to keep in touch, she would probably lose herself, to which I laughed and told her there’s no way I’m losing her, let alone her losing herself. In fact, if not for my friends, there’s so much that I truly know I would be losing out on. They’ve been my rock solid pillar when things have gone wrong, from instant skype calls, to hospital visits, to listening to me rant when I’m in a frustrated mood. I’ve had people tell me that when you leave college and high school, your friendships die, but why is that the case? I’m not saying I’m the best at keeping in touch in order to say anything, but I do believe that even with work, and perhaps when you start a family, you should dedicate some time for your true friends. I also believe that you should do the same with health; but that’s a debate for another day.
Do I believe that friends are more important than a partner or family? Of course not; thats a given. But whether its sharing whimsical stories over lunch or pouring out heartaches, your friends are the ones that you can turn to. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you should let yourself be taken for granted, although I think one way or another you’re never going to know if that happens, until it does, and until you choose to draw a line. Vulnerability is important, but not to the point that you lose sense of your identity.
Perhaps I’m feeling sincerely reminiscent since I’m back in Malawi regarding my high school years, or perhaps I feel like I haven’t seen and spent enough time with my friends recently (aside from the ones in Dubai who I was fortunate enough to just visit). Yet it gives a gentle glow to my heart as I feel blessed in knowing that I have a true number of friends I can count on.