I’m a 27-year-old; I have a few learnings from my life experiences, a ton of them to go. But, what I learned very soon in life is “Friends Forever” is a nice concept; one to cherish and look forward to, too. But not one to bank on. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you know? This is a beautiful thing. It is a concept that teaches you a few things but not banking on it teaches you a lot more:
- Have faith in yourself and your own company first.
- Don’t crowd people with expectations.
- Live in the now, tomorrow is undecided for us all.
- Friends are sources of temporary happiness.
When we meet someone, we know nothing of their past and nothing of who they are. It’s a blank page that you begin on. A story with someone new that you can learn from. It doesn’t have to be a short story, and it doesn’t have to be an endless one either. It just has to be a beautiful one!
While going for drinks is fun, hanging out and making conversation is a relief, sometimes friends also arrive when you need some picking up and holding tight. They are there to rid you of all the pain you feel; they are there to help you feel lighter, a little less alone, and a little bit brighter. Friendships are wonderful. They are your rescue when the day gets hard. They are the go-to when expectations tend to drown you. They are there, without asking for anything in return. Sometimes, we tend to depend on our friends for too much. We don’t realise how that dependence turns into a quiet expectation. And when these expectations aren’t met, we tend to withdraw our love from the equation. But it doesn’t have to be this way; friends are there to make life easy. They aren’t always available, and they don’t have to be. Choose yourself first. Count on yourself. Leave the vulnerability; choose to be stronger. Sometimes, all you need is yourself.
I say this from experience. I was the kind of person that counted on my friends for too many things. To be there whenever I needed a hand to hold, and when they couldn’t oblige, I would be furious. I would cut off, fight and hurt. But ultimately, the only person that I ended up hurting everytime was myself. It took years of building and breaking friendships to truly understand the meaning of friendship. It has to feel serene, light, unbothered and transparent; not possessive, obligatory and full of expectations. Consider this: for those that have pets, they leave their homes every morning to go to work, and return at the end of the day when the tasks of the day are done. How do you feel your pet dog feels when you leave everyday? He could want you to spend all day with him, caress him and take care of him. But he still jumps with joy every time you enter at the end of the day. It is a pure friendship. It is, “You are my friend. I am always happy to see you. It is okay if you have things to do. I am happy to see you whenever you have some free time”. It is gentle, it is understanding, it is not expectant and it is not possessive.
Whether your friends are married and cannot make time, or at work and cannot find free time or simply in a different time zone and finding it hard to keep up the communication; learn to be patient. Life is hard for us all, and we are always each other’s shoulders to rest on. But the main shoulder you need to hold, is your own. So if someone cannot reach you in time, don’t blame them for it. Don’t make them feel horrible about it. Everyone is fighting a battle we may know nothing about. I will end this by quoting Bob Marley to you: “ The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
Because at the end of the day, we face disappointment from a whole lot of people. We just need to find those that we are able to forgive every time, for the hope of a nice future with them, but the freedom to choose to be happy with ourselves too!
Week 2, January 2021
Originally published at https://www.roadfolkmag.com on January 8, 2021.