I’ve been struggling a bit with writing blog posts lately and even though the ideas are there I’m struggling with the words, life seems like one big vacuum lately just lots and lots of space and emptiness. Now, I don’t wish to imply I’m depressed because I’m really not but things aren’t peachy either. And I think during these times you have an awful lot of time to brood and reflect, which really should be perfect conditions for writing but alas chronic brain fog problems. One thing, in particular, I’ve been mindful of lately is friendships, so I thought I’d at least try and put those musings to paper, or screen as it were.
Friends are some of the most influential people we will have in our lives. Possibly, even more so than some romantic relationships. We’ll learn from them, be influenced by them, share some of the best times of our lives with them and unfortunately some of the worst times too. Sharing a once in a lifetime experience or even just a great night out with a great friend can make it all the more special. They help us to make memories that will hopefully live with us until we’re old and grey. Help us be braver. Help us make decisions. And knowing that we have people to support us when the shit hits the fan and life gets tough, as it inevitably will, is such a comfort.
But sometimes friendships have their hardships too, sometimes someone who we thought was our best friend becomes someone we never talk to anymore and that can be devastating. Sometimes there’s a very definite ending and other times friendships run their course as you both grow and change. They can simply fizzle out. There is a saying that goes:
“Some friends come into your life for a reason
Some friends come into your life for a season
And some friends come into your life for a lifetime”
And the older I get the more I realise just how true this saying is. Friendships aren’t as simple as tv shows make them out to be. They’re not always so linear and everlasting. And it can be incredibly hard to understand the “some friends come into your life for a reason” and “some come into your life for a season” parts. Because real friends stick around, don’t they? But have you ever considered that a friendship is no less real and valuable even though it only lasted for a relatively short period of time? In particular for those friendships that fizzle out, rather than those that end because of something happening that is beyond the realms of what friendship is about.
With reflection, you can often see the advantage to each and every friendship you’ve had or have. Even if it’s simply that you’ve learnt what to avoid or what not to do. Sometimes, people come into our lives for a short time but during that time they teach us something of much value. Or they are the right people that we need to help us through that particular phase of our lives.
Of course, what I’m not saying is that this makes losing a friend or finding out someone you thought was there for you really isn’t is easy. Especially if it’s something that wasn’t really your choice. It’s hard and you have to let out all those emotions, in many ways you have to grieve but there will come a time when you can reflect.
We are all shaped and moulded into the people that we are by our experiences and the people we meet along this journey called life. Would we be the people we are today if we’d never have met so and so? Whether you are religious or believe in fate or destiny or the universe or whatever there will always be a reason that person came into your life. Even if you don’t realise it at the time and it’s something you only learn in hindsight.
Many see friendship based on popularity and see it as a numbers game, the more the merrier because that way there is always someone to turn to in a crisis or someone else to phone up to go out with if someone else has to cancel. But friendship is most definitely about quality, not quantity.
And unfortunately, we can only really know the real quality of a friendship when times are hard. Those times we most need a friend. That or spend a long haul flight together, hehe. This is when friendships can show their real colours and we learn who really is in our corner. Not that I’m recommending having a crisis in order to test your friendships. But I d0 recommend holding on to those friends that are your light in the dark and love you when you feel unloved, who offer comfort when you have little to give in return as tight as you can. These are the friends you want to have for a lifetime. Because friendship isn’t just about only being there for the good times it’s about what you do during the bad times.
But the beautiful thing is that we never know who’s about to walk into our lives and impact us for the better. Nor, whether that person we only talk to every now and again will be the one person to genuinely offer to be there for us in a time of crisis. Or whether that friendship that fizzled out might one day be reignited.
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