What does friendship mean to you?
To me it’s pretty much an extension of my family – especially not having any brothers or sisters.
Choosing to having a small group of close friends throughout my life, I pretty much share everything with those girls…
Sometimes it can be bloody hard being a good friend – you have to sit by and watch those closest to you make decisions that you may have conflicted feelings about, or when they go through a really difficult time you experience some of the same feelings walking alongside them… and I definitely think as you get older those friendships have to be invested in and nurtured… as people say, very much like a relationship.
I have one friend I’ve known since I was 11 and sometimes she and I can go months without speaking, but I know that if I picked up the phone at 3 a.m. needing help she would be there – unquestionably – and vice a versa. When times get tough we tend to pull together and be in contact more and then when life is steady and stable, we just check in now and again – but I love her like a sister and she loves me and I know we’ll be in each other’s lives forever.
I have another friend who I only see occasionally for coffee and we have what you may say is less deep of a connection, but we enjoy each other’s company and catching up on our lives every few months so that’s cool… I don’t expect every single friend of mine to be constantly in contact and know everything at all times!
I also have a friend who I speak to regularly online, but have only actually met twice in person as she isn’t local to me …. its a newer friendship than my others, but we still share our deepest and darkest life moments and she is still very dear to me.
That being said, although nowadays it’s so easy to connect with people online and have a ‘digital relationship’, I think absolutely nothing beats sitting down with someone who knows you better than you know yourself, discussing the ups and downs of men/fat thighs/life whilst eating cake or demolishing a bottle of Prosecco!
On the other side of things, I often read about people having ‘toxic friendships’ with those who maybe cause them more stress than anything else positive in their life and I suppose I have experienced a little bit of that over the years.
I definitely know that sometimes it can take a while to actually realise your relationship with someone has developed in a more negative way – sometimes it happens gradually over time, or your needs as a friend and person change … and I think it’s quite a difficult situation to manage.
It’s not like with a boyfriend where you may see they aren’t bringing enough positive things into your life so you make the decision to dump them – that’s not really the done thing with female friendships is it …. I suppose it’s more that you drift apart and see less of each other, disclose less of the intimate details of your life and a distance naturally grows?
Whatever the ups and downs and efforts friendships may create in our lives, I’m hugely grateful for every single person who walks (or drunkenly staggers) alongside me and in the past few years I’ve had to allow myself to be supported by others in a way that was quite unfamiliar to me – it’s normally me wanting to be the supportive one – and it’s been wonderful to experience such amazing support that has felt gentle, effortless, unobtrusive and unconditional.
This stage of my life has definitely made me look at the quality of the relationships with all of my friends and be determined to continue to work hard on keeping in touch with and nurture that special bond with them…
So if you’re reading this and are one of the lovely ladies I’m referring to, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being in my life…. and see you for cake and/or Prosecco very soon!
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