The bonds we form with the different people we encounter at random have the ability to make such a great impact in ones life, as do they have the ability to end up meaningless and forgotten. Over the 22 years that I have been lucky to be in existence, I would say I made friends quite easily. I was always popular in school and school was generally the environment under which my friendships thrived. My parents used to tell me I had way too many friends, and why do I value my friendships so much that I sometimes let them come before other important areas of my life, family included…it didn’t resonate with me, they (my parents) simply did not get it. In primary school I would have weekly sleepovers over the weekend, alternating from one friends house to the other, sleepovers were the social event of my primary school years, and everyone wanted to be involved. Silently we were all competing to see who could host the best sleep over, as we pressurised our moms to stock the fridge, dad to be the grill master at the braai, jampacked afternoons of swimming and running around playing in the yard and late night movie outings were some of the activities my weekend sleepovers would consist of, all in the name of building friendships.
Whilst the dynamics have but little changed, I find myself thankful that in my university years, the need to have a large group of friends that you find yourself in constant competition with has dwindled over time. Relationships have evolved from being all about the fun and the now, to being about substance and longevity. I struggled with this change for some time, worrying I was losing my way, worrying I was becoming boring and worrying I would find myself alone without companionship, but instead what i’ve gained, is love, strength in my bonds, growth, purpose, lessons, drive all through the friendships that I have come to cherish. I have learnt that,
“to find true happiness is to surround yourself with those who truly believe in not only the person you are today, but the person you could be in the future”
This post was inspired by a conversation I had the other night with someone I would call a new friend as we shared a dinner together. As we caught up, talked about our current projects, gushed over our shared interests and laughed at the silly-ness of our twenties, I knew this was a friendship that I appreciated but still had to nurture, I mean its only been a few months, don’t want to rush into anything right? But with one line she spoke, she solidified our relationship and what it meant to me right then and there. I had been sharing my story about my recent break up, and the unfortunate thoughts I was having about wanting to get back together with him and forgiving him for his mistakes and this girl I have only know for a few months uttered the words,
“Dont lie to yourself (girlindiscovery), that man does not respect you”.
Oprah Winfrey, one of my great inspirations (as cliche as it possibly can be) talks about the AHA! moment- that moment of sudden realisation, that moment the light bulb goes off in your mind and you think AHA!. This was one of my AHA! moments. She had just given me the truth I had been searching for, for over three months since my breakup, the truth I had so desperately needed to curb my love cravings for him, to end the senseless desires to return to something I no longer had any business with.
Often we become defensive to opinions we don’t necessarily want to hear, or opinions of people that know little about you, and easily, my first thoughts could have been “who does she think she is”, “what does she know anyway”, but her words were spoken with such respect for me, such high regard for who she believes I can be, for what she believes I deserve, this friend of a few months.
I had been carrying this feeling for weeks, wanting to hear peoples opinions, yearning to ask my dearest and closest friends if they thought me ending things was the right thing to do, but at the same time feeling that they would be biased in their opinions or simply just tired of hearing about it. And yet here she came, only just hearing about it all to deliver the message that would change my whole outlook and give me an entirely new perspective.
I believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason and so I am sorry Drake, im going to have to disagree with you on that ‘no new friends’ front. To you my new found friend, thank you. Thank you for your kind words have resonated with me. I appreciate you. I value our new found relationship. I love you.