I’ve been desperately missing my best friend lately. The holiday season and the fact that he’s been overseas working a lot means that I haven’t seen him in a couple of months. It just feels weird. There is nothing particular that I want to talk to him about. It’s not like we haven’t been in email and phone contact. I just want to see him. I feel like something is missing from my life and it’s him.
This fact got me thinking about the nature of friendships in general. I have another couple of best friends. They are my girls and there is never a week that goes by when I don’t see them. It’s not because I love them any more than I love Paul, it’s just the nature of friendships.
Last year, for the first time in my life, I made friends with some people online. I never thought it would happen to me. I was actually one of those people that used to scorn online relationships. Now I realise that they are kinda like the new generation version of penpals. It’s completely legitimate to befriend someone that you’ve never met (and more than likely never will). They serve quite a different purpose to in-real-life friends. You can tell them things that would be considered gossip if you told people that move in your world. You can confide things about yourself that you don’t want others to know. You can offload.
I have friends from my past that I am no longer in constant contact with but they move around on the periphery of my life and I know that when I see them it’ll be just like I never left. They were people that were fundamental in past lives, so we have a connection that will always be there. I got a fright just before Christmas when one such friend almost died in childbirth. I had been meaning to get in touch with her for ages. She had been on my mind. I heard from her when she came out of critical care and was on the mend. It made me realise that I need to be vigilant about staying in touch – even if it’s just a text to say hi.
It used to frustrate me that I was always the person that did the contacting. I used to feel that if I didn’t, then people would slip away, because they are too lazy to do the contacting themselves. I have realised that it probably is the case, but that it’s ok. The fact that I’ve always played that role means that people have come to expect it. Now that I’ve actually committed some proper thought to it I’ve realised that I don’t mind. I’m the contacter. It’s what I do.
I have a huge circle of friends, of many different natures. I like that there are people out there that I can call on for different things at different times, whether it be for some sort of support or just for a wine in the sun and a few laughs. Part of that has to do with the fact that I love to be loved I suppose. I have known that about myself forever. More of it has to do with the fact that for me, life is all about people.
So to all of my friends out there, whatever the nature of our relationship may be…
I love you.