Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Soliloquy on Friendships

At any point, the word 'friendship' can be replaced with the word 'relationship'. I just chose to be specific to friendships.

Fairly recently,someone said to me:"A good way to measure a friendship is if you like who you are when you are around the people". This left me pondering alot on the saying that I used to loathe when I was a teenager(not so long ago): "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are!". See, this phrase haunted me because although I loved my friends at the time, I wouldn't have picked any of them to be an all-round representative of who I was. Sure we liked the same music, dressed similarly and maybe had the same hobbies but our lifestyle choices and general attitude towards life were different. So naturally, knowing this, I would be the first to disagree with this statement. Truth is, while I love and cherish my friends from back then,ours was mostly a friendship of convenience. This might sound harsh, but that is not at all my heart.

Now, years later(I'm still 22 though),I look back and I cant help but agree with and be challenged by this statement. Mostly,because its now painfully obvious to me that you can't spend so much time with someone and not pick up things from them. These "things" can range from lingo to entire ideologies. I have no idea how many times I have caught myself using a phrase that a friend of mine uses or suddenly finding myself taking a liking to certain food that they like. As we spent time with people, they somehow start to become a part of us. We influence each other in deeper ways than we realise.This has challenged me in so many ways. I wont lie, I was even deeply conflicted at some point. This kind of epiphany makes one want to start examining their friendships or more specifically their friends.

This is not to say that one must pick friends that are exactly like them because that would be both impossible and extremely boring. No two people are clones, not even twins. [Side note: I have cousins that are twins. They are sooo the same, yet sooo different.] What I have come to learn,however,is that in the end one needs to have friends who share the same convictions.If we are not on the same path or running the same race, we definitely won't understand each other's tribulations nor will we be able to steer each other in the relevant direction. In times when I lose sight of the bigger picture, I need a friend who can remind me again of all the things that are important in the long run. Otherwise what are we doing? Just passing time?

I once read a facebook status update that said:"Staying friends with your ex, is like your dog dying and your mom saying you can still keep it.". Disclaimer: I neither support nor reject this statement. But I did realise though that sometimes friendships can also be like dogs that have long been dead but we keep dragging them around with the hopes of reviving them. And then we get frustrated at the dog for not running around with you and fulfilling that role that it used to. But truth is, its not the dogs fault. This challenged me so much, its not even funny(Another phrase I'm sure I picked up from a friend). The sad and painful truth is that people and circumstances change and people grow apart. Some friendships are only for a season and dragging them past their expiry date just makes the break up more painful. Friends do break up.

I have also heard that the best vitamin for friendship is B1. This means that one must be the kind of friend that they so want to have. See, this made me think of the time when I cringed at the thought of "show me your friends...". My immediate response at the time was a me-response. I never once thought "Am I a good reflection of my friends? Do I represent them well?".

I do understand,though,that there are different levels of friendships(I sometimes even I think I use the term too lightly). The ones that I(since this is mainly a soliloquy)focus on are what I would call "The people I do life with".

But ya(<--this is the phrase I use to wrap up all statements I make), I'm still young and I am learning.

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