The other day, I was thinking about friendship and what it means to me now that I’m a twenty-something year old. As a kid, friends could come and go in the blink of an eye; one of my earliest memories is going on holiday with my parents (I must have been three) to a camping park in France and meeting another three-year old girl who I quickly became “best friends” with – and she didn’t speak a word of English. It didn’t matter; we played quite happily in our own little worlds and I never saw her again after that first week. But in my three-year-old head, she was the best friend I’d ever had.
Even at primary school, you have friends who you’re convinced you’ll grow old with and your children will also be best friends and you’ll be in each other’s lives for ever and ever. And then you start secondary school, get put in different forms and never speak to each other again (apart from the odd ‘Happy Birthday!’ on Facebook).
I’ve found in the past few years that I have less and less friends. It’s true. It doesn’t mean I’m any less sociable or friendly (I hope). I just seem to have shed some mates and my friendship circle is somewhat smaller than it was when I was 19. But the friends I do have in my life now are ones I truly value. They’ve been there with me through good and bad times; some I’ve known since I was a toddler and some just a few months.
To me, friendship is about loyalty. It’s about being comfortable enough with someone that it doesn’t matter how long it was since you last met; it always feels like no time has passed. Most importantly, friendship is about laughter. Some of lifes happiest memories have come with my time spent with friends.
I recently rekindled a friendship with someone who I fell out with a few years ago. Our lives were very much entwined in various ways and we met simply to ‘clear the air’. She’s now one of my closest friends, I see her almost every week and I’d do (almost) anything for her. Some friendships can’t weather a storm; others can. Our new found relationship is one I’m extremely proud of and has made me realise how important it is to know who your true friends are.