Friends for life.

A post by one of my fave bloggers recently got me thinking. It was a golden oldie re-shared on Twitter one Saturday night, a week after I had caught up with family members I hadn’t seen for years.

The post was about being grateful for the kind of friends, usually of long standing, that accept us for who we are and with whom we can be ourselves, warts and all. If we’re lucky we all have those friends, someone familiar and comforting who knows who we really are. Someone whose company you enjoy easily and happily even after years apart.

Back in high school I was very cavalier about friendships. To be brutally honest I didn’t feel that the girls I hung out with were life-long-friend material, but then nor was I. It turns out that there were one or two who I should have held on to, but instead I focused my attention on the boyfriend who would go on to be the husband, and let my friendships fall by the wayside. Marrying and having babies straight after leaving school also contributed to a painless and natural parting of ways, with no acrimony or arguments from anyone, as we headed in very different directions.

Through Facebook I have reconnected with some school friends as well as ladies I never really got to know back then, and have “got to know them”, as much as you can via social media. {On the flip side Facebook has also served as a reminder why I wasn’t friends with some of them in the first place 😉 }. Mostly it’s been interesting seeing all the different places life has taken us since we all finished school together.

Then there are the cousins I grew up with, two in particular, who influenced me enormously. While he and I drifted apart by the time I married, it’s my female cousin I slowly grew closer to. We too lost touch for a few years but have, happily, recently reconnected. And the thing that both amazes me and gladdens me is the ease with which we picked up where we left off. You know those people you’re on the same wavelength as? Well that doesn’t always stay that way. I’ve had friends I thought I would grow old with but now have no contact with. With my cousin and I there’s the shared family history but more importantly there’s that person who has known you since you were both fat pre-schoolers {okay that was just me, she was a twig}, who really knows you, and with whom you can say all the things you can’t say to most other people. She’s the one who I can unload all my family crap onto because they’re her family too, and she won’t judge me for it.

Popular opinion says that it’s your siblings who will be your best friends for life, but when that all went pear shaped for me it was my cousin who stepped in, saying, I’m here if you need me. And when I recently saw my Aunt and cousins after many years of no contact it was astonishing how easy it was. There was not an iota of discomfort or unease. There was instead a warmth and welcome which meant the world to me. After the crap of the last two years in which I was made to feel like an unacceptable outcast, to feel loved and welcomed by my own blood moved me to tears. I love that our daughters are already BFF’s, that our sons were swapping CD’s within hours of meeting again, and I love that no-one wanted the day to end.

So whether it’s a school friend, a cousin, a colleague, or a sibling, having those friends who truly know and love you is awesome. Being able to pick up where you left off five or ten or twenty years ago like it was yesterday is magic.

Make sure you tell them sometime.

And Maz, this post is for you.

Ana.

  1. Aww bless what a lovely post, I must do a similar thing for my bestie in NZ!! She reads my blog but I’m VERY slack with being in touch. Those friends are VERY hard to find aren’t they?

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    1. Em it was your golden oldie that prompted this! So thank you! But yes, those kind of people are rare and real treasures.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, some partially inspired by your posts on family too. Thinking of old friends and how/why we drifted and when it was right and when it wasn’t. Mostly I’ve been thinking about what was different in friendships that kept some of us together. And sadly about friendships I feel may have run their course. Nothing against anyone, nothing “bad” happened but a lack of closeness if we’re honest about it and maybe wondering why I’m hanging on? That drift coming back into current relationships. Good to think about and sort out, although I can’t imagine ever saying “Hey, I love you and we’ve been friends for 20 years but I feel like we’ve run our course and it’s boring, cool?”. Lots to think about on that. Thanks for this beautiful post and it reminds me to thank those long-time friends that accept me warts & all. I have one in mind. Really enjoyed reading this and I hope Maz sees it.

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    1. I feel like I have learned one very important thing about friendships, and that’s to sometimes allow the time and space that both parties needs. Nothing needs to officially “end”, but sometimes it’s okay to step back and leave it open ended.

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  3. Ana this is beautiful xo

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  4. Awww that is so lovely!!! I love the fact that your daughters are so close now too. It’s a beautiful thing. I am lucky to have a few of those friends who have been there since the early days. As you say, it doesn’t matter how long we’re apart, we can pick up where we left off. BTW, this is my first time to your blog. I love it. I’ll have to like you on FB. Dropping in via #teamIBOT

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    1. Thank you so much. And I am hoping to find some time tonight to do my ibot reading! Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I’ve got a few friends loft over from high school, but I’m not particularly close with any of them. I regret it a little, but also not.
    I struggle to make really good friends these days.

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  6. Did my comment get lost? That’s happening to me a lot today!
    I struggle to make really great friends these days. I had one beautiful one in Darwin, but then we moved and it’s been hard to make a friend like her again. 🙁

    Reply

    1. Got both comments!

      I wonder if it gets harder as we get older? And maybe we search for quality over quantity, for lack of a better term?

      Reply

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