Instead of simply talking about my outfit today I wanted to share some thoughts on friendship. It’s something that’s been playing on my mind lately and it’s not something we openly talk about however it can have a profound impact especially during difficult times or times of need, that’s when you truly realise who your real friends are.
Growing up I had quite a big group of friends, male and female and naturally we stuck together whether it was going to the cinema or spending time at each others houses etc. After I left school at 16 and entered the working world I almost immediately felt a disconnect from the group. Over time I couldn’t relate as much to what they were doing and I felt isolated as I was no longer part of the everyday conversations and goings on. I slowly but surely drifted and although we kept in touch and saw each other to celebrate birthdays and special occasions, time eventually got the better of the relationships and I found myself in a very strange position.
I was working and earning money and doing things I wanted to do but it was all very much on my own or with family. I’m naturally an introvert and don’t have a problem spending time on my own but it is nice to share experiences and create memories with other people. I didn’t find it particularly difficult to meet people or get on with like minded individuals however it never crystallised into a firm friendship. I don’t like going ‘out out’, I don’t drink and at the time it was quite socially isolating. People couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t drink alcohol and lose my inhibitions and it’s something that is, rightly or wrongly part of Scottish culture.
Over time I continued doing what I wanted to do, studying languages, travelling and in 2012 I got the job I always dreamed of. I moved to Dubai and plunged myself head first into a situation where I was totally out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know a single person, I was in a different country with a completely different culture with my family at least an 8 hour flight away and I honestly can’t tell you how daunting it was. On the flip side it was 100% the best thing I could have done. I had no problem making friends and in fact most people were in the exact same position so it was easy to stick together, look out for each other and have constant company.
What I would say about this experience is that you can very quickly have 100 new friends but do you want or need 100 friends? Probably not. Will they all have your back and recognise when you’re not quite yourself? Certainly not but the few who do are the ones you can truly identify as real friends.
Fast forward 6 years and I’m in a very different stage of my life now. I returned from Dubai and had the challenge of starting fresh all over again. I maintained the friendships I had nourished albeit from a distance however true friendship is not impacted by being in different countries or different time zones.
I’ve also experienced toxic friendships, the ones which cause far more hassle then they’ll ever be worth. I’m not sure I’d actually even call these friendships as to be frank, at the base of it all was nothing. Some people just want you around to make up the numbers or to sponge off you, not even in terms of money. Time is way more valuable than money and I sometimes get annoyed at myself for giving these people the time of day.
I’ve developed new friendships over the last 6 years that I know will last a lifetime. Friendship is a two way street and it only works when both sides make an effort. I have a solid group of friends who I can count on no matter what. I’m surrounded by strong, independent and inspiring women who support me as much as I support them. I have friendships that came along when I least expected it yet probably needed it most. I’ve had difficult situations where I’ve had to let people down yet they’ve stood by me and our bond is stronger than ever. I have people who tell me when I’m wrong or don’t always agree with me and I value that far more than someone who goes with the flow and agrees with everything to keep the peace.
All in all I would say if you’ve ever been in a situation or are in a situation where you feel you don’t have the right people around or anyone around you, don’t panic. It’s not you. It’s all about timing and it’s unlikely to be that way forever. Some people come into our lives to teach us a lesson, others come as a blessing. Some are there for a short period of time, others are in it for the long haul.
I’m truly grateful for the people in my life right now and I look forward to continuing to develop those friendships through the trials and tribulations of this thing we call life.