I read this beautiful article via a link on Facebook. It came just at a moment when I was feeling very grateful for all the friends in my life.
To be honest, I am not a “friends” person. I find it very difficult to break the ice with anyone. Sometimes, I just hit it off with someone, and I can babble on for hours till they beg me to stop. But most of the time, I stand tongue-tied, willing myself to change to wall colour like a chameleon and quietly disappear without a trace.
At school, I had mostly hi-bye friends or lunch friends. Perhaps it was because I stayed far away, and there were not many kids from my school in my neighbourhood. When I left home to do my engineering, I realize in hindsight I was far too immature. I had the silliest, most unbalanced notions of what life was all about! I did make good friends though, many of whom I am in touch with even now. But it took me a great many years to realize just how much we had in common, and how much deeper my friendships could have been, if only I had the wisdom at that time!
Professional life has been much kinder to me. I spent far more time with my friends than anywhere else, and it made me happy. The kind of bond I have with a particular set of colleagues is wonderful, and I value it a great deal. DH is my best friend, (ex-)colleague, and bestest half, all rolled in one — I would not have it any other way!
After Lil D came into our lives, I relied mostly on DH to provide all the friendship I required, and of course, that drove both of us insane. Enter blogging, and suddenly, I had so many people I loved to hang out with, who made my life so much more interesting. This too was a friendship that didn’t demand, didn’t expect, yet gave so much in return. Even when virtual turned real, the ties didn’t snap; they only grew stronger.
When Lil D went out to play, I often lurked around, trying to disappear into the bushes to avoid other mommies. I felt myself a complete stranger, an oddity, given that my non-existent networking skills had grown rusty with disuse. I was more comfortable in front of a screen, with emoticons and acronyms helping me communicate rather than using my face and hands, and actually moving my lips to make intelligible sounds.
But I guess when the right friends come along, it becomes very simple. I began to look forward to my chat sessions with my friends, attended tea-parties(!), went out for family dinners and trips, and celebrated birthdays together. We’ve become each other’s extended support system, just a call away to share our laughter and pain, our joys and sorrows.
Not a day goes by when I don’t feel the deepest gratitude for what my friends have given me. This past month, I have had so many old friends popping out of the woodwork just to say hi, and that feels wonderful.
“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”