On the Rhythms of Friendship

Dear quarter lives,

Sometimes friends move. Sometimes you move. Sometimes they change. Sometimes you change. And very often it doesn’t happen at the same time for all of you. And so it seems that every friendship has its own rhythm. Unfolds in its own time, deepens at its own pace, but what all friendships have in common is that they are always moving, none remain in the same place forever. They travel as you travel, and explore new depths and horizons as you do. And all are bound to face a storm. Some end up parting ways and others grow tighter in the process. There are few friendships that have lived their entire lives on tropical islands, untouched by harsh winters and scorching desert suns. Some friendships age gracefully and mature into the finest of wines. Others die young. And others have yet to explore new territories with their friendship, to discover its boundaries and test its will. Some are friendships of grief, brought together by the unfortunate events of life. And the oldest kind of all are friendships of childhood. Like all other things in childhood, because we are so small, they are so large.

The friendships of childhood are one of the most important, if not the most important way we come to form relationships with people outside our family. They are how we observe interactions between others and how we learn to observe ourselves in the world. They are our first mirrors. Childhood friendships were our entry way into the world of complex human relationships. They introduced us to conflict. They taught us how to play, how to communicate, how to say sorry and how to share. Childhood friendships are the context in which we got to experience a complex range of emotions that we didn’t understand yet as children, for instance like how we can love someone so much and get so mad at them that we decide we never want to see them again, even if never was just for a moment. Childhood friendships taught us about the contradictory nature of people, of life, of our actions, of how we might feel we have the best toys and still want to have our friend’s toys too. Childhood friendships are where our humanity first expresses itself. It is where we perform our first kindest acts and our first cruellest ones. Childhood friendships can be ones we hold dear to our hearts and can be those too we never want to be reminded of. After all, they are one of the strongest connections to our past. And some portion of our past is bound to be wonderful and some bound to be traumatic, and some just bla. But unlike the past that cannot move forward with us, the people from our past can. And it is always our choice to carry them with us (whether consciously or unconsciously). It is us that decides how much of our past we keep close and how much we tuck away and kiss goodnight.

It is interesting don’t you think, this term friend-ship. A ship of friends. A ship that carries you across the river of time. From past to future. This river filled with people swimming and you the only permanent occupant of your ship bring people in from time to time, some are to entertain you, some to teach you, others so you can teach them, some are for your judgement, others will come to judge you, some will make you laugh, others will bring you sorrow, some will bully you, and others will offer you their hearts full of love. There is much we get from friendship, and there is much we give to it too. It is a relationship after all, one that takes and one that gives, and in that exchange creates bonds and connections that shape the ship we travel on through life.

To all friends, old and new, thank you.

With love and always for peace,

S.A.

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