One of my newer (and much younger) friends asked me recently how I managed to remain in contact with so many people for such a long time. He went on to explain that he’d always felt the needed to be in touch with people all the time in order to keep up a friendship and hence had lost touch with several.
His question made me think and this is the answer I came up with.
First of all we need to be clear not to confuse colleagues and friends. The relationships are completely different.
We actually experience several different types of friendships over the course of a lifetime. There are many types of friendships and the old saying ”people come into your life for a reason, for a season, for a lifetime” is definitely correct but it is only as we grow older that we understand and appreciate this.
Friendships occur amongst school friends, workmates and sports teams as well as within social circles that we mix in. Many of these tend to be of a transitory nature with only a few friendships continuing once we move into different jobs, sports or circles. Those we maintain contact with tend to be those who we truly have a connection with.
I’ve been lucky enough to connect in person with several friends over the last couple of months. They are all people who I have not seen for some time yet when we met again the conversations flowed as if it was yesterday.
A friend can come from any walk of life, and indeed my friends are a very diverse group from all corners of the globe. A friend does not necessarily agree with you all the time, rather friendship is built on mutual respect where each person can be themselves and unafraid to express alternate views. Friends also sometimes provide advice that we might not want to hear but it is always given with the best intention and these tend to be our friends for a lifetime, people who we know will support us in an hour of need even if they don’t always agree with our decisions. They are the ones who drop everything to turn up with the tissues, bottles of gin or whatever else is needed during a moment of crisis.
Each of the friendships I’ve experience have helped me develop and grow as a person. I am thankful for the experiences and grateful for all my friends far and wide both the new and the old. Through this blog I’ve been keeping in touch with the world at large and it’s those who take the time to respond by clicking Like on the Facebook feed, sending me a private message, an email or leaving a comment on the blog that make my day. Friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime – thanks for sharing the journey that is life.