[3.5 min read]
Sometimes when you come from a big family your first friend is a sibling. This was true for me, my younger brother was my friend and playmate. We helped each other understand the world and got along really well – teenage years and influences pulled us apart a little, but we still shared confidences and supported each other. He moved in with me when my parents moved to the countryside and still has my back. Yeah he is my oldest friend.
Facebook has helped me catch up with friends who had fallen by the wayside over the years. I find, however, that after 1 or 2 meetups where we laugh over the funny memories, how much/little we’ve changed, I can place that friendship in the ‘exhausted’ pile. There is a reason I let that partnership slip through my fingers, we’ve outgrown our usefulness for each other.
Some friends are simply right place right time:
- the colleague who keeps you company at lunch time
- the friend who is pregnant at the same time as you
- the mum of the child with whom your toddler loves playing in the sandbox
- the neighbour who pops round for a glass of vino and a chat at the end of the day
These temporary friendships are easy to move on from. What you once had in common no longer exists, so the friendship fades out.
Other times strong friendships are broken by circumstances:
- you/they move away
- your partner doesn’t get on with / approve of them
- change of jobs
- one of you starts a family while the other stays single
I’d like to share a little about these handpicked friends who have my back:
My oldest friend has known me since I was 9, we have been boyfriend and girlfriend 3 separate times. I wrote about him here as I did about my best friend. The overarching fact about both these beautiful people is that, although we meet up less often than we’d like, we always pick up where we left off. This is the hallmark of a true friend. My girlfriend in particular knows many of my secrets, and I know hers, but most importantly we listen with compassion, offer advice sometimes, but we don’t judge.
My closest friend. She has the same birthday as me! It’s as if we’re twin sisters. Do you believe in horoscopes? I do. She and I share similar interests, our kids were even in the same year at school. We shop together, grab a coffee whenever and have even worked together. One of the few vanilla friends aware of my racy writing, she celebrates my successes with me.
Virtual friends. Even though I haven’t known them long – some of us have formed strong bonds of friendship already. Top of this select pile is May More. We hit it off so well at our first Eroticon, that we’ve supported each other ever since. I love her writing while admiring her resilience and creativity, I reach out to her, as she sometimes does to me, for sound advice, emotional support, ideas or to share exposure. One of the most joyous and accepting people I know, May provides education and encouragement.
I don’t think I could live a happy life without the friends I have around me. I am cradled by their support and stimulated by our interaction. I learn from them and gain inspiration. Putting highlights into my working week, it enhances my enjoyment of experiences to share them with a friend. Not a loner by nature, I like to bounce off people, I need friends – a handful of true ones.
They say true friends are like stars, you might not always see them, but you know they’re always there.