When I was younger, I thought the more friends you had the happier you were. I longed to be part of a large girls’ friendship group at school.
As I grow older, I have realized that could not be further from the truth. I find myself with only a handful of people I call true friends. I am not as quick to trust or as quick to let people into my life.
I have always lived life at full throttle, always busying myself because that is what makes me happy. I have a full-time job as a teacher and then on weekends I hit the stage with my band. Many friends would ask us to do things, but then give up on us because we were working on the weekends. I was always saddened by this, because I had thought they would support us and be happy that we were living our dreams.
In the last few years, our family unit has gone through a change. My husband chose to take an early redundancy. I took on the role of the person who went out to work, while he took on the role looking after the household. People found it hard to understand that a 49-year-old man was not working. The truth is he never lived to work, he worked to live. I respect this amazing man who is comfortable cooking, cleaning and providing for us. He makes my life easier so I can go out to work, something I love doing as a teacher. But again, friends fell by the wayside, not understanding our decisions.
Now I find myself careful with who I let in. Friendship for me is about supporting and never giving up on friends. We might be busy; it doesn’t mean we don’t think fondly of you or would love the occasional invite.
Friendship for me is epitomized by my friendship with my best girlfriend. We can go weeks or months without talking. She moved 6 hours away from me. As saddened as I was, I am happy for her. We still make the effort because we know it is worth it.
It never hurts to reach out to a friend to say “Hi” if you haven’t seen them for a while. You never know what they are going through in these chaotic times.