The art of friendship/ the art of making friends has never come easy to me. I’ve never quite gotten it down. I can recall my first day of school, being absolutely petrified as my dad walked away and waved goodbye while hand motioning me to get into class; the door shut behind me and the sound of screaming, wailing and laughter filled the air. I tried going back to my dad but he was long gone and the teacher held my hand and told me to find a seat. We all sat in a circle, a boy on my right and a girl on my left. The teacher then said “look around kids, these are your new friends”… and just like that, the art of making friends began… Before school, all I had were ‘play dates’ in social gatherings or in my neighbourhood, I’d play with kids my age or slightly older until it was time to go back home but it never went beyond playing games like hide and go seek, kati or cha mama or bladder.
Primary and middle school were kind of a blur in terms of friendships, I think it was still more playing and homework but fast forward to high school and oh boy did things get serious, it was like a switch suddenly went off, cliques/groups started popping up all over the place, suddenly being popular is all that mattered, being mean nasty, back stabbing, having best friends and changing them like underwear was the order of the day. It was brutal; more so because I attended two single sex (girls only) high schools….ladies you know what I mean… I don’t know why but girls and women alike can be absolutely horrid to each other. I remember watching Sisterhood of the travelling pants and thinking what a load of bull…..because my experience of ‘sisterhood’ was rather different.
Suffice to say I was never one of the popular kids neither did I want to be; I wasn’t particularly gifted or talented in one thing and I didn’t really stand out except with my weight of course. I did not have the desire to conform or fit in, I just longed for friendship, genuine friends whom I could laugh with, cry with, argue and make up with and just go through life together with… At times I felt that way (mostly when I was in school) but the rest of the time (outside of school), I was alone with my books, my Korean and Japanese dramas, my family and church. My undergrad experience was also similar. Of course I met lots of great, lovely people whom I spent amazing moments with outside of school; I can also say the same with workmates too.
However there’s something missing; or rather something feels amiss at times… and I can’t quite identify what it is. There’s a lack of wholeness when it comes to the area of friendships in my life. So why am I sharing this? It’s not because I’m averse to being vulnerable about intimate details of my life online but because I think a lot of people feel the same way I do regarding friendships in their lives; especially people within my age group who have moved around a lot. Do I have friends? Yes, Do I have a best-friend? Yes, but that’s not the point. Having friends, making friends, being a good friend and maintaining friendships is not an easy thing. I’m still struggling with this but there’s a two major lessons that I’ve learned along the way:
- Everyone is going to hurt you in one way or another, you just need to find/identify people who are worth suffering for.
- No man is an island; in as much as you may enjoy solitude and your own company, we were not created to be loners. I see God’s example too; He is three in one, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. His greatest commandment is to love, He also created the union of marriage and the family unit. So if my maker is all about people, relationships and love. I will follow suite no matter how hard it may be to navigate. A verse that really encourages me is Hebrews 10:25 “Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near”.
I hope this week’s blogpost will make you reflect on the status of friendships in your life.
Until next week ^.^
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