So I signed up for WordPress’ postaday2011 challenge as a way of keeping me motivated to blog, even if what i’m blogging has no real structure and no real aim. And I’ve signed up to NaBloPoMo with the same train of thought..despite the fact that the ‘national’ tag doesn’t quite fit. Why sign up to two? Well, motivation comes from a variety of different quarters. The more exposure you give your inner cogs, the more likely you are to activate the sensors. Or so the thinking goes.
According to the screen as I signed up, NaBloPoMo’s – bit of a mouthful, no? – theme of the month is friendship. The past couple of years have been in some ways the most formative of my life. A change of country, religious belief and conversion, marriage and a (current) 8 month pregnancy in a short space of time is bound to affect friendships because such life-altering choices, made consciously by you, are an attempt to consciously affect you.
I’ve never been a big believer in the whole concept of having a million and one “friends”. Friendship is a valuable commodity and its’ value deserves to be cherished, which means having the time to put in. And besides, there’s only so much of you to go around. As we move through stages of our life, the people around us inevitably change; we change and simultaneously, those we call friends change too. If you’re lucky enough to live close by to the people whose friendships you value, you’re less likely to notice change as it tends to happen gradually. And vice versa; the changes in you are (more often than not) accepted with just as much ease. It’s when you move away, when the contact becomes sporadic or the lives polar opposites that the changes become more of a questioning point, more of an issue and ultimately, a true test of friendship.
An acquaintance on Facebook recently used this line as a Facebook status: “If a relationship is to evolve, it must go through a series of endings.”As far as friendships go, true friendships that extend far beyond the here and now, no truer word has ever been spoken. Friends are not always going to agree with what we do, not always going to like the words we speak or the choices we make with our lives. There’ll be times when friendships need a break for a while, when your lives aren’t running in correlation and the stars are at risk of collision. True friendship survives, maybe even thrives on these breaks. You break up and you start again, with all the history of the past, with none of the messiness of the first date and the knowledge that you’ll do it all again soon. Sometimes it’s because of an action, sometimes it’s just a feeling. But the decision to press pause, with true friends, comes simultaneously. And you know that no matter how long the ending, the evolution continues and when it’s time… even when it’s not…when one chooses to press play, the other turns it back on.
Not all of my friendships have survived the last couple of years. In fact, on a hand I could count those I’d press the pause button for. And that handful of friends is worth more than all those who drifted away together. A true friend stabs you in the front…