I used to think that friendships last for ever but growing pains have taught me that they don’ t. Today, I know they don’t have to. At age that 7, I had a playmate I met religiously every evening at the playground behind my house. We would share ice cream and play until sundown; I no longer remember her name. When I graduated primary school and had to move to another town, my five BFFs gave me a 1-litre jar of origami stars and tearfully promised to write every week. The flow of letters soon dried up after a few semesters into Secondary One. By then, I had two high school BFFs whom I thought would be with me until the end of time but different goals and ambitions soon had us going our separate ways.
Throughout my secondary school years, I’ve made and lost groups of friends. It was like the Mean Girls’ club; one day you’re in, the next day you’re out. College mates and colleagues were no different. But here’s what I’ve come to realise – whether they’re three years or three months – these friendships have broadened my horizon and they’re greater than the sum of its parts. Losing friends never get old and it hurts every time, especially if you’ve had an intense connection with the person. But some best friends aren’t meant to be forever; rather they were meant to help you deal with a transition in your life. You know how some women believe in Mr. Right Now? Well, I think there should also be a Friend for Now. In “The Other Kind Of Fling” (pg138), you’ll see that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a friendship with an expiry date.The real heartache is when we put expectations on those friendships. So what if your former call-if-you-need-me-at-3am friend is now just a distant acquaintance on Facebook? She just had her second child? You didn’t know that! But do you know how much she meant to you and how happy you were then? Yes? Then that’s all that matters. Some people ar e passers-by footprints in your heart and leave in your life but they also that’s what friends are for.
So, if I could tell my 12 year-old one thing in life, it’d be that nothing lasts forever – and that’s alright. But I promise you that CLEO will always be your BFF in life. See you next month!
Who wouldn’t want to befriend a smile like that?