Or so the saying goes. I’ve been thinking a little bit about how my friendships have gone over the years and how things are so different now.
I used to think my friendships were everything. Ten years ago I had a group of friends from high school. We basically promised to be friends forever. But over a ten year period we all kind of fell off. At first I would get jealous when I perceived that I was being left out of a group. Like say I wasn’t invited to a random brunch or if I wasn’t included in a group text where some inside joke happened. And to be honest, I WAS being left out by them. I wouldn’t call myself the most interesting or exciting person be be around at 18, true friendships just seemed to allude me.
So I felt really lonely during that time. What I didn’t realize was that I still had my family and that was my rock in life. During that lonely period, I didn’t realize that I was still going home every weekend and spending time with my sisters and my parents. They were in the background while I was out trying to keep my friends and make friends.
Then I got married and had a blessing child, one that I was neither prepared for nor mature enough for. I was 24. All the friends that said they would help me out and visit when my child was born, gone. Ghosted. They were too busy traveling and partying. I guess that’s life. The weakest ties are the first ones to break.
It’s something I really didn’t value when I was younger. My cousins who are in the US are literally 3 hours away and I just felt so different from them. But now that I live closer, we text and chat and do eachother favors like no time has passed. I helped my cousin fix her resume so she could be a practicing esthetician and she helped me with some beauty treatments.
When I married my husband, I was marrying him but I didn’t realize that meant I was marrying into his family too. That can go either way depending on who you’ve married. I’ve heard stories of marriages and relationships being bliss until a mother in law steps in and places seeds of doubt into the husbands mind and undermines his wife. Or the sister that likes to walk around in short shorts around your husband. (Yes, I’ve seen this happen to someone I knew and it wasn’t pretty). But I got lucky and his family is pretty amazing. I just love that he has a large extended family. Like 10 aunts and countless cousins. It can be so confusing to remember everyones name but over time I kind of just became like one of them.
Every year they do a holiday party and its pretty awesome to be part of another family you weren’t born into. Aunts and Uncles catching up. His cousin Clara was telling me her career plans while I shared a few tips of my own. And all of us sharing drinks and cheering to another year together and good company. It just seems so much more effortless with family. Family makes time for each other.
Meanwhile me and my “friends” want to meet up and it becomes:
“Oh wait, I realized I have a thing that day, can we change it” Of course this comes last minute after everyone else makes the commitment to meet on a certain day.
Or, “Thats so inconvenient, let’s meet closer to my place. That restaurant is just too far from where I am and I’ll have to spend $ in order to get there.” Meanwhile, it’s just as far for everyone else.
Or, “Don’t invite ____, me and her aren’t talking.”
Maybe women are just catty like that and don’t know how to be good friends. But these kind of rude interactions are a freaking regular occurrence.
Or maybe I was looking for friends that had a bond like family, when really only family can treat you like family.
True friendship is probably the hardest thing to maintain and accomplish and I have yet to find it. A true friend is someone who always has your back and through thick and thin. They will support you, or at least listen to your problems. They don’t get jealous of your good fortune or try to shoot you down. They laugh with you and find moments of happiness to reflect on.
It’s sad, but I’ve never had a friendship like this. My marriage is like this, but never a friendship. The closest I’ve ever had was with that friend that ghosted me. The friendship was great until we had our own families and decided to go our own ways.
I’m not saying that all friendships will fall apart. I’ve certainly seen many friendships that surprisingly were able to with stand decades. But friendship, like any other relationship requires effort, time, respect, and forgiveness. People in my experience, just don’t have that kind of commitment in them. Some people can’t even commit to their own families. So I think it’s harder to find a true friendship like that.
So yes, blood is thicker than water. In most cases that is. I hope all of you reading this can take a moment and appreciate the value that family can have in your life. Don’t be like me and realize this nearly 30 years later in life.
Some great quotes on family that I think capture it’s true importance
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” ~ Michael J. Fox
“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you.” ~Jenna Morasca
“You need a strong family because at the end, they will love you and support you unconditionally. Luckily, I have my dad, mom and sister.” ~Esha Gupta
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