To all the friends that define my life: I’m so grateful

We love a friendship moment. Community. Nostalgia. Fun times and distractions. 

We all need that ‘I am not okay’ safe space friend. Having your mum or dad or sister on speed dial is one thing. Having your old primary school best friend across the world might not cut it anymore. But your person – some version of a platonic soul mate maybe – needs to be there to recognise and truly see you. To listen to you and actually hear what you’re saying. Who counts down the days to your birthday so that they can give you really thoughtful presents and a card that will make you cry. 

But yes, I know we promised madly to each other that we’d call every night and visit every weekend when we went to university. It was harder and harder to keep up with each other. We made new friends, got new hobbies, and found different interests.

Dare I say, we grew up.

That didn’t mean that we necessarily grew out of each other, per say, but all the things we used to do together were now a product of a past era. That’s not to say that we couldn’t have restarted things with a more realistic outlook, but that always seemed like an impossibility, a clashing of two worlds. The worlds weren’t incompatible anymore, but they just didn’t flow as effortlessly as they used to. 

Moreover, it’s the old saying – opposites attract. This is true of lovers and this is true of friendships too. Sometimes you need a healthy amount of distance and different to keep things interesting and to stop you both from merging into each other. That’s no use to anyone! Ideally, you would have the perfect blend of a headstrong and impulsive individual with a more reserved, careful character – with various other attributes in between – so that you can learn to let loose with each other and be goofy, while also being able to plan trips and have a responsible time.

Get you a best friend that can do both!

This is real life: it’s now all parties and rainbows.

Yes, you have your stylish friends that get you out and about and are ‘cool’. You can live vicariously through them. But at the end of the day you need your comfortable friends. Your film night friends. Breakdown friends.

Sometimes you don’t realise what you have before you lose it.

I think back to my best friend of high school. It’s sad how time passes between us. 

I know better than most how the phrase ‘we should stay in touch’ ages.

It doesn’t age so much like a fine wine as it does disintegrate like stale cheese. An attractive picture, I’ve painted there, I’m sure. But you get my drift – friendships can sometimes fall a little by the wayside. It’s a combination of the ravages of time, the fact that we change over the years, and that we might be wanting different things out of a relationship. 

However, most of the time it’s just distance. Pure and simple geography that thwarts us, time and time again. 

Therefore, this is a platonic love letter to my best friend of years gone by. 

How has it been so long?

We used to talk everyday and see each other everyday in school, after school, walking to school… you get the picture. We were something of a pair. Maybe it was the common interests in football when it wasn’t cool to be a soccer nerd in year 7 when everyone else liked Rugby. Maybe it was the collective obsession with One Direction – we were slightly more mainstream with that connection, lol. 

Either way, we found our way over to each other’s houses on the regular, texting our allotted phone minutes away way back when we actually had a limiting plan. I almost forget that everything is free on wifi or unlimited calls and texts – shout out to the phone companies for fixing that. I always remember with fondness the unmitigated horror of accidentally opening the internet button on your old flip phone back in the day. We feared for our life, such was the expense and alien nature of the internet at the time. Ah, how times change. 

But, there’s always time to fix that.

It’s never too late to fix a friendship that has just been neglected a little. Here, the interesting and fun thing to do is to update each other on the more mature fixing of each other’s lives. Partners, jobs, degrees – there’s so much fruitful conversation sources there that you could probably spend hours catching up. You realise somewhere around hour three that you have slotted back into the past and feel just as natural with each other as you always used to. This is a great sign of your compatibility and enduring friendship.

It’s natural to go through periods when you can’t always make time for each other, but you will soon recognise that if the need arises, they will always be there for you. 

Cue Friends theme tune!