A Journey Of Friendships
Yesterday, I sat reflecting on the idea of friendship and I took myself on a journey, seeing the patterns of my friendship, how these friendships were made, maintained and well, even how it sorta ended (or went cold?). One thing I found common in all of my friendships was the fact that I never was the one that started the friendship and some, I didn't even make myself.
Growing up, there were kids in the neighborhood and my parents too had friends that had kids my age so, naturally, I was friends with these kids (or maybe playmates?). I had friends at that point, and that was well, convenient with little to no effort.
It was pretty much the same when I started school, the kids and I (well, most of them) just kinda naturally clicked together and I called them friends but as I grew older, I could remember on several occasions “correcting” my parents by saying “they are my classmates, not my friends” even though my relationship with them at that point pretty much fit in to the definition of friendship. Well, something had to happen for me to not want to place that “friend” tag on them.
As I was approaching my teenage years (and for the most part of it), every camp I attended then (that entailed teaching) will always stress on the idea that we should choose our friends and not let our friends choose us. Soon enough, that teaching was also on the lips of my Sunday school teachers and I can remember my Mum saying that to me a few times.
Well, that, at that time seemed to be the “trendy” teaching, it was all over the place, in the air!! (Or maybe not). Well, for some reasons, that teaching didn't really settle (or felt right) with me. I mean, if all of us are being taught and encouraged to choose and not be chosen, who then is getting chosen when everyone is supposed to choose? 🤔
For the most part, I kinda understand the idea behind all of this and it probably was to help us out in defining who we really want around us and surrounding ourselves with friends we really want and that impact us positively. But then again, there was little teaching in helping us define who we really want around (or maybe I didn't pay attention?🤔 well, that's a possibility). That aside though, I do believe that sometimes, there shouldn't be a need to chose or be chosen especially when it comes to friendship. I think it should be more of connecting than choosing and we don't choose connections.
At that point, I had too many friends that I clearly didn't “choose”. I guess they probably were following the “choosing rule of friendships” and were choosing me but most of them, I didn't even see as friends. Or maybe with the knowledge of having to choose friends my definition of friends went a bit too high? Oh well!
In school, I was never the kid to go say “Hi” to the new kid or even talk to them, except for when it is necessary, I thought it was awkward. I always wait for some sort of class activity or even extracurricular activity to kinda bring us together and make us talk (that's if they don't make the first move). Sometimes, until when that new person becomes friends with someone I consider friend or I talk with.
Josh, my friend wasn't friends with most of the guys because they often will tease him about how girly he was (and still is), to me though, he was quite relatable and funny, well, we can't rule out smart. He will talk like a girl, gist like a girl (with the gossip thing in there sometimes), he will tell you the latest things about fashion or some thrilling news about celebrities and sometimes, even how to make some delicious meal. He was up to date with everything “ladylike” and he had sneaked in magazines a few times into class for us to read.
He was the second born and the only guy in the midst of 3girls, his Dad was hardly at home because he worked in Abuja, so it was quite understandable why Josh was that girly. And even though the guys will tease home they never really bullied him because well, he was a bright kid and they don't know when they might need his help with something.
I have no idea how we became friends but it all started from when we started the school together from nursery classes and I guess it was that natural transition of friendship. We had like a mini reading/writing club. We will write silly stories and give each other (plus other interested readers in class) to read. We had some childish dreams, that we were gonna publish a book and then invite our classmates for the book launch at the “presidential villa” with the minister of education and other ministers there, the book launch was supposed to be when we are 12 or so🙄. Crazy, isn't it? It's funny how naíve we were and how (innocent?) Our view of the world was.
I went to a boarding school and got a lot of friends there too, but got a little bit closer to one who happens to be my roommate all throughout. We will mix up our provision together, wash together, do everything together but she was somewhat “stolen” from me, lol! Well, the girl somewhat needed her help with studies and other stuff and she was willing to help, she thought I understood (well, I did) plus I wasn't the girl that is overly emotional (i wasn't) but somehow, I still felt like she was taken away from me. I never told her how I felt about my friend having another “friend” or just someone she gives way too much attention to. Oh well!!! Even I had some other friends (obviously) but none took her “place” and I kinda felt so with the other girl.
Done with secondary school, I went for a pre-degree program and I met this girl, on my first day at the school. We vibed almost immediately and that wasn't really a norm for me, we had a lot in common and I didn't really see her becoming my friend at that point but well, she became my friend with time. Soon enough, I found out that she not only shared the same name as my sister but she also is from the same state with me, same native tribe as I am, same language, and even the same hometown. In fact, our family houses weren't so far from each other.
Soon, we were eating together, reading together etc. On a few occasions, we went out to read at night (with a few other friends) and came back after “checking out” all the classes and concluding that none was suitable for us to read in. Yeah, it's crazy (and annoying) sometimes. She left the school months later (before me) because hers was a 6months program while mine was 16months. And I had to make a new friend.
It's crazy and at the same time fascinate g how we develop friendships with people really. Whether it's on a large scale or a small one, going through this mind journey has been quite enlightening for me. I hope to write the second part soon enough (so you don't get bored reading a very long post😉)
Much Love — Audrey❤