Also known as: This was meant for the book blog, but I realized a post on friendship has a better place here :)
Also, a note: Look, I’m blogging two days in a row!
Photo credit: Ella — Thank you, thank you! :)
Sometimes, I’d like to believe that I have been lucky with my friends.
When I was a kid, I used to dream of writing a book. Not the kind of book I want to write now, but you know a non-fiction book based on friendship. I was big on finding true friends, in keeping friendships, and you know, just having these set of people you can count on whether you need them or not. I don’t know why I was so fascinated with that — maybe it’s because I don’t have a sister (but don’t get me wrong, my brother is awesome)? Maybe I read too many books and watched too many shows about friendship? I don’t really know, but I was in the search for true friends, and once I find them, I intended to keep them.
(On a sidenote, this is also probably why I can be slightly possessive with my friends sometimes. But that’s for another post.)
Anyway, last weekend, I met up with some book club friends to discuss one of my favorite contemporary young adult books ever, On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I was excited for this because one, this is my one of my favorite books, and two, my adopted little brother was moderating the discussion. Oh, fine, I was also excited for this because book discussions have been a highlight of my month ever since this year started, but that’s already a given, so there’s really no need to stress that. However, the days leading to the discussion weren’t really my best, with a vacation that didn’t end so well, and having my iPhone sent for repair because of an accident. I wasn’t sure if I could stay for so long there, but I was determined to at least show up and see how it goes — little time is better than no time, yes?
The discussion was an interesting one. There were mixed ratings for the book, probably because of some of the hype that us fans gave it. Nevertheless, the discussion didn’t turn out to be if the book was good or not, but more on the themes of friendship and family and forgiveness. I liked the questions a lot (even if I did end up getting the question related to sex — of all questions. Haha!), and I thought it gave everyone a chance to get to know the other people better. And as if that wasn’t enough, Aaron came up with a song exchange activity that was reminiscent of retreats and team building sessions — and I think it managed to accomplish its objective. I felt like I knew the people in the room better than when I first came in when it was all over.
Of course, the afternoon didn’t end with the discussion. There were photos, and jokes and laser tags and coffee shop games and…well, our book club meet ups were known to last for hours and hours, so it wasn’t really a surprise anyway. :)
I ended up staying until the end, and even after we had all left and went our separate ways, the conversations and the jokes and the things you’d remember were not ending. And even as I got home, it felt like it wasn’t over until everyone fell asleep. Which was funny because some of them didn’t fall asleep until everyone else was waking up. :)
You know that I could have written this book discussion recap on my book blog, but I realized that the things I got from this discussion were a little bit more personal than the usual that it deserved a spot in my personal blog. You see, even with all my search for true friendship and all that, I always had that feeling that I never really belonged sometimes. I guess I can blame this for the fact that I’ve lost touch with so many other friends I had before who I thought would be in my life in the same degree of closeness as we were at that certain time. There were friends from high school that I used to think I would see forever, and friends in community who I felt the same way too, but right now I don’t think we’d be able to talk much about anything. I know friends come and go, but I often feel bad about losing touch and all that, and I end up missing the old moments rather than finding a way to reconnect with them.
However, in the past months, I’ve realized that while there are some friends who go, there are some who stay. And…isn’t that the more important thing? The people who stay and become a part of your life? And they end up bringing more people into the fray, too, and they become a part of your life, and before you know it, you’re surrounded with people you can be yourself with. Isn’t that more important?
There’s this particular quote in Jellicoe Road that I really like that I think I can relate to because of that “search for true friends”:
These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I’m thinking.
I think true friendships are based on shared history (or shared experiences, as my best friend put it). Last Saturday, I was reminded that I share history with some people –not just in my book club but with my other friends — and by that history, I belong. There are people in my life who I can be myself with, who I can have fun and cry and talk nonsense with, and more importantly, there are people in my life who stay (whether they would stay later on or not is another thing, but that’s for another post. Or wait, I posted about it already). I think that’s proof enough for me to say that I have been lucky…no, blessed with my friends.
Maybe it’s time for me to stop searching for “true friendship”…because I’m pretty sure I found that now. And I’m also pretty sure I will keep them for as long as I can. :)