I have a friend. She’s one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her since we were 7 years old.
We did most of our schooling together, and for much of that we were very close. We were even best friends at times. We went through so much together – adolescence, the blossoming and break up of relationships, the birth of her son when she was 21, and typical schoolgirl fights.
And then I met a guy who I thought was everything. I put him before anyone else in my life. I really thought he would be “the one”. And my relationship with my dear friend suffered because of it. She was getting married to a guy who we all liked, but she was marrying him for all the wrong reasons. So, instead of telling her, I chose to run away and not have to deal with it. After all, I had my “perfect man” and could live without her in my life.
What a stupid way to think!
My friend and I lost touch, something that I regret all these years later. Because of my stubbornness, I missed out on so much in her life, and she missed out on so much in my life. She married “that guy” and within 12 months the marriage was basically over. As I knew it would be and, deep down, so did she. I think that’s where I let her down – as her friend I should have either stood by her decision, no matter how much I disagreed with it, or I should have tried to make her acknowledge what she already knew in her heart. But I didn’t. I abandoned her and made my own life.
As it turns out, that perfect guy I thought I had turned out to be anything BUT perfect. All my friends and family knew it, but I didn’t see it until it was already over. And suddenly I was alone, without my best friend, without any friends. I had let them all go by the wayside for that “perfect guy”. Stupid me. I guess we all learn our lessons the hard way, and once learnt they are lessons you never forget. To this day, my friends mean so much to me and I will ALWAYS make time for them. No matter what. I learnt my lesson, and it was a tough way to learn it.
And what of that friend whom I abandoned all those years ago? Well, thanks to Facebook I made contact with her. Thirteen years later. A lot had happened in those 13 years. She got divorced, she got married, she had 2 beautiful girls, and she moved to the Gold Coast. I got married, travelled the world, had 4 beautiful children, and moved to the Gold Coast. And now we are back in each other’s lives. To this day, I still consider her to be one of my best friends, and I think I always will.
We now have 2 girls each of our own, and our eldest 2 are so much like she and I were at the same age. Charlyse and Ella are both 6, and Saraya and Sienna are 4. They play beautifully together and are forming a very sweet little friendship of their own. I look at them, especially Charlyse and Ella, and I see Mel and I. It’s quite uncanny how much they are like us. And I just hope that they have a close friendship like their mums do, and that they never have to learn the hard way, the way I did, about how important friendship is.
Because friends really are the family we choose for ourselves, and when you find a really good one you should never let it go.