Friends

Today I saw a friend I haven’t seen in years.  We grew up together, lived in the same block of flats, went to the same school.  Our paths diverged for a time when I went to a different secondary school.  Then I returned for sixth form, and we picked up as though we had never left off.  It was like that today: time has passed, we are older and a lot has happened, but there was no awkwardness and in some ways it was as though nothing had changed at all.  There are some people I can trust instinctively and we shared details of our lives I wouldn’t have been comfortable divulging to just anyone.  Later on, she met my girlfriend and it was great to see them get on.  Every time my girlfriend meets someone I love, and every time I meet someone she loves, it cements something for me.  Maybe cement isn’t the right word- the material is more flexible than cement, allows for more…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my friendships recently.  Not long ago I made a trip to Canterbury to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time.  Uni friends and “recovery friends”.  Again, it was as if little time had passed.  I came away with a positive feeling that I hadn’t had for a while- the feeling of acceptance that you get with true friendship.  These are people who have seen me at my worst and are now seeing me at my best.  The people who saw me at my worst and didn’t leave me there.  The people I accept unconditionally, and expect nothing from.  In the last couple of years, I have had some difficult experiences in terms of friendship.  People who washed their hands of me as though I were a stain.  People who broke my trust.  People who passed into and then out of my life as lightly as leaves.  That’s how life is.  People come and go.  But some people stay, and those are the people I want and need in my life.

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