You can go through life meeting a lot of new people, making friends and acquaintances, although many come and go with changes in jobs, homes and relationships.
It is difficult to know which of the people you meet and make friends with will be the ones to stick by you through the good and the bad, the easy and the tough. However, when the testing times come it is very clear.
Real friends will stay close, offering support and just being there for you. The people who aren’t your real friends will disappear and leave you stranded.
Although you don’t want to carry this sort of test out on purpose, it is useful to know.
Recently, I have realised that there is one friend I am particularly glad to have built a stronger relationship with. Throughout my first year at uni we weren’t close but we got on and had a few seminars and lectures together. This year we have only had one lecture together but when I’ve been struggling she has been there for me.
I know that I can turn to her whenever I need support and I try to make sure that she knows I will be there for her whenever she is going through difficult times.
I generally feel as if I am not very good at making friends because I am shy and introverted and feel awkward around new people. I have never quite understood why, when I am with my family and friends I have known for a while then I can be quite loud and funny!
However, I know that I need to feel safe and accepted before I let my whole character out. The sarcastic and slightly weird side of me! And when you have made true friends, you can behave in any way you want and it will be fine. True friends allow you to be yourself and not conform to a certain attitude or way of living life.
So, I am not trying to condemn friendship choices or tell you that you should get rid of friends who you can’t be yourself around. But I do think that it is good to have friends where you don’t have to try, where you are accepted for who you are and who will stick by you through everything, through all life’s up’s and downs.
And those friends are rare, they are hard to find and you can lose the before you realise they were important but that’s one of the challenges of life.
Thank you to all those who are true friends.