While I rang in the New Year as everyone else did I mentally listed things that I wanted to quit, learn, start, stop, be. As I listed my intentions, I got saddened by the things I had at the top of my list for the past years but never achieved. But then I thought about the things that I was committed to leaving behind. One of those was the fear of loneliness. I think the thought came from a long chat I had with my friend where we problematised the aspect of being alone and starting new when you are a bit older – moving to a new city, ending a long relationship – you name it! As me and my friend live in different cities we always used to joke about going through our phone list to see if there was anyone we could hang out with when we were feeling lonely (name a letter and the first person on the list I’ll call!) because we were too far away to just pop over for a cuppa. And it got me thinking about friendship.
When I moved to Scotland, I felt lonely, friendship-wise. Making new friends when you are an adult can be pretty brutal and hard (beyond the, of course, lovely drinking pals!). But it is hard to find people that really stick with you, no matter what. Those that you can fight with, laugh with, get drunk with, silly dance with or just sit quietly on a sofa together with. Or those you don’t see for months but then pick up just as you left.
Although I have my core friends, I’ve never felt at home in one of those big close-knit friendship groups. You know those types of groups that always spend time together, always celebrate happenings together, always gossip about “outsiders” together and reluctantly let people in – think “how I met your mother” on steroids. I’ve always had a few but very loyal friends. Those type of friends that are always there through thick and thin. The friends who always called, visited and made an effort to check-in. And yes, drinks over zoom was established long before the pandemic! I think this has made me much more aware of the importance of being present in a friendship relationship and the value I put on showing appreciation for my friends – meeting, calling, being there even if it is just a message. So the new friends I have made when I moved have come to mean a lot to me, and shaped who I have become both as a friend and a person. They’ve shown me the importance of inclusiveness and welcomed me with open arms. But most importantly they’ve taught me the importance of having friends around that never dull your sparkle, as a beautiful friend once said.
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Jag blir så otroligt glad om ni klickar på det lilla hjärtat så jag vet ifall ni gillar det jag gör.