Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Little on Friendship

We have friends from the day we were born; when we were placed in the newborn nursery, we were already surrounded by other babies.
That time, maybe we didn't realize or remember, but we were already making friends unknowingly using our own baby 'cries'/

Then we make friends with our neighbors' children, and people we meet at restaurants or during outings with our parents at the park.

The official friends we make started at our first day in the kindergarten and pre-school, where we meet other children there, share stories about everything and it was just so innocent and there is no barrier to anything in our friendship.
When we moved on to primary school, some, if not most, of us will part ways as our parents enroll us in different schools.

Some of us may meet in primary schools, and some, may not, as we move on and sit at our new assigned desks in our classes in our 'new' school. It did not take long, as we are surrounded by hundreds of kids at our age and facing the same predicament and thus, we became friends.
These friends tend to linger around longer, as our years in primary school last for six years and most of us will remain friends.
It is very unlikely that we will break out of that friendship cocoon unless someone moves away from the district and had to change schools.

Farewell comes again when we are moving on to our high school (or secondary school in Malaysia), and we may encounter some of our primary school friends in the same school, or we may not, but then again, we will not forget those friends of six years and will thus make an effort to keep in touch. This contact may take a lot of effort as we are now, again, surrounded by new groups of friends who come from different schools within the same region. There may be a discontinuation of connection with our primary school friends when we are absorbed in our studies and also school extra curricular work.

Slowly, we lose touch with the old friends, or some of us, we may come across the older friends from kindergarten even! Life is full of surprises anyway.
The friends from high school are for another six years, and then we bid farewell as we move onto the college, university, and for some, working level.

As you can see, we make friends all the way; no matter how introvert we are of a character, there is just no way to stop ourselves or others from marking that part of our lives.
Friends are always there and they are everywhere, we just make them.

I noticed that friendships seem to last longer when you grow older; perhaps because you start to realize and treasure the value of friendship.
Of course, some of us are fortunate enough to have friends from all parts of our lives and to have them for a long duration of time.

I feel blessed to have friends whom I have known since kindergarten! Yes, that's how long our friendships were and I have great friends from primary school, high school, university, and work!
My friendships were formed from all the levels I have mentioned earlier.

Now, what truly defines a friendship, or are whoever we meet, greet and have their names and talked to a couple of times considered friends already?
I used to think the latter, honestly, and some, tell me that I was just living in Lala-land, and I guess it was just so true.
I am not as crazy as to think that everyone I meet or have some short form of contact are considered friends, but I try not to categorize my friends and just treat everyone the same; as I just wanted everyone to be happy.

I have my own little character, and maybe to some, it may seem weird, but I am not someone who opens up a lot, and yet am an ultimate perfectionist who seeks to do a lot of things on her own.
It is not easy for me to just blabber everything about my life to anyone; except my own family (that means my parents and my brother) and it is just ME.
Yes, I AM like that. I can make friends easily, but at the same time, it takes time for me to trust and to be close to someone to be able to open up and just have fun.
I don't tell everyone what I think, or what I want to do, because I am a person who likes to keep to myself.
It is just me, but I don't need to justify, because my family knows that part about me, and there are times when I don't tell them things when I am not ready.
They know that, and they always leave me to my own personal space, letting me deal with it.
It is not really that much of an unusual trait; as I believe there are people out there who are like me as well.
Some people may label us 'secretive', but really, what's wrong in being that?
There are people who talks about their lives to other people, and nobody judges them, at all, but yet, sometimes, they judge other people about keeping quiet.

I think there are just people who are quiet, and people who are open in their communication. It is a fundamental which most people fail to grasp, or even attempt to understand.
It is no surprise, as it is not an easy subject to broach anyway, and there are just so many things surrounding us that we can never label whether they are right or wrong.

I always believed in having friends who know me for who I am, and if not, well, I don't need to tell them much.
Of course, all the knowing me part takes years of friendship and understanding and definitely bonding.
It is a choice, when you befriend me, whether you can accept or understand me as who I am. Otherwise, I cannot really force anyone to just treat me as their friend, if they cannot comprehend what constitutes me.

I have formed fast and strong friendships with people whom I have grown to trust. As I have mentioned, I used to believe and trust people whom I call my friends, and I have never been like some, who categorize their friends or selective in their choices of people whom they call friends.

However, perhaps it was time, or perhaps it was me, being naive as I have suddenly realized that being selective with your friends is not totally wrong after all.
Friends come in all forms and shapes, and not all, I repeat, not all are truly sincere in their friendships with you.
I have collected a lot of quotes and sayings about friendships; or to be precise, TRUE friends.
The TRUE friends rank the highest among all friendships as they are the ones to stick around you, no matter what happens.
I have learnt to only maintain TRUE friends, as they are the only ones who will never turn their backs on me, and they are rare, and precious!

I think I have learnt from a lot of experiences; particularly, the most recent one, that the TRUE friends do not need any explanation from you in whatever you do, or whether you are right or wrong. They will probably tell you, but they will NEVER, judge you.

When the whole world turns against you, and everyone talks about you, your TRUE friends, will not hear of it, and will STAND UP for you; not against you.
I have a bunch of friends who did not care what I did, nor whether I was wrong or right, and did not judge me, but still stood with me through and through.
They never even complained a single word when I asked for their help.

Some, whom I may think were older friends as we met way before the above friends, on the contrary, chose to sideline me and think that I am not being a friend to them either. I am not pinpointing anyone nor am I saying that I am the Best friend in the world, as I do admit that I am never truly perfect in my own way of handling my friendships, but there are friends who think that I have changed or that I don't care for them.
I didn't keep in touch, nor did I contact them and therefore, they no longer feel that they are close to me.
Well, I won't defend myself in this, as truly, sometimes I just am not that good in keeping in touch, and besides there are just so many people to catch up with that sometimes I did not have the time to; which is, an excuse.
However, I felt like asking these friends, "have they ever tried to contact or make an attempt to keep in touch with me, or they just jump to the conclusion that I am the ONE who did NOT keep in touch with them?
Did they ever ask or try to find out, why, did I not keep in touch with some of them?
Is there really a right or wrong answer?

I beat myself up for this initially, telling myself that it was probably my own fault, and that I am not good in keeping in contact.
Then I was awakened by another few groups of friends (yes, groups), whom, I have not met nor talked to in years, and yet, they just offered their help or even just said yes when I called or asked them. These TRUE friends did not even berate me for not being in touch with them, nor did they say that they no longer felt close to me.
I was instantly surprised and felt like, it was a total change from the original picture painted by those other friends, which sort of imprisoned me behind the bars of guilt for a few days.

These true friends, when contacted, just caught up with me naturally from where we left off; like it was just yesterday. They heard rumors about me, and the first thing they did, was to defend me and fend those perpetrators off. I was truly touched at the depth of their faith in me, despite the long period of time not being in touch.
So, did these friends do something wrong or right? Am I the one in the wrong or right?
It is now becoming a very subjective matter, and I start to ask myself question after question; whether I am truly guilty.

Yes, I did not do my part about being a friend, but I realized that not everyone is being measured using the same standards in the friendship and that there were a lot of my friends who did not even bother to ask me questions, as they know that there will be a time when I will just naturally pour out and talk to them.
When that happens, I will know who to find, as I have seen with my own eyes, mind and heart, the ones who will never let me down.
I think that friendships are subjective as it is truly intangible, and I try not to be biased when I judge my own views in friendship.
I asked other close friends about whether I was truly a lousy friend for not keeping in touch, and I get lots of really constructive feedback such as,
"You are being you",
"What's there to keep in touch? We will meet and talk when we meet and talk",
"There are so many people in our life, we can't possibly keep up with anyone..as long as we are all connected",
"Different people have different views, it does not mean that you are not a friend when you don't keep in touch, because I know you will be there when I need you"
and the list goes on.

I truly felt like crying when I heard those words from my very friends, as I realized that they DO understand me to the depth, when I thought they probably did not know me that well. On the contrary, people whom I thought would know and understand me, ended up as the ones who are judging me and telling me what is right and wrong.
I am not upset really, as there are times when we need to hear an earful about ourselves, but it got me wondering, did these friends truly know me, after all?

I do not want to judge others; I never judge, as no one has the right to judge anyone, I have always remembered that from my Bible.
I believe that in friendships, it is a STAND we all take, and whether others stand with us, that is a true testament of whether they trust and have faith in us; no matter what we do.
I myself, as a friend, will never judge or doubt my friends even if they did anything wrong to me, as I always find a reason for them. Of course, as a human being; I am just as normal to sometimes feel upset, but then I will tell myself, there is probably a reason.
Whether there is or not, I will not choose to find out, as only they know whether there is, or not.

I recently had another very good conversation with a very close friend, whom I have called my sister, and she told me a long story about the whole bunch of girl and guy friends whom we hang out together and it made me realize, these were the rare and true friends whom I am very blessed to have.
They were looking forward to help me in what I do (planning my wedding), as we usually help each other with stuffs in our lives. They never once asked me about it, even with my lack of updates. She told me that they were just concerned whether I am okay handling my own wedding alone, but at the same time, they know that I will ask for help when I really need it, otherwise, it's best to just leave me alone. They felt worried rather than angry with me, and even secretly bought me presents and helping me out behind my backs. They even defended me when others asked about me.
These are truly the most precious friends I have ever had.

Then there are also the other few who tried, by all means, to help me out, and when not approached, just send me their blessings through emails and text messages to make sure I am happy.

What do you do with friends like these? You LOVE, ADORE, and PRAY for them each day that they will be blessed with their true hearts and lots of goodness in their lives.
I am very sure they know who they are, because I truly felt blessed and fortunate to have them in my life, as when I felt like the whole world is judging me or putting me down, they stood there for me, and never once asked me a single question.
Their love and faith in me shines like a halo in the dark.
Perhaps it was truly a silver lining, as I have now seen the halos behind my friends' backs.

I will never feel upset knowing that I am surrounded by friends like these :-)

My favorite friendship quotes:
A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walk out.
- Walter Winchell

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
- Bernard Meltzer

Best friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.
- Elbert Hubbard

It takes a long time to grow an old friend.
- John Leonard

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.

One who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.

Good friends are like stars…. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

Lots of your friends want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
- Oprah Winfrey

A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.
- Jim Morrison

Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don’t say.

My personal favorites:
Never explain yourself. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.

The medicine of life is to have true faithful friends.

True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like leaves, found everywhere.

When you look around and your world is crumbling or when you think no one loves you, your best friend is the one to run to you.

If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with them, I’d be at the bottom to catch them.

God bless my friends who are always there for me, and please guide me to know them and to be a good friend :-)


  1. A thoughtful post, Christy. And this is a perfect time of year to be thinking about this.
    My true (and usually oldest) friends are those I can pick up the phone after months of no contact and the conversation continues as though we talked every day. We each have known each other for so long we practically think alike. Sadly, many of my dearest friends don't live nearby.

  2. Barbara, thanks for sharing your story too :-) I am fortunate to have some of my friends nearby, although most of them (older friends) are back in my hometown and that's quite a distance away.
    I am currently working away from home, but I have managed to make very close friends who do not seem any different from friends I grew up with; sometimes even better!:) I guess it's not just the number of years of acquaintance, but the mentality of a friend :D