|It's not like a popular 90s' sitcom...|
Friends. They’re hard to come by. And, as we get older, it becomes even harder to find, and keep, them.
When we do find them, all too often we let them go. A band I used to listen to a lot said: ‘I lost all my friends to a lack of commitment’ (Ballboy, I gave up my eyes to a man who was blind, 2003).
I’ve been thinking about my friends – those I’ve known for years, and those I’ve met more recently – and trying to figure out how to make sure I don’t lose them. I think everyone struggles with the same doubts: they’re probably too busy to talk; I’ll just be annoying them if I message; if they wanted to speak to me, they’d have messaged me.
The latter, of course, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We could all end up sitting around thinking the same thing, then no one would contact anyone and we’d all lose the friends we have.
I think we’re all too quick to assume we know what’s going on in someone’s life:
‘Oh, they’re married, they won’t want to come out.’
‘We’re different ages; we’re in different life-places.’
‘They have kids, they’ll be busy.’
‘They know loads of people, they won’t need me.’
Don’t assume anything; none of us are mind-readers. Don’t assume your friends don’t like you or want to hear from you. They probably do, otherwise they wouldn’t be friends.
The friends I’ve had throughout my life have always been very important to me. I totally accept I’m needier than most and, over the years, I’ve become more aware of the need to reign it in a bit. But it’s easy to go too far, I’ve found, and never contact people at all.
Since the majority of people who read this will be my friends, it felt like this was a good way of re-launching my blog (I’ve been wanting to for a while) and getting the message out there: you guys mean a lot to me.
I don’t think it’s said enough. Don’t assume people know it.
Elbow - Dear Friends - 2011