Friends

This is my third post in the ‘F-Words to Success’. My previous two posts were such a great place for me to start. We’re half way there. It’s my chance to share my journey to happiness…but it’s also about being honest about the things which can help to bring you peace, balance, happiness, and reflection into your life. I hope that you enjoy.

~M

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I have to say that Friends, not the TV show…although it’s a classic, are probably the single most important thing to have in your life.

It hasn’t always been easy for me. I have gone through peaks and valleys when it’s come to friends.

Growing up I didn’t have many friends. I grew up in a small farming community and our closet neighbour was my cousin. We ended up hanging out a lot..my cousins and my sister growing up.

Throughout middle school I continued living in a middle of a field and suffered socially because I wasn’t in town with all of the other kids.

In high school I was the social butterfly, but never had a tight group of friends. I had one really good friend, Janean, and she is what got me through high school.

Janean and I

I wouldn’t have traded my time in high school, I had a great time. It probably was a place in my life where I had some of the best memories that I’ve made.

College rolled around and I had a hard time adjusting, for the first year. Isn’t the case with so many people. I probably didn’t fit in, again, into a certain group. I was part of many groups. I had a good and dear friend, Shannon.

shannie and I

She was the rock. She is the most amazing girl I’ve known. She understands me, picked me up when I had a bit to much to drink 🙂 and always supported me.

I then went away for nine months for AmeriCorps teaching and didn’t have any social network. I did meet Teri..who ironically has become probably the closest of all of my friends..after I left my time with AmeriCorps.

teri

We haven’t seen each other in almost four years..but we talk at least 3-4 times per week. Late night/early morning phone calls/texts, etc. about life. They are refreshing.

When I got to Australia, in July 2006, I pretty much spent my first 1 ½ years inside of a house looking after Americans. I am not a big drinker, I promise, and the Australian culture is one which I perceived as flowing with the booze. I also wasn’t in a great place and didn’t put myself out there socially. When my time was about to end with the first job I had, after two years, I got into a relationship.

Perfect, guaranteed companionship.

As you can probably tell from my writing, I have the focus..many times..of finding one person and being very close to them. It’s good, it’s bad.

Well, the relationship hit the skids in January of this year and all of my three close friends left the city that I was ‘stuck in’.

I crashed. I binged. It got dark.

I get scared to branch out. I get scared of letting people in. Even though I am an ‘E’ on the Meyers Briggs test, which means I get energy from being around people. I got exhausted during this time.

I then decided that I needed to get out. I needed to go and seek out friends..well not really seek them out. But to live life to the fullest.

I would have to say that one of my co-workers, Gulshan aka Pricey, was a good influence on me.

pricey

He lives life to the fullest. Everyday he would probably say to you he’s ‘living the dream’. He never turns down a social outing, a chat, a fun time.

I made a promise to myself: If you’re invited, you go.

I did. I had fun. Lots of fun!

I have solidified some amazing friendships with my co-workers, Nicole in particular.

P1010832P1010227P9200020

As well as some post-Timor friends, their friends.

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People I have met on the bus. (I went out to coffee with the GORGEOUS Sweedish girl today, for tea, and we talked. She’s fabulous. It was so much fun hanging out with someone totally different. It’s actually interesting what you talk about with someone when they don’t know you. How do you define yourself? Weight and the ex- came up in the convo. Is that how I define myself?)

I guess I have realised and learned that yes, I do like to have a close personal friend. Or Two. A tight knit circle that knows everything about me. However, in that I also owe it to myself to have all levels of friends…not every single one needs to have to be the deepest of friends.

How have friends impacted your life?
How have your friendships changed?
Have you struggled finding a social circle?

~M

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