Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Redefining friendship

On Saturday, my martial arts club had a Christmas party of sorts on a nearby island. Seven of us went, and we all hopped on a boat/jet ski and drove (rode? Not sure of the proper verb here) to the island.

I had the greatest time. The weather was beautiful, I got to drive the jet ski and we all got a few fights in (although you had to wonder what everyone else on the beach was thinking when we all started attacking each other.) (The resulting sunburn, on the other hand, was less than fabulous.)

Apologies for the less than stellar quality, I didn't have my normal camera with me.  

Five years ago, I would have never imagined doing something like this. Never in my wildest dreams could I have pictured myself spending the day on a nearby island with a bunch of friends who I had gotten to know by them choking me out. According to my twelve-year-old self, friends were people you went to school with. People you met up with once or twice a month to have a sleepover with, who shared similar interests as you, who you've been friends with forever and so you continued to be.

Ever since we'd moved, I've had to continually redefine friendship. Friends aren't just workplace proximity associates. They're people you binge watch Doctor Who with. They're people who lend you their shoulder to cry on at a funeral. They're people who send you memes when they should be studying. They're people who get up early to go for a run with you, who continue to email and text despite the distance, who gloat over a game of UNO, who sell you their old textbooks, who go on shopping trips with you, who tackle you when you're not looking, who swap book recommendations, who fall off jet skis with you, who write long, heart-felt emails even though they've never met you. They're people who trust you with their dog, their kids, their house. They're people who make sure you've eaten enough that day, who ask you if everything is alright even though they know it's not, who remind you that you're not the only one dealing with stuff.


The more I thought about this during the boat road over, the more I realised this day trip didn't fit my old definition of friendship at all. The more I thought about it, the more I realised most of my friends now don't fit my old definition of friendship. I don't want to go back go my old definition. I want to keep pushing the boundaries, pushing what my internal dictionary says because so far some of my best memories have been made outside of those narrow requirements.

Over the past five years I've had my fair share of challenges, and while I'm excited I'm also terrified for my next five years in life. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's where there's fear there's God's love and the chance to continually redefine friendship, and I am so thankful for both.

8 comments:

  1. This was lovely. *sigh* Hopefully I'll be able to make more friends next time.

    PS: Martial arts? Say whaat?

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    1. Thanks, Grace! Go forth and make friends! (*waves* I'll be your friend!)

      PS. *karate chops things*

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  2. I love this! I think re-learning what defines friendship is one of the most difficult parts of "growing up".

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    1. Definitely. It's hard sometimes to know where boundaries are and where I'm making boundaries up and whatnot, but it is interesting.

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  3. I like this. :) I've had to redefine friendship a bit drastically this fall semester when I moved. But it was a good thing. :) Great post!

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    1. Why thank you! That sounds like it was super difficult but I'm glad it ended up as a positive experience.

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  4. It's nice that you're able to expand and enjoy a new definition of friendship like this! I don't think friendship gets easier, ever, but I know that the opposite part is true: deciding that some people you used to really care about don't belong in your friend group anymore. :/

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    1. Thanks, me too! Yeah, it's funny how uncomplicated friendship was back in 2nd grade when your friends were the people you played with at recess. That's true. That can be very hard :/

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