I owe a lot to my friends. Not in the same sense that I owe a lot to my parents. My friends did not give me ‘life’ or a roof over my head, but often my friends have given me a home to run to when my actual home is far away or I feel there is no home to turn to.
There’s a quote that goes: friends are the family we choose. But often, friends are the ones who choose us. They are the people who choose to stay. Unlike our family who have a ‘obligation’ to stick with us through thick and thin, true friends stay despite having every right to leave.
My philosophy on why people choose to have children is because they wish to fulfil a desire for a ‘family’. However, is that not a selfish want? The want to want a person in order to fulfil their status or complete their happiness. I’ve once had a conversation with a friend who has a younger sister, he told me how he recalls his parents saying they want a daughter as though a daughter was some sort of commodity. I suppose we can say some ‘friends’ have the same approach to friendship (but then that’s not really friendship). A friend-group to some people is just that: a group of people they call ‘friends’. Since I’ve started university I’ve realised how having friends is a choice (and I don’t mean in the sense that you pick your friends like shopping at a grocery store but in the sense that to make a friend and keep a friend, you must have time for them; you must have time for each other).
In school we do not get to choose our friends. We are thrown into a group of people who we develop a friendship with because we spend a lot of time together, almost all day even. But at university (and I also believe in adult life) we are not stuck to a group of people. Instead we make time to see them outside of our regular schedule, making staying friends not as ‘convenient’ as it used to be.
A friend is not a convenience (as a lot of people may believe). Sure, we go out clubbing with our friends, have sunday lunch, see movies, gossip about the same people we hate, and share our favourite music and tv shows. Friends are meant to be fun but you know when you’ve made a real friend when you can call them at two in the morning or have them hug you and feel loveable even when your lover no longer thinks the same. A friend is someone who understands when you have the occasional day of not wanting to talk to anyone. That’s why I agree, friends are like the family we choose to have.
Of course I believe we are friends with more than just our friends. Our father or mother or boyfriend or girlfriend might be our best friends. But it takes a lot to be just friends with someone. To have affection for them and not need anything in return but their friendship.
Ironically, I ‘owe’ this blog to a friend (even though my Dad has been encouraging me to start a blog for years) who gave me the final push to finally write my first post.
(The use of Taylor Swift’s squad may or may not be ironic).