On Friendships

A couple of weeks ago, my sister completed a six weeks rigorous summer program and I went to pick her up. As we were about to leave, one of the friends she made there rushed down to her room to bid her goodbye. Within a couple of minutes, about two others trickled down. They hugged, said nice things to each other, and promised to keep in touch. It was an emotional goodbye. Somewhere in the background, I stared in complete surprise and with a little bit of envy.

I felt pangs of jealousy.

Let me explain.  Making friends has never been so easy for me. I have never been that person to make real friends in such a short period of time. I could stay years in a place and not make a single friend. How then, was my sister able to make such good friends in just six weeks? I don't know if she noticed how I kept asking her if she had known any of them prior to the program.

"No." She said.

"But how come you guys are already so close?" I asked, still insisting on how impossible I thought it was.

"We did everything together everyday for six weeks. That's a lot of time." She rationalized.

Well. I thought to myself.

Don't get me wrong. I have great friends. Some of which I have known since either of us hit puberty. In fact about 95 percent of my very good friends, I have known for over thirteen years. While I may suck at making friends, I absolutely rock at keeping them. That I know. But as amazing as these girls are, it's also great to make new friends. I mean, everyone should make new friends at some point. Especially because we are all getting very busy with being adults. There was a time I used to be bothered if a friend had not checked on me in a while, now I just suck it up and remind myself how busy we all are. Yet, although solitude is absolutely great, loneliness is bad for the soul.

Everyday of my life, I thank God that my siblings are my friends. It's even more amazing because, being my siblings, I can be absolutely vulnerable with them. I anticipate my brother's many voice notes (ha ha. We are the worst with voice-notes). I am so grateful for them.

More so, upon the realization of the difficulty that comes (for me) with making friends. So to already have friends that have the same DNA as me, is something I am more than grateful for. The only thing I hate more than my lack-of-friend-making-skill is when people blame it on my introverted nature.

Ife, you too go out more. Put yourself out there.

Argh I hate that statement. Please if you know me, and I know you and you're reading this, don't say it to me. Thank you.  The only thing worse than that is:

Go to an African church.

(Hello Mommy!)

Africans outside Africa are the absolute worst!!! Sorry not sorry. Urgh. There is always an unspoken rule for competition among us. And while I want to make new friends, I detest shitty and complicated relationships. Believe me, I have had my fair share of drama in friendships (Hello Q.C lmao) and I don't want any of that. I learnt EARLY that if it is not real friendship, it is not worth it. Unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, I have dropped many "friends" for that reason. Let's make each other laugh, let's learn together, let's grow together, let's keep each other company. Other than that, I don't want anyone that stabs me in the back. I also don't like forced friendships. That's why all these plastic relationships I see on the Instagram makes me chuckle. Bleh.

But yeah, I cherish great friendships, and I know if my friends were not all thousands of miles away from me, perhaps I wouldn't see the need for new friendships. I know I'm not the best person to talk about making friends, because I don't make efforts. Moreover, I am weirdly VERY comfortable with my own company. But the more I try, the more I realize how different I am from a lot of people. I was out the other day with a group of friends. It sucked. I spent the whole time explaining to my brother on What's App how much the outing sucked. How could people be that pretentious? I didn't understand. They were laughing at stupid jokes, telling each other blatant lies, and ordering overly expensive meals. I couldn't get it.

I remember the Meet and Greet with Nigeria's president last month at the Nigerian embassy. I was slightly excited about going because I thought, oh at least I'd be able to meet people. Fail. People just clustered in tiny circles, and did everything short of putting a physical barricade, to stop anyone from joining those circles. Lawl.

So while making friends is a GOOD idea, don't you ever force what's not there. My Dad once told my sister and I :

"There's no subordinate friendship. You are either on equal terms or no friendship."

Listen, truer words were never said. If you bend your back, people will ride against it. If you, because of a need for friendship, do ALL the work in that relationship, you do yourself a disservice. No matter the amount of love you show some people, they will never reciprocate. They will give every excuse possible, but will not change. Don't do that to yourself. It is either mutual, or non-existent. Don't try too hard. Don't attach yourself to everybody, it makes you look somehow, and familiarity always breeds contempt by the way.

Friendship is great, amazing. Some people have this great circle of friendship that is worth being envied, some others just don't.  I really wish it came more easily for me, but when I think of the above paragraph, I comfort myself and remind myself of how much I love my company. I think it's why I emphasize on the need to either marry my best friend or make my spouse my best friend. Because this life is a lonely ride, so I would need a true partner. One that is indeed a partner in every sense of the word.

Here's to great friendships!

May we experience amazing and phenomenal friendships and relationships!



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