Back again with some life lessons this week and something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. We all know how difficult it is to stay connected with your friends at the best of times but how about when you live in a different country? I remember living in London and struggling to see all my friends on a regular basis, clashing calendars, living at opposite ends of the city or just simply needing a night at home to get your shit together making finding free time…tricky. Let’s be honest, when you’re working full time, trying to fit in exercise, evening work events and then family and friends it can be tough, and at times a little exhausting.
I’m really lucky that I have a really good network of close friends. I’m not really someone who feels they need to be friends with everyone or have hundreds of acquaintances. As one of my besties and I always say “no new friends’. Obviously I don’t mean that literally (otherwise moving here would have been WAY lonely) but it does mean I make considered choices when making friends. Time is precious and you want to spend it with people you like most right?
I’ve really had to make an effort being here. Both staying in touch with old friends and making some new ones. Not saying I didn’t make an effort before, but I’m more conscious about the need to make an effort whilst here. An effort to reply, to message first, to be interested. All relationships take work and friendships are no exception. Not long after moving I said to my best friend of ten years I was worried we might drift a little. We haven’t lived in the same city since leaving university and it’s never made any difference but I was scared about what the extra distance might mean. I don’t know, I guess with so much change happening I just wanted to make sure we stayed as tight as ever. And we have. We actually probably talk more now than we did when I lived back in England and that’s all because we’ve put in the work and consciously replied that little bit faster, sent a few more or longer messages. Made sure we don’t drift basically. I have some friends I message every day, about this and that and others that I talk to less but are no less important in my life. I think we all have those people that we can not see for months or even years but you pick back up right where you left off. All friendships are distance and the true ones stand the test of time. Quick side note, it is also ok to lose friends along the way. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is fault on either side. As people get older we grow and take different paths and sometimes those things don’t align with those around you so naturally you lost contact. THAT IS OK TOO.
I’ve also been really lucky to be visited by a few people whilst I’ve been here and have a few more coming out over the next couple of months. The fact that they want to spend their hard earned cash to come and see little old me is really quite special. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a little bit of home with you in a foreign place. I touched on this briefly last week [LINK] but it’s also so nice to show people you love around the new city that you love. I really owe a huge thank you to everyone who has come out to see me, or is coming out to see me. It really does bring such a huge amount of happiness. I’m living on a pretty tight budget whilst here (with several things planned and booked before deciding to au pair) meaning the only trip home that will take place was at Christmas. 10 months feels LONG when you’ve never been away for more than two/three weeks at a time and travelled home to see your parents every month or so. You’ve no idea how much of a mood lifter it is knowing you have something to look forward to and that you’ll get to see some familiar faces.
So I guess the point of what I’m trying to say is that I’ve really learned to value my friendships more. It’s important we let the people we love know how special they are and that we make time for them. Obviously I’m not perfect and there are still occasions I think I’ve replied and realise a few days or even a week later that I haven’t but I’m trying. More than ever.