On Friendship

If you have been following my tweets (@joni_jackson), you would have realized that I finished reading MWF seeking BFF yesterday. It tells the story of a year in the life of a recently married woman who moves to Chicago to live with her new husband and decides to go on 52 “friend” dates in her quest to find BFFsnin Chicago as most of her friends were still living in New York. I will not give too many details, except to say that she uses varied means to achieve her 52 dates. It is a decent read except for my ADD mind that just wanted her to go on her 52 dates already. It is interspersed with information from various studies and papers and has a reference list at the end.

Before I had read this book I had been thinking to myself that this year I was going to make more time for friends, both to make new ones as well as keep the existing friendships going. I am not good at “friending” because I am very wary of people in general. Not paranoia, just caution. I do not open up or let people in easily. Plus, I am not very talkative and outgoing either.

I have been torn up, over the years since leaving uni, about friendships that have been lost. What the book helped me to realize is that we are constantly changing and growing and like it or not sometimes we outgrow our friends and they outgrow us. You have different things in common as you grow older. It is not just about surviving high school, puberty, zits, boys etc. As you become who you are meant to be in each moment, sometimes there are people who will not be able to understand you anymore and there goes a friendship and you do the same thing to others.

As you get older, friendships take on different tones and shapes. You have different friends from different areas of your life that sometimes spill over into your everyday lives. So there are work friends, church friends, Calabash friends, Project Management Friends, etc. and as time goes on some of these friends become BFFs. You of course still have some friends from high school, from your neighbourhood and the friends that regardless of the fact that you might live in different countries, whenever you see each other it is as if there was no large expanse of water separating you.

On a kind of related but unrelated note, I had never really thought about how it would feel to get engaged. Yes, I would get a ring. Yes, we would have to tell everybody (or almost everybody). Technology made things simpler and since a picture is worth a thousand words (my apologies for being “clichey”) it was utilized. What surprised me most about the whole thing (and perhaps surprised is not the right word since I was not thinking people were going to be mean) was the genuine happiness and excitement that was being expressed by everyone we told and at times it was a little overwhelming.

I am going to be going on a few “friend” dates of my own. Not only new people, but with the friends I already have that I do not hang out with enough and I am also hoping that my Events Planning class will turn up at least one new friend.



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