Of Seasons and Friends
Free time on my hands. Lots of it. Is what I have right now. All this time has had me falling into different rabbit holes. You know, the sort where you start off looking for one thing and end up spending a whole lot more time than you had anticipated? Yep! Those types of rabbit holes.
The most recent hole I fell into was going through old pictures. Okay, let me put this in context. My cell phone doesn’t quite have enough internal storage space so from time to time I empty it, a process that includes transferring my pictures onto an online folder. The plan was to dump all the photos in the folder and walk away. Easier said than done. Two hours later, I kid you not! Two hours later, I was still scrolling through a bunch of old pictures. Yo!! Talk about going down memory lane. I found pictures from moments and experiences in my life I had completely forgotten about. Took me back to very different times from what my life is right now. A significant observation was also the evolution of my friends.
By evolution, I not only mean how my friends have changed, but also the friends I have lost and gained along the way. This evolution is also reflective of how some of my friendships are, or were seasonal. In other words, we were in each other’s lives and were close to each other because we were dependent on each other in navigating a particular season in life.
Okay, I’ll elaborate further.
As a campus student, I really was not the most friendly person. I still am not. Call it fate or sheer luck, I ended up with a very close knit group of friends. We were about ten boys and girls taking the same course, so we all attended the same classes. We were literally joined at the hip. There was no social event where at least 90 percent of us were not present as a group. In all honesty, it was a fun-times friendship. Given our age, the time on our hands and the collective need to get into trouble or have trouble finding us, our friendship had the right ingredients to keep it alive. We had random trips, got drunk A LOT and basically cruised through life. As we got towards the end of our learning, one of us got pregnant. Understandably, she was less available for our hangout sessions and inevitably the friendship ran its course. She ended up sitting out a semester and after that we were almost strangers to one another. Right now, I have no contact with anyone from that time in my life. We did the obligatory thing of following each other on Facebook and randomly liking each other’s posts. Eventually that also came to a halt for I left Facebook and now have zero contact with any one of my classmates. That’s not entirely true though. I see two of them found me on Instagram and they occasionally pop up on the list of views on my stories, but that’s it.
PS. Christine Maina if you are reading this, DM!
When I had my humans, I was a stay at home mum for the major part of their infancy and part of their toddlerhood. My social circle revolved around mummy groups, playgroups and pediatricians. The joy! She says sarcastically. Anything outside of taking care of my kids was non-existent. This period of time in my life is bitter-sweet. It takes a lot to keep a human alive and every free moment I got was spent catching up on sleep. Reflecting back, I had a very low level of patience and tolerance of small talk or gatherings that were not adding value to me tending to my humans. In most cases if you invited me to go somewhere, if you did not give at least two weeks advance notice I was not showing up, unless I could carry the mini-lets along. The friends outside of this circle of mummies were non-existent. That is until I met the ladies from my chama! Whoa, boy!! Didn’t my life change after that! Those women remain my constant!! My day ones! My ride or die!
Life then decided to throw the dice and run a number on me. A lot of things in my life evolved and so did my friends. I ended up working in a space where everyone must have still been in high school years after I had graduated from campus. Whew chile! I was not ready! (insert clapping emoji here). These young people truly keep you young at heart! Their energy, attitude, level of “wokeness”. In this space I re-discovered the nightlife Nairobi has to offer, my creative side thrived like it was high on crack, even my dress code changed, dang! In my heart and head I was all of twenty four! And I loved every second of it. It truly was such a blessing working with this group of young people. They taught me not to take myself, or life too seriously. To allow for enjoying life for what it is. This season also solidified one of the realest friendships I have to date.
And because whoever is manipulating the strings of my life decided my social circle needs adjustment, once again I found myself adjusting. My last place of work was straight and narrow. Let’s be clear, it was not boring. I honestly worked with the most supportive team a person could ask for. These guys were the true embodiment of teamwork. Food for thought, am I the only person whose social circle seems to be strongly influenced by their place of work? I mean it’s bound to happen, ain’t it? For five days a week you are spending at least eight hours, sometimes more, with these people. Some type of friendship is bound to happen, right? Or is it just a me thing? Let me know in the comments below.
My most recent picture reel is full of selfies, pictures of food, random videos recorded by le humans and lo and behold! The same circle of friends for the most part. The past five years have been very life-changing for me and I mean that in the literal sense. Very real, solid and almost permanent changes have occurred. There is no longer a need to be fleeting in the people I choose to hold near and dear. If you are in my life it is a well-thought out decision. There is value in having you as a friend or close acquaintance, value that is reciprocated between us.
Looking back, do I have regrets about letting certain people in? Sure, I do. The good thing is that I am no longer making the same mistakes. Any signs of red flags and I back off. Ageing means I have no time for unnecessary drama. What’s that thing they say about picking your lessons and moving along? It takes me forever to warm up to people and I like that my resting bitch face keeps people away by default. No, I will not take that back! It has kept away the crazies, for the most part. Those I call my friends are treated with a love, care and respect that is real and genuine.
I am excited to see where my friends and I are going to be in the next couple of years. Excited because we are all destined for greatness and it is something beautiful and wonderful to look forward to.
This reminds me of an article I read a long time ago about different kinds of friendships. Some friendships are really situationships. You are friends for being in the same boat…same environment like school or work. Such friends fade away when you are no longer together. Can’t remember the other types. I think they were 5.
Interesting! Never thought of it from the analogy of the boat. Sailing through life together. Drifting along in life.