Friends forever?

I have often written
that one of the most challenging parts of our move away from Vienna was having
to leave behind so many dear friends. I miss them – the everyday interaction,
the ability to meet spontaneously, the sharing of life’s events and experiences,
the joys and pains, as they happen.
After spending a long
weekend with good friends who were visiting from abroad, I have come to the
conclusion that, even though moving has been depriving me, over time, of the physical
proximity to many of my friends, it has also made the way I experience my
friendships deeper and more intense.
I may not be able to see my friends
whenever I feel like it, but when I do see them, our time together is almost
exclusively quality time. Knowing that this time is limited and therefore precious, we are determined to make the most of it. “Determined” may not be the
right word here, as it is not necessarily a conscious decision; it just comes
out this way. We make the extra effort. We concentrate more on each other: we listen
more, we share more, we block distractions. Our friendship becomes more “pure”
– perhaps like friendships used to be, before we were taken over by our busy
lives.
I never thought much of
the argument that one of the positive aspects of moving around is that one ends
up with friends all over the world. For me, the depth of my friendships is more
important than their extent. More than having friends all over the world, I want
to have really good friends all over
the world. Which I do. I have friends that go the extra mile to stay in touch,
to make sure we see each other regularly and share the highlights of our lives.
Even when we don’t, when we have “low” periods, these friends understand; and
when we see each other again it is as if no time has passed.
Distance is effective at
“weeding out” friendships. The ones that are not meant to last don’t make it. Thinking
that way may sound a bit harsh, but it also allows me to appreciate even more
the friendships that do survive. I still can’t say that I am content not to
have my friends around on a daily basis – I never will – but having the right mind-set
helps J.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Friendship intensifies in bad and really good time and most important of all: it all depends on how much a person invests in it. It is like a plant: you need to nourish it, invest time and care and then it intensifies no matter the distance. BUT at times life's circumstances preoccupy us so much that one just shuts down… One can write books about friendships and never run out of things to say about it…

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