I went out to lunch with a few friends the other day. Doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary, but to me, it was important.

Having friends is important to me. Not because I want to be popular or I need to have a lot of friends to make myself feel good about me, but because any friendships that I am likely to have in my life generally mean something, and are not superfluous.

My husband is my best friend, of course. I believe that above anything else in a relationship of such longevity, friendship counts above all else. Our relationship is not perfect, that’s for sure, but it’s interesting.

My lunch friends are important to me in other ways. These are people that I once worked with for many years. We enjoy each other’s company and we have many things in common. Our get-togethers are a mutually beneficial arrangement for  catching up with the gossip, staying in touch, and enjoying a good social outing. It’s good for my soul. As I live on an island, I can get quite isolated at times, particularly as my husband works away. These ladies know this, and I thank their caring spirits for making the effort for me.

I don’t come by my friends easily, or quickly. I have always been a person who prefers not to be part of the ‘in crowd,’ and was never invited in anyway. I’ve always been a little different. Part of me wanted in, but the other part not really liking it once I got there. I have found that it’s not always good to be like everyone else, to ‘fit in.’  It can do your head in. Over the years I have made peace with the differences, because this is what makes me who I am. I am a little odd, a little eccentric and creative, with a few strange ideas. I don’t invite people into my space willy-nilly. It takes consideration, deliberation, and a little self-projection.

Having said all that, I am quite open to meeting people and sharing ideas and knowledge without encroaching on too much personal space. Just because I don’t fancy having 150 friends on Facebook doesn’t make me a social pariah.

I have less genuine friends, however, than you can count on two hands, but my friendships are valuable, and all enrich my life in some way.

With the advent of new technology, it has become possible to form closer bonds with my established friends, and create one or two new ones. In the last few months, I have been lucky enough to meet a like-minded person studying in the same course as I am, and we are now communicating across thousands of miles of time and space, using computer video links, emails, and forums. It has been a major undertaking for me, as creating a new friendship takes time, patience and balance, to get it right.

I’m in no hurry, and the dye has been cast before me. I am lucky enough right now to be able to enrich my life a little more, share experiences and travel alongside another willing co-conspirator up the street of serendipity for a time to see what happens.

I’m looking forward to a place where we can look back down the miles and say, ‘do you remember when we…?’


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