Why friends are important (and Lana Del Rey)
On the face of it, these two subjects probably have very little in common. But it was one night, while watching Lana Del Rey, that it dawned on me just how important friends can be. Of course I’ve always known this, but I’ve been through a fair few of ups and downs in my life when it comes to friends. Over the past few years I have realised how – like most things in life – it’s about quality rather than quantity.
Back in college, when I was 16 / 17 I had a larger quantity of friends. A group of about 20 or so of us. We were a little infamous at Winstanley College. We were “that noisy group under the stairs” or (once second year rolled around) “that noisy group in room A10”. Looking back in retrospect, I didn’t fit in with them. While we were a mishmash group of misfits ranging from the confident and popular to the emo and awkward (me), I had always felt somewhat sidelined. But at the time, they were a good group of friends.
I would include pictures but it seems that I went through a cull when I was outcast from the group. My bad.
Actually, turns out I did manage to find one. Do with this what you will…
So yes, I was outcast. Dramatic, I know, but I’m not going to go into detail. It was a long time ago and probably could have been avoided if we’d all been more mature. But such is life.
Ever since then, I haven’t really had many friends. I’m not saying that to pull in the sympathy, because honestly I don’t really care. I was never one to go out and party at university and I don’t keep in touch with anyone from my childhood – and that’s ok.
You know why?
Because I am such a different person to the one I was almost a decade ago. I have grown, I have matured and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have changed – for the better.
The experiences I have had, the challenges I have faced and the people I have met along the way have changed me in so many ways. I believe I am a better person for it.
Now I can honestly say that I have a handful of true friends, and I am perfectly at peace with that amount. Because, as I said before, it’s about quality not quantity.
So what’s the point in this post? Well, it’s what your friends do for you that’s important; not how many you have. The ones I have around me now are loving, caring, willing to act as my sounding board and to listen, and, most importantly of all, they have absolutely no judgement.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that one of the most important qualities in a true friend is to have absolutely no judgement for anything you do. Obviously, I’m not talking about the big and bad stuff, but for the way that you live your life. Even if you’ve done something that other people may resent you for, they are by your side no matter what. They don’t necessarily support what you have done, but they won’t walk away from you because of it.
So, my advice to you, is that if you have a friend who sticks by your side, listens to you and loves you no matter what you’re going through in your life, then keep them. If they text you, almost telepathically, and regularly check in, keep them. If you know that they would go to the ends of the earth for you, then keep them.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a childhood friend, a friend you met six months ago, the love of your life, your sister, brother or your mum, these friends are few and fair between so hold onto them as tight as they can and don’t let go.
Because it’s these friends that are going to be there for you through thick and thin, through the worst moments of your life and they’ll pull you back off the ground.
But what the hell does Lana Del Rey have to do with this? Nothing really. I just happened to go to her Liverpool concert with one of these friends, who I hadn’t seen for several months, and it was comforting to know that she was still there for me.
And I wanted an excuse to show you a few pictures from that amazing evening…