My mother once said, “young people make friends in an instant”. Well, it was roughly that; she said it in Chinese. I’ve heard it gets harder and harder to make friends as an adult. My brief spell as a “real” adult gave me a glimpse of this, but I was fortunate to have been thrown into a massive pool of peers who all began their careers at the same time as me – even if theirs didn’t end quite as quickly. Out of this pool, a few glittering gems rose to the surface.
These days I more easily and quickly recognise sister spirits, synergistic energies – I suppose we more commonly call it “clicking” with someone. In the past each time I found that “click” it was like a grand discovery of my people, like looking into a mirror I had always hoped to find. Over time I am glad to have accumulated enough tribesmen so that nowadays it’s more a kind of recognition, like “oh, you’re one of us. Hi again.” I value my friends immensely, wherever they are – without ya’ll I’m nothing! I also love introducing them to each other; some kind of magic usually happens, because they are all so unique.
At the same time I have come to appreciate company that is different to me, that generates an entirely different energy. I would say most of my close friends are more similar than dissimilar to me: firebrands. Sensitive. Highly principled. Uncompromising. Unfiltered. Yet I have friends who are complete opposites to me: Virgos. Quiet, retiring sorts. People with alien interests and friendships.
My mother has a point, though. I’ve befriended a super sweet girl here with whom I am now on very familiar terms and quite physically affectionate though I met her less than a week ago. I can’t say for sure, but in fifteen or twenty years, I don’t know if I’ll be all huggy, touchy-feely with women I’ve just met. It’s something that youth can get away with. Here in this hall of residence, whose very architecture has been geared toward facilitating socialising (remember that kitchen?), new friendships can legitimately spring up overnight.
Then again, is there some kind of providence involved in people coming together? I believe with just the littlest push, we find “our people” naturally and effortlessly. I was talking about this with a friend I made in my kitchen, with whom a tentative request for a frying pan turned into an extended D&M, in which an hour flew by, or maybe two, I’m not sure. He reminds me a little of a friend I made back in Lausanne. I also have a GBF with whom I can equally grind, make music, and D&M. I didn’t look for these people – they just happened. I reach out a little, you reach out a little, and we’ll both know if the chemistry is right. Once you have found that, you can be intentional with whom you cultivate friendships, rather than “falling in” with the first people who will have you.
There are thousands of people here and so far I have only a tiny handful with whom I would actively pursue a friendship. It’s still early days though, I’m sure I’ll make more. Equally, if things stayed as they are now, I think I’d be ok with that too. Quality over quantity, always.