Friendship – a bond we share with others. A bond involving trust, affection, and intimacy.
There are so many different types of friendship we form over the years, but not too many people can say they have been friends for their entire lives. Except for those who perhaps have grown up together in a small community. Other friendships begin during post-secondary education or are with co-workers. Some friends come and go depending on what stage we’re at in life, while others last a lifetime.
In a small town we are fortunate (or unfortunate – depending on who you ask), to grow up where everybody knows everybody. When you meet someone on the street, they don’t ask you what your first name is, they ask for your last name and who your grandparents or parents are. Everyone’s always got a connection, whether it be distant relatives or friends of friends. This also means we often go to school with the same group from kindergarten to Grade 12.
If you are lucky enough to find your group, the bonds formed in those small-town friendships can be ones which will last a life time. They have the most history. When you grow up together you can go from house playmates, to Grade 6 enemies, to teammates, to completely inseparable over the course of 14 years. The laughter, tears, heartbreak and trust that are shared between friends can truly be an unbreakable bond.
Once we move on to post-secondary education, we go our separate ways across the province or country, pursuing different educations and careers. As we find new relationships, find a place to settle, start a family or a full-time career, it becomes harder to get together. Often friends grow apart as they start new chapters in their lives. But you know you truly have a special bond with your group if you can get together after many months – or maybe even years – without seeing each other, and still catch up as if high school was yesterday.
Bachelorettes, weddings, baby showers and annual Christmas parties are the perfect ways to jump right back in to the laughter and tears you once shared together. The only downfall being that the recovery time from those get-togethers might take longer and longer the older you get.
Friendships are also formed during 12 years of 4H and agriculture events, such as fairs, family nights, conferences etc. When you have a common interest, it doesn’t matter what age differences there may be, you form a friendship that will follow you into adulthood. Now that events are starting again, we are excited to get together with those who we haven’t seen in over two years. We all have those friends who are part of our bubbles and day to day lives, but now we are able to see those who were a huge a part of our summers growing up. Many of us have our own kids who can be introduced at these reunions and perhaps begin to form friendships – just like we did when our parents attended these annual events.
No matter the type of friendship or how often you are able to get together; if you are lucky enough to have a group or multiple groups you can confide in, go to for advice, or simply have a great time with, you are extremely fortunate. Hold on to those who make you happy, who fulfill different aspects of your life. It’s easy to get caught up in being comfortable and feeling safe at home, but socializing is an important part of being human.
Make sure you take advantage of getting out with your friends, changing things up and sharing laughter together, any chance you get!