May 30, 2011

One Good Friend.

“Everyone needs friends. At least one good one”.

I remember those words like it was yesterday, uttered by my very first online acquaintance.

I met her in the beginning of the nineties. Internet and online communications were in their infancy, yet I already then developed an avid interest for online communities, as suddenly a whole new world of interactions was opening up to my perception.

She became my real close friend for a couple of years, a confidant that I shared my thoughts with. There was something safe in the fact that I shared my secrets with basically a stranger, thousands of miles away from me, someone I never met, yet a living, breathing soul who could offer words of empathy and comfort.

Being far away from my established friends and my family, having left everything behind on another continent a few years prior, I realized that making real life friends as an adult was a task light years removed from the time when I was a child.

Me and My Best Friend in 1989
As a little girl I made friends easily. I lost them easily too, but in no time new would come along and I never ever recall being a solitary child or having the feeling of being left out. I had an overabundance of friends at all times; some were children I admired, some were those who admired me and then there was at least one good friend. My very best friend that liked me exactly for who I was and shared my innermost secrets and dreams with me. Already then I perceived easily how important this very fact was.

Once my parents immigrated to Sweden, our family went through a mental transition, one that deserves its own exclusive post. To leave ones country - what at that time was assumed as forever - is not something one easily recovers from and the experiences of immigration shaped my early teenager years.
Nevertheless, I still made friends. I found quickly that initially I was drawn to other children, which just like me found themselves as foreigners in another country. We were brought together due to our similar fate and felt unified due to our situation.
As time progressed and my family became successfully integrated in the new society and our new country became our home, as a teenager I slowly made friends with Swedish kids, even though I with amusement must admit that they all had foreign ties, in one way or another.

Me And My Sister In 1994
During this time, my sister became my very best friend. I recall still today our long daily talks. We discussed everything between heaven and earth and I always looked forward to finding her at home when I returned from school, as we would sit in mine or her room for hours, recollecting our day.

I kept my university friends when I started to work and when I moved away from home on my own, I had a well-established network with only a few friends, but still friends I liked and could count on. The phone was never off the hook and I never felt alone – in fact at times I wish I was.

When I left Sweden as a young adult and moved to the other side of the Atlantic, I quickly found myself in a situation that required solitude and discretion and making friends became suddenly impossible.
And then one day it just happened, as I went through life’s ups and downs, traveled the paths less traveled I found that as an adult I became scrutinized by others, at times viewed as threat and interference and felt unwelcome into new established friendship circles. At the best I could make brief and superficial acquaintances.
It dawned on me then that the connections we make as young are golden.

Whether it is the mindset of younger years, the ability to bounce back so easily or whether it is the will and interest to genuinely get to know people - nevertheless, childhood friends are the ones we should try to keep. There is something infinitely comforting to have known - and have been known by - someone for decades, to have followed them through life’s turmoil and to have shared so many unforgettable moments. It is a magic I will sadly never experience.

I still keep in touch with many of my old friends, those that I made during my teenage years. Still, life has brought us in different directions and the closeness we once felt is long gone. Today, after having lived more than a decade in a new country, I cannot state to have made many new friends.
However life has taught me that it is not the quantity but the quality that counts in the end.
Maybe that is the difference between the friendships we strike as young and the one we do as adults.

Me And Elizabeth
Thus I would like to dedicate this post to my one and only true confidant, my very best adult friend Elizabeth who has become my light in the dark – and serendipitously we met through our common love for a nearby lighthouse.
Her concern and genuine care has kept me sane through many recent storms over the past two years. She has shared my deepest secrets and I hers and her beautiful and unblemished mind and candid empathy has made me once again trust in the goodness of people, corroborating my belief that we should pay attention to who destiny brings our way. Each and every encounter has a higher meaning and the people we meet always have a role to play in our lives.

I have today reached the conclusion that we cannot go thorough life alone. As much as we need shelter and food, we also need love and companionship. And at least one good friend.

There are no rules that define a true friend; however often it is the hardship of life that shows us that true friendship can come from the most unusual and unexpected places.

28 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Zuzana!!!!

Rajesh said...

I agree with you.Friendship is precious and not everyone can be at the same level and you can confide only in one or a few.

tony said...

I Had Not Really thought About it Before But,It's True, "Making Friends" Is A Radically Different Thing For An A Adult Than For A Child.
Have A Fine Day Zuzana.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. as much at times as we act like it we were never intended to walk life alone...friends/loves are essential to healthy living...i am glad you have those special friends...and it is harder to make them as you get older...

Julie Hibbard said...

Amen...and oh so beautiful. You must be the best friend-so honest and open. That is my kind of friendship too.
Have a lovely week!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh... You *went-blond* in '94!

So tell us... Do "blonds have more fun?" :-))))

Thank you for another sweet and intimate peek, into your life.

Gentle hugs...

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Zuzana...such wise, WISE words...and a lovely tribute to the wonderful woman Elizabeth MUST be...I love the words you wrote, "connections we make as young are golden" as well as I find that to be SO true.

Special friends at different stages in our life as well. I so want to be a good friend to my friends.

Myrna R. said...

What a lovely post Zusana. I'm glad you have at least one true and loyal friend.

I still keep in touch with one childhood friend. And now can say that I have few close, true friends. But one true friend is worth more than a thousand casual acquaintances.

A Lady's Life said...

So true Zuzana.
Its good to keep a group of close knit friends during life time you can depend on.

And travelling I can understand this issue about making new friends.
They come and go quickly and its hard to keep them in your life.

Michael Manning said...

What a wonderful testament to your friend, and also to how you not only love, but that you love well, Zuzana! :)

Margie said...

Friends are a true blessing!
Elizabeth and you are very blessed to have each other!
Lovely post, Zuzana.

Margie xo

Keera Ann Fox said...

I'm between friends. I'll word it that way. Zuzana, you give me hope that a woman my age may yet find another friend to share joys and griefs and seriousness and silliness with. I'm glad you have Elizabeth! Hi, Elizabeth, nice to meet you!

Betsy said...

what a very sweet post! Yes, I completely agree with all that you've said here. Some of my dearest and closest friends are online..never having met in person. A few years ago, I would have never thought that possible!

A Heron's View said...

Indeed we do need the companionship of another person, the mutuality of loving support and caring, supplies a fruitfulness that tops all.

sprinkles said...

What a sweet post dedicated to your friend!

Growing up, my family moved a lot. My brothers didn't seem to have any trouble fitting in where ever they went but I became shy and never made friends very easily.

Even in high school, I had to make new friends every year. I recently ran into one of my best high school friends. We've talked at length and I'm so sad at how her life turned out. I don't think she's all "there" though which would explain some of the poor choices she's made. I don't think we'll ever have what we did in school and I miss that whenever I think about her.

But in college, I made friends fairly easily. I had friends in every class except one but I sat at a table by myself in that one and wasn't really close enough to talk to anyone.

SandyCarlson said...

This is a beautiful, heart-warming post. Over the years, I have made poor choices in friends and have found it easier, better, to be alone. Your post gives me hope.

young-eclectic-encounters said...

What a wonderful heartwarming post. I can relate to much of what you said. however I believe that friendships come on many levels- from the lasting deep friendship to those who come and go more quickly but have still made an impact on your life. I consider you to be one of my friends as you have often brightened my day and your words of wisdom has given much to think about.
Thanks for sharing
Johnina

ladyfi said...

The ties of childhood friendships are indeed strong.

Lovely post.

Kat_RN said...

Once again you have hit it on the head. I appreciate my newer friends and their insights ( you included) but everyone needs at least one long time friend, who knows your bad points and loves you anyway.
Think I will give Danette a call.
Thanks for the reminder.
Kat

Donna said...

Friends are so important and a real blessing. A beautiful post, Zuzana.

Hugs,
Donna

adrielleroyale said...

Such truth in these sentiments!! Indeed, one good friend is all that is needed as opposed to many mediocre friends. :)

Doreen said...

great post. I wish I could bring words like that out of me. it just doesn't happen. I seem to have lost touch with so many different friends over the years.

Just_because_today said...

Dear Zuzana, this post is so close to my heart for I see friendship as one of the greatest treasures in life. Interesting that I just made reference to my childhood friend http://becauseitisi.blogspot.com/2009/09/she-my-friend-we-were-very-little.html
I have traveled my life looking for a friend, I have found many, I have many friends, it is difficult to have A friend. Many friends, yes, but A friend...difficult and when found seldom everlasting.
It is a rare connection, and when you find it, treasure it.
All the best to you and Elizabeth.

Darla said...

Lovely sharing of what friendship means to you; whether of long or short duration, there is a beautiful blessing in soul connections.

Kath said...

A friend is a treasure more valuable than any other.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear Zuzana x

Sonja said...

Hi Zuzana. You don't know me but I feel like I know you from all your comments on Julie Hibbard's blog over the years. I've often stopped by your blog, too. I am Julie's childhood friend, so this post about childhood friendships really spoke to me. Beautiful post. Anyway, I'm a follower now. :) If you'd like to check out my blog, it's at http://www.toeuropewithkids.com/
Take care,
Sonja

Ms.Chief loves wigwams! said...

What is the old saying, "not a stranger but a friend yet to be discovered". Love radiates within the many facets of our Souls'. Our friends are like diamonds catching a glimpse of sunlight, reflecting the whole spectrum of vivid beautiful colours. You're both blessed to share such mutual loyalty, respect, kindness & care. Long may your friendships warm your hearts. Lovely post Dear Zuzana xXx

Zuzana said...

Elizabeth, Rajesh, tony, Brian, Julie, Amelia, Jill, Myrna, Lady, Michael, Margie, Keera, Betsy, Heron (welcome), sprinkles, Sandy, Johnina, ladyfi, Kat, Donna, adrielle, Doreen, Myriam, Darla, Kath, Sonja (welcome) and P – I thoroughly enjoyed these comments above, where you disclose your own sentiments when it comes to childhood friends and the friendships we strike as adults.

A true friendship is priceless and it increases the quality of our life in an indescribable way. I firmly believe that we get in return what we release, thus true friends will stay around and love us back with the same token.

Glad you enjoyed me as a blond – and to those who asked, I did have fun as a blond but I think I have even more fun now as a brunette.;)

Thank you all for your endless visits and kind words, you are all my very cherished friends indeed.

Xoxo
Zuzana