It was a cold lazy winter Sunday morning and I was wrapped up in my blanket indulging in my favourite pastime, watching the TV series Friends. It was one of the older episodes, from season 1. The character of Rachel had just about started living independently when her credit card company calls to check upon her for not having shopped, plunging her into sadness over her life not turning out the way she envisioned it to. But then as the episode progresses she forgets her worry as she talks and enjoys with her friends. This time when the credit company calls up, she tells them she is fine as she lovingly looks over at her friends who are falling over each other involved in a serious game of twister. That episode, especially that scene has always been very poignantly etched in my mind. Because in that one scene it enumerates a very simple truth of life, sometimes friends are all you need.
As a kid I would often come across the line that you can’t choose your family and that’s why you have friends. Back then I was too young to understand the importance of that statement. But now I understand it, completely. The thing about family is that we love them, but at times they can be little taxing. No matter how much society tells us to love our family and to stand by them, the truth is there are often situations where family fails us. They fail to understand us; fail to accept us for who we are. Family is supposed to make encourage you, make you feel good about yourself, support you and love you unconditionally. That’s what family means. And anyone who fits that bill becomes family, and that can mean friends too. Family doesn’t always necessarily end with blood. It goes beyond that. Often our friends are more of a family to us than our family. What if fate deals you a crappy hand and you’re stuck with a bad family, what do you do then? Despair, feel alone. No. That’s where friends step in.
Friends understand you, as your peers they are going through the same things you are, giving them a better sense of your problems and predicaments. In a way friends walk the same path that you do, which makes them all the more sensitive to your problems, understanding you in ways your family cannot. They know your innermost secrets, your fears, they know the darkness that resides within you, but can still see the light in your soul. Even on the days when you don’t believe in yourself, your friends do. I remember a personal instance where I was worried about how I would score on a very important test in my life. I didn’t think I had the ability to score good marks at all. I confided my fears in my friend, who balked at the idea, chastised me and told me in a matter of fact manner that I was going to score first class. As pathetic as it may sound, I didn’t have faith in my abilities, but I had faith in her, so I believed in myself because she believed in me. Needless to say, I scored first class. That’s the beauty of friends, they encourage you, support you.
You are your craziest self around your friends. You come up with the wackiest ideas ever and instead of giving you the judgmental eye or the worried you-need-a-strait-jacket look that you family might give you, your friends are often the one’s executing the idea along with you. In fact they are the one’s giving their expert inputs making your idea all the more crazy. They are the ones you share inside jokes with, talk in manner which only you understand, conversations that no one else would ever understand. All these little things are what make friends special to you, dear to you. They make life interesting, and on your lowest days, they are often the reason you find life worth enjoying.
Friendship brings with it an abundant supply of love, understanding and acceptance. They love you for who you are; a task very difficult to do sometimes. But they manage it with the most simplest manner. Often when we recall past stories and shenanigans, friends play a major role in it. They support you throughout your life, and are always there for you, no matter what. Many a times we find that life gets in the way, that other things preoccupy our mind and time. But friendship is probably one of the most purest and beautiful relationship that is out there. (Given of course that you do find the right friends). If you have, then hold on to them, value them, and it won’t kill you to time and again remind them that you do love them. In case life got in your way, and you aren’t in touch with your friends anymore, think of a reason as to why you haven’t reconnected yet, and you will come across none. There is no reason ever good enough, to not have friends in your life. They are your magic beans. They make this difficult dark life of ours fun, light, entertaining and worth living. So hold onto them, and never let go.