Recently, the true value of friendship is becoming so much clearer to me. The importance of good, healthy relationships with your chums is vital to a happier you.
Back in school, it was all about quantity, with little thought going into the quality of those I surrounded myself with – this, this was damaging. I developed crippling social anxiety and a completely negative attitude towards myself, just from being around such unsupportive, empty beings, and the effects are still evident today in my adult self. Don’t get me wrong, I believed I was happy, the more friends the better right? The bigger the group the cooler you where? You know how it goes. I look back now, and I would happily give myself a good old slap around the chops and tell myself to look around and have a think. I got lost in these people, my true self was buried under false happiness and a need to fit in and be a somebody in a group of ‘bodies’.
These days, well, what a 360. I am happy with my small but strong group of close friends. I don’t know when this all changed for me, I can’t recall a light bulb pinging to life above my head, but I know it has been good for me. My mum once said to me back in school, its quality over quantity with your friends, but I never believed her. BELIEVE IT! I no longer care for false friendships, I understand that this is not healthy and leads you places you do not need, nor want to go.
A healthy friendship is with those that you can not speak to all week, but still see and speak to each other as you will. You do not need the constant contact, because you have faith that they are there, and will always be there, be it for a beer or a mini breakdown, these people know YOU.
I have found that by doing ski seasons, I have met lots of amazing, like minded people, some of which have become best friends of mine. Not the kind of ‘best friend’ where it is just a name, but people who I genuinely love and care for, no matter how long you spend apart, away from the mountains. These people share so many happy memories with me, a time we were all happy and care free, being our true selves and honestly just having the time of our lives. I met my best friend on season, a girl I will be travelling the world with as of September, and I have no doubts in my mind that this will be the best decision I have ever made. Between seasons 1 and 3, we did not see each other for 6 months, but this did not mean a thing once we were back together in France, it was like to time had passed… THIS IS FRIENDSHIP. We allowed each other to get on with our own lives (I was still living in France but she was back in the UK) but we spoke a lot and ensured we would be living together on our next season. This was all we needed, true friends know a true friend, there is no need to constantly be in each others pockets.
I have come to understand that not all families are like mine, we are all the best of friends and get on reallllllly well. We have our tiffs but it is never anything major, don’t go to bed on an argument is something we live by. My little sister will be travelling with me and Ella, and together we make the best threesome. My sister met her on season (my second winter, her first) and they immediately hit it off (we were never doubting this would happen, they are both cracking individuals).
My older sister also does ski seasons and has done lots of travelling, she is currently back in France after travelling NZ with her boyfriend. I miss her, I miss us all being together, but this is what makes our family so special, we are encouraged to travel, and follow our hearts, because we know that at the end of the day, we are all only a phone call away. She is also my best friend, and will be forever (cheese).
My parents are beautiful souls, so supportive and encouraging. We know it hurts them when we leave, but it also fills them with happiness that they have raised such adventurous and passionate children – a great reflection on how amazing they are!
As I have grown older, I have realised how important it is to have friends that my parents love. If my dad doesn’t like someone, your out! They know whats best for me, and have seen me in bad friendships, they know the damage it can cause – this is why I trust their judgement.
What I am basically trying to say
Take a good look around you. Do the people that surround you make you happy without force? Would you do anything for these people without even having to think twice about it? Don’t fake anything you don’t need to, you’ll only loose yourself in the process. Focus on you, and who makes you laugh, cry (and sometimes pee a little) with happiness. These are the people that will build you up and support you when you need them… these, are true pals
I love them, and I love that I have come so far in this realisation.