3 min read

A tribute to friendship

A tribute to friendship
Lake Como - Italy

Last weekend, I was at Lake Como in Italy. My dear friend Robin drove almost a thousand kilometers to come and spend the weekend with me. Only a few days later we would drive back together, the bike in the trunk of the car. Months ago, we joked about her coming to Italy on my trip, imagining a weekend of eating pasta, drinking wine, and chatting. Yet you know how it goes, plans often remain plans. And then Robin turned words into action, checking if it was possible to come to Italy. When I shared this with others, it felt almost too good to be true, and people remarked how cool it was that she actually came, something many talk about but rarely do as often life comes between it.

Suddenly, there she is, in her radiant self, a bit of oatmeal on the side of her mouth, having smoothly passed the handsome Italian border guard. I'm as happy as a child on Christmas, hopping through the Airbnb. The following days were incredibly relaxed, filled with deep conversations, lots of laughter, and genuine quality time for the two of us. I've known Robin for about twenty years, friends since elementary school, so she's seen me through various phases, knows my parents, friends, past boyfriends, fuck-ups, and heartbreak stories. She recognises my deep-rooted patterns, perhaps even better than I do at times. Our relationship so strong that she can ask questions others wouldn't have dared to ask, questioning gaps in the storyline or the feelings behind the spoken words. It makes our conversations profound, straightforward, and unfiltered, reminding me of how grateful I am for this friendship.

Not just for this one but for friendships in general. I try not to take them for granted. Esther Perel, a relationship expert, says that love is a verb – you have to work for it. I believe the same applies to friendships. It's important, or at least I find it crucial, to invest effort in those I deeply care about. Another friend, Saar, once said that friendship, for her, means creating new memories together, requiring active participation and exploration.

I cherish many long-standing friendships, some spanning decades.While it's natural to grow apart in some cases, I would find it terrible in others. Although we might have changed as persons over the years, there is still a common ground that bonds us and that is something I treasure. So, I put in extra effort to sustain friendships, even if separated by distance, even across borders, as some of my friends have emigrated. Our friendships are now built on quality rather than quantity.

How do I maintain these friendships? I stay informed about their lives, making time for real stories and genuine questions, preferably face to face or through calls. Sending cards on important occasions, letting them know I'm thinking of them. When we're together, it's with attention, love, and humor, without distractions, without judgment, with honesty. And lots of hugs.

So, don't forget to express appreciation, to say you love someone. Listen and make time in our busy lives. Create new memories. Maybe if you read this, ring the friend you miss, write a card, or plan your next trip together. After last weekend my heart is filled again (and my stomach too, with all the delicious pizza and pasta 😜), and with a full heart, I can face the world.

So, thank you for all the beautiful friendships in my life; it wouldn't be the same without you. 💕🦄