I was initially planning to write a post about Valentine’s Day today, but I realized that there are more important things than giving in to the over-commercialized scam that benefits only restaurants/florists/jewelry stores.
At this day and age, having a significant other is no longer as important as it used to be. I know a lot of successful, independent single women who are perfectly happy being single. I mean, you earn your own money, and you have your own life. Why should you conform to society’s expectations if it makes you miserable?
So, I changed my article to talk about something I feel is more important than Valentine’s Day hairstyles and makeup looks. And it’s not about love (at least, not in the biblical sense).
As you age, you start to realize who your true friends are. There are people whom you’ve grown up with, and there are people whom you meet along the way, but what I’ve learnt is that how long you know someone does not affect how close you eventually become.
You can know someone for more than 20 years, and still not trust them with anything. Or you can instantly click with someone you’ve met 2 weeks ago, and are probably okay with telling them your life story.
I guess it’s true when they say you learn a lot about how life works when you’re a little older. Nowadays, I find myself looking at things from an outsider’s view, assessing situations from a neutral perspective. I’m no longer as emotional as I used to be. I’m still learning, but I’m glad I have some wonderful friends who’ve acted as my role models. They taught me how to be a better person, and I’ve since learned one vital lesson that I think stays true no matter how old you are.
Friendship is held together by one thing: respect.
A true friend commands respect, because he or she gives it unconditionally. For me, one of the ways to show respect is to honour my word. I try my best to do what I say. I stick to my promises, and I make an effort to be dependable.
In return, I hope that my respect is reciprocated. We’re all adults here – there’s no need to beat around the bush and act like teenagers anymore. If you’re nice to me, I try to be even nicer to you. But if you take my friendship for granted, you can find someone else to bully, thank you very much.
Over the years, I’ve gained some, and I’ve lost some (weight included). Back then, I might not have been a consistently good friend to those around me. There were times when I took more than I gave, and sad to say I only discovered my shortcomings a little later than I should have. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I’d probably do things a bit differently, but that’s how life works – you rarely get a second chance.
Thankfully, the world has given me a small circle of people I’m proud to call my real friends. Friends that I trust whole-heartedly and can speak freely with.
As one of my oldest friends says, “It’s not the quantity; it’s the quality of your friends that counts.”
I hope from today onwards, we can make a conscious effort to appreciate the friends we hold dear to our hearts.
(Images: lifewithdogs.tv, google.com, looklistenlove.org, i.huffpost.com)