…we just learn who the real ones are.
I’d like to start by saying hello and thank you to the Grippers for giving me the opportunity to join their ranks. My official bio is in place, but there are some details it doesn’t cover.
I’m joining you here all the way from sunny Australia. Brisbane, to be precise. Capital city of Queensland, or as those born here call it, QUEEEEEEENZLAAAAAAND! I love this city, and this state, but I was not born here. Which brings me around to the current topic: Losing Friends.
For as I mentioned, though Brisbane is now my home, I was born two states away and have gradually migrated north. For those unfamiliar with Australia’s makeup, our states are mother-humping huge. Our smallest mainland state is almost the same size as the entire UK. My current home is approximately 1,700km (over 1,000 miles) from where I was born. I know what it means to leave behind all you knew.
Now, I’m no army brat. And I probably only moved about a dozen times in my life. More than Princess Di, less than Madonna, I hope.
But as anyone who’s moved a bunch of times will know, it becomes difficult to maintain friendships. You scar up, your skin thickens. You become inured to saying goodbye, and it no longer hurts so much. Without that hurt, there’s not so much drive to maintain contact.
I’ve lost a lot of friends over my 45 years of existence. It's been forced upon me by interstate moves in childhood, or even by just moving a few suburbs away on occasion. Many tears were shed in childhood over such matters.
But the worst part is that in recent years it’s been carelessness. Friendships which have fallen down the back of the couch, or haven’t been put back where I picked them up from. Ones I left in my pockets when I put my jeans through the wash.
So these days I try to maintain focus on the friends I do have. Most of my friends live in that magic picture box on my desk. Some of them are friends from the past, from other places I've lived. Some were mere acquaintances at school who've become close friends through re-connection. But the friendship is no less intense simply from the absence of a physical component. These are the friends who are closer than family.