Growing through the 20s can be hard. We have a lot to think about, a lot to process, and a lot more to decide.
Friendship is one of the most prized associations humans share with their kin. From having a fair share of scolding for getting our clothes messy in a sandpit to sleeping in excitement the night before school begins, we've all filled our young lives with innocent, happy memories that we will always cherish. A life of free-spirited energy, no judgment, and no control over our emotions, were the days when our loved ones cared and nurtured us with due care, love, and trust. The smiles, shared food, laughs, cries, and fights that never lasted–all came in as a one-time package of everlasting happiness.
I want to dedicate this blog piece to the loved ones I've cherished, lost, and kept throughout my journey. Let's say I took an excuse to remember and thank each and every one of them, and if you're reading this, I hope this draws a smile on your face.
Childhood friendships are not just ones to remember, but also to laugh about as time passes by. I remember my friends from my school days even today because those were the days in life where I devoted my time to them and the things I loved doing without having to think twice. Being an average kid, I had enough time to spend on things besides my academics. Something I'd have never touched would be my academic textbooks. But the chessboard, newspapers, and ball games? You'd find me doing all sorts of things, and you'd also find a million-dollar smile on my face too. Friends, games, and food were the trio of my childhood living in a nutshell.
My school days gave me a small group of friends, which I was grateful for. Being school kids, we barely thought about friendship issues like the adults did because we were way too busy hanging out and doing almost everything together. Primary school was a breeze until the teen factor popped in when we hopped on to secondary school. We got pickier about things and the people we keep around. We connected with people who had the same taste as us, and we happened to spend more time with the ones we share the same vibe with.
Sitting as a backbencher my friends and I shared the craziest ideas and experiences. We'd always have a great time discussing everything besides academics, likes bikes, monster trucks, love, relationships, sex, alcohol, and what's new and trending. The most influential topic of discussion was recent trends and innovative ideas.
Although I was an average student, I'd always ace my Math and Physics papers. While Math and Chemistry were my favorite subjects, it was easier to understand their real-time applications in our day-to-day lives.
When it came to arts and sports, I wasn't the type who excelled, but I'd always hop on the wagon when my pals would ask me to join them. Besides the typical backbench properties that we shared, one of the top qualities of a backbencher was the helping mentality. We'd help each other, have each other's backs if one screwed up, and manage to mug up something during our class days and exams. And that sort of partnership was something I realized, as I grew up, that exists in entrepreneurship.
At this point, every decision made in terms of pre-planning our careers mattered, and every move made would be embarked into our minds because I think that was the peak time of our puberty. Pre-university was that time of our life that was one of the hardest but best phases to get through. It was a mix of joy and sorrow, success and failure; I can tell that this phase became our foundation for shaping our protective shields into a friendly war zone to taste the realities of life.
My friends played an essential role in my foundations–it's because we only realize things when we move away from them and face situations and friendships that seek validation. I've learned that real friends never seek validations and hold insecurities; we vibe, thrive, and smile our ways through together.
Don't get me wrong, but I don't think all ecstatic moments come from real friendships. What I do believe is that a calm and vulnerable state of mind can be originated from real connections. Although I've lost a couple of friends in the process, I'm blessed to make new bonds with new people that have managed to stick. We often ask ourselves if there is ever a need to cut ties with our existing bonds just to attain a moment of happiness, but often so, we let our emotions get in the way. I am one to sustain friendships, but if I was ever to cut ties with someone, I'd consider it a wonderment made for myself, by myself.
No matter what, there will always be a gentle handful of people you can blindly rely on because, deep down, your gut screams that they'll stick with you. It's the real ones who will stay. And on that bittersweet note, I thank everyone who's stayed and made my life so beautiful, with a ton of memories to cherish. And I thank those who have pulled me out from downfalls, who've given new meanings to different aspects of my life, and for simply standing by me. It's because together, we gain, we share, and we grow together.