Friends.

Most of my closest friends aren’t at my uni, but back home in London, which isn’t easy and I miss them a lot when I’m away. The only time I get to see them is when I come home for holidays. We meet up for coffee or go to someone’s house and have a catch up. In the summer, I was able to go on holiday to Barcelona with a most of my closest friends, which was the longest time I’d gotten to spend with them since leaving high school.

Soon after coming back home for Christmas, I held a small get together pot-luck dinner for my 5 closest friends from school and 4 of my closest friends from uni. The dinner was so that I could see my girls again, seeing as it had been months since I last saw most of them, but decided to invite friends from uni too as most of them knew each other. Unfortunately, the 2 girls from uni couldn’t make it, but we went ahead with the dinner. And that was the happiest I had been in months.

My boyfriend came round to my house, with him sucking up to my mum with a box of Ferrero Rochers (her favourites), and we made the mains together, which in itself felt good. But then everyone started coming around with their dishes, one by one, and my happiness just kept increasing. I was surrounded by the people, most of the friends, I loved the most (minus one of my dearest friends as she was very ill), and I just entered a whole different ‘hyper Niruna’ phase. And it felt good. To be in the same room with all these people felt amazing. We sat down, and talked over food about our lives the past couple of months; things we weren’t able to share over WhatsApp (we have an awesome group on there). It was even better seeing how happy my mum became after seeing how happy I was, and she has been really stressed out recently. She even sat down with one of the guys from uni and had a long conversation for about an hour or so, whilst us girls were at the table having our own conversation. It was nice. It felt like home. It felt like I belonged.

More recently, us girls had a Christmas dinner at our vn friend’s house. I guess you could say it’s starting to become a bit of a tradition, seeing as we’ve been trying to hold one every year since the first back in 2012. This is also a pot luck style dinner: we take food with us, we sit and eat and talk, and after the food’s done, we get up and go nuts to music playing off YouTube – this year’s main theme ended up being Disney songs. (We also ended up trying to make our own cocktails but that’s a whole new story.) Despite being apart for so long, this still felt amazing. Despite each and every one of us having changed the slightest since we left each other’s embrace at the end of year 13, we’re still together. I think that shows good, true, friendship. We’re not with each other because we’re forcing ourselves to be. Of course we have other friendship circles too, but we still have each other.

It’s the same situation with another friend of mine, who I’ve written about before on here. He is someone who means so much to me, and has since the day I got to know him. He is a big brother, a crazy friend and my shoulder to lean on. But, these days, I see him once a year, usually for Christmas, if I’m lucky. Despite this, our friendship hasn’t changed. Out of everyone I know, he knows me best. He’s watched me grow up from being a young teenager to a young adult, and, at a distance, has helped me grow. He has never said “do this, do that” but has also advised me well, from life problems to health problems. My life has always been in his best interest, and he has been there to makr sure I don’t become someone he knows I wouldn’t want to be. Yet, til this day, I still haven’t heard the words ‘You’ve changed, and it’s for the worst’ come out of his mouth. You might think he’s just being nice, but trust me, if something needs to be said, if I need to be yelled at and taught a lesson, or shown that I’m wrong, he is the one who puts me back in line. He always has been the honest friend who just said it as it is.

There are also a bunch of people I grew up with. I’m not as close to them as my other friends, but these guys have never failed to make this little group feel like a family. All of them have siblings, aside from myself, yet they have always included me like I was one of their own. And it surprises me how much these guys invite me to things (even though I’ve turned down about 70% of things because I’m all the way in Southampton), and how, even though I’m away a lot and don’t see them that often, everything that goes on makes me feel as if I’m still in London. I’ve known those who are around my age for about 15 years of my life, and most of the younger ones since the day they were born. Yet, it never feels like they’re strangers. We went on a holiday together a good gew years back, and I had a great time because of them. We went to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park a few days ago and even then, I never felt left out. Not even for a second.
That made me realise, I’ve still got these friends, the friends who have meant so much to me, and so much more than others, for years, and still do. What more could I want? Life isn’t about the number of people on your friend’s list, or about being nosey and involving yourself in other people’s business in the hope that you’d make more friends, or about being the center of attention. I’ve never been about that. It’s the ones who you really want to keep close, really want to keep you close, who matter. Whether that be 20 people or 2, you have a good friendship with them for a reason, and have a place in your heart and your life for them.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” No, I think keeping your enemies closer only ends up shaping you into becoming one of them. Just keep your friends close. If they’re willing to take every step in your life with you, likewise you with their life, then you know it’s something to hold on to.

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