Leo (Joshua's son), Uriah, Me and Josh (in the background)
Yeah I thought the title was kinda corny too, but a bit of corn never hurt anybody.
My blog about the Kelston "K" sparked a facebook correspondence with my good friend Sosh. Reflecting on our relationship we had and how blessed we were to have a circle of friends to share our adolesence experience together. He said something that really stood out and it was this "I hope my son will be able to have a friendship with someone the way we did". This one sentence stood out like a sore thumb, because, I'd never really considered that for my own son.
Friendships are important and more importantly it's great to have friends that you can trust and be open with. Hopefully you can respond and tell me whether my experiences are rare or not, but I have had the awesome experience of having a close-as-a-brother friend since I was 4yrs old and he was 2yrs old. (That's when his Mum said we first played). Our backyards backed on to each others so we were often at each others houses. Even with a fence up, a custom designed door was inserted to allow the easy access between the two yards.
We share a lot of memories together in the backyards, playing with swords against invisible armies, trips in the universe in the spaceships his Dad made out of truck tyres, dress-ups, baking and fighting too. Alot of extended family, and people at church all new Joshua, and likewise vice versa. As we grew up into our teen years, we both enjoyed music (as teens do), we talked about girls and how they made us think and feel, about spirituality, girls again, and music. It became obvious that through our teen years, our stereotypical groups were very different, But it never tainted our relationship. I suppose the only differences is that we both really didn't enjoy the same things when it came to going out. But when it came to sitting down over a meal, or in the back verandah, or relaxing at the park with the Manuka park locals, the friendship was still intact. It's funny how when I look back now, his family were my insight to the western/caucasian culture living, because my parents were somewhat traditional Samoans (Pacific Islands). It was spending time with my neigbours where I learned table etiquette like only using tomato sauce as a taste enhancer not a necessity. But it was after the dinners, during our play time, hang time, and sleep time that we clicked.
In retrospect, our conversations wouldn't appear to be that of your typical 10-15 year olds. We would sit around a table, and discuss our feelings and thoughts on death, relationships, how to read peoples body language and adjust our social behaviours etc. We were so open that when we were offended by somebody, it was said right there and then and the issue was done and dusted. It wasn't a mystery that most friends outside of our bond didn't quite understand how we fit together but it just did. Even in my last visit to NZ, people looked at us strange. But what they couldn't see was what I just tried to explain above, and that's in a very tiny nutshell.
Now that I'm older and I have identified that we have been created to be social beings, I can see why it is so important that we have friends. We need people to open up to and share our feelings and thoughts, and listen (or read) on what their response or assessment is to our thoughts and feelings. Be it in person, on blog, and other social media. Do not allow yourself to be isolated to an unnecessary form of hermit habitation. You, me, and them, need other people in our lives! We allow each other to get a different perspectives of ourselves and grow accordingly. Friends are great to get things of your chest, and even share the joys you experience. If you follow the trends of the profession of psychiatrists and psychologists, you will notice that the demand for their services have increased dramatically over the past four decades. I have no doubt that mental health is an epidemic that needs to be addressed, but think about it, if there were friends there that could assist, there would be no need to see a professional. I got alot more to say on this, but I'll leave it for another blog.
Growing up, it appears that my social network held me together. Although Joshua and I do not see each other as much as we used to, it is difficult to try and destroy a relationship built on such a solid and firm foundation. Joshua is my brother, a friend who's been there with me through thick and thin, and a lot of good good times. It's true that we can't choose our family, but we choose our friends, but you have ever experienced what it's like when you didn't choose your friends to become family?
Well it's payed off, even in my adult years, I find myself surrounded by close, male friends, that I am able to trust and depend on when sharing my thoughts and feelings.
I really hope my kids will grow up to have best friends like I did.