I am currently reading “The F Word” by Lily Pebbles. This is a book about female friendships and quite personal as Lily shares many of her own stories, friendship heartbreaks, fallouts and many other bad and good experiences that made her grow as a person and find what kind of friend she was or wanted to become. It is a very chilled read, very laid back and helps me disconnect from all the daily stresses of my job but it also makes me think, a lot. And during those days where my mood isn’t so great, this book can also make me feel a bit sad.
This isn’t a review of the book but a personal post where I share a bit more of me and my thoughts when reading this beautiful book that is so nicely written.
Here’s the thing: I don’t have a long term friendship that lasted all the way from my childhood. I did have friends, obviously. But life itself just didn’t allow us to make that friendship last for years and years.
If you ask me who was my first ever best friend, only one name pops in my mind: Ana. We met when we were around 6 years old and just started primary school. We were the top students of the class, I remember that so well. But I don’t think it ever felt competitive. We were friends and were happy about each other’s achievements. At the time, we had very similar personalities – very quiet, shy but happy little kids. We loved a bit of adventure and to play together.
We studied together for 9 years in a row and for most of them we remained very close. I guess that Ana had everything to be my friend for life but then one thing happened – she broke my heart. She might not know this or might even not remember the event as clearly as me but I never forgot about it.
To be fair, she broke my heart twice and both in very similar situations but the first one we were only two 7 or 8 year old girls that liked the same boy and he just thought it was fun to give flowers and act like he loved both. It wasn’t nice but we easily forgot about it and carried on with our life as best friends.
The worst heartbreak was when I was 13. There was this boy that I loved with all my heart, R.. I remember the first time I saw him: he was playing football with a group of friends and I was watching with Ana. I looked at him and said to Ana: “Just look at them legs”. And just like that, I was in love and Ana knew.
I wasn’t the prettiest or the most outgoing teenager. I was shy and not good at expressing my feelings. I had low self-esteem and wasn’t a very confident person. For that reason, it took me a while to actually tell him I loved him but he knew from common friends (you know how things worked back in the day).
Then, one day, I looked down and they were kissing just in front of my eyes. Yes, Ana and R.. We probably weren’t as close as we initially were but in my head she was still my best friend and that was the worst thing she could’ve ever done to me at the time.
Because of that, we went separate ways and I never really trusted her again that much. They only dated for like 2 days and me and R. eventually got together (it only lasted 3 months but it was the best first boyfriend experience. I only have good and fun memories from those 3 months).
Loosing this long-term friendship left me only with college friends and with very little trust in people. After that we go to Uni and without me noticing, I lost two more friends that went to Uni quite far from me. We managed to keep in touch for a bit and we did get together every so often and things always felt good but it wasn’t the same. Then, they had their own life and friends that they made in Uni and so did I so, again, life throw us apart and looking back I don’t think we ever made an effort to make these friendships last.
When Uni came around, I made two very close friends that luckily still remain in my life but probably not as close as I would like.
The reason why, you ask? I am starting to think that it is because of no one but me. And that is why I kind of wanted to write this post and here am I, laying down in bed feeling a bit sorry for myself for not being the friend people expect me to be, I guess.
Let me explain. I am not the kind of friend that will text you all the time or ring you every other day. For me, real friends remain even when you don’t keep in touch. When the friendship is real, it lasts. Of course it requires some regular contact but, for me, it never needed to be constant. But a lot of the people I come across get upset because I don’t text them or ring all the time and I know I don’t but that’s just me. I am always here to text them out of the blue and arrange a coffee or a nice luch but I am not texting everyday because that is just not me and people get offended (too easily in my opinion).
When I moved to the UK and started working, things got busy but those two friends from Uni remain in my life. We go for a coffee every time I go back home and we text each other when there’s a big thing happening in our life that we want to share or a funny little gossip we just found out. And it works but to be honest with you, my biggest, best friend if I was to name one is Juliana – a Portuguese girl that came across my life here in the UK after she also moved from Portugal and started her career as a nurse.
We clicked from the beginning and it just feels like we have known each other forever, so much that she is my maid of honour and I have no regrets or second thoughts. Juliana is the sister I have never had and the woman I go to when I can’t talk to Miguel (my fiancé) about certain stuff and don’t want to worry my mum for no reason.
She is the one I would ring if I killed someone and had to get rid of the body – and, by the way, we would probably ring Karl for a lift and he would just get on with it too. Karl is our little brother. And they both are my chosen family here in the UK and two beautiful people I will forever cherish and keep in my heart.
And now i feel like I have been writing non-sense for half an hour but all I feel like I want to say is that if you are reading this book like me and you feel like longterm friendship isn’t your forte and you are suddenly feeling like you have done something wrong. stop for a minute and think about the good, real friendships you have now, no matter at what time in your life you made them. Friends forever don’t have to be since childhood. Remember that.
I haven’t finished the book yet and I am curious to find out what more Lily has to share but I have some sort of healthy jealousy when it comes to the kind of friendships she has and I have felt like the same about Miguel. He also has many childhood friends and when they get together and I get to witness those moments, it is such a beautiful thing that I will never have.
But I know I will have Juliana and Karl and we have made some beautiful memories together for the past few years. Memories that we will forever remember until Alzheimer’s hits us and by that time I know we will all think we are back in our twenties and want to go back to Walkabout, drink the disgusting shots and go and vomit together in the toilet.
Or maybe go back to the days were we get together at my house and have a late night Chinese takeaway and talk away our thoughts, worries and laugh for hours.
I guess I have said everything I wanted to say. It was a very long post but one that I truly enjoyed writing. What is your longest friendship and have you ever had a friend that broke your heart?