Advice / Leadership / Op-Ed / Friendships & Relationships

The Value of Friendship

MYC gals in Singapore

The title seems to set the tone for a very nostalgic, philosophical conversation about relationships and the value of creating lifelong, sustainable relationships… NOT. (haha. I hate to burst your bubble.) Well, it might. Let’s see where I go with this post.

Three weeks ago, I had quite the eventful day. It started with a phone call the previous week welcoming me back to Canada, then some Facebook comments and a text message. Nonetheless, I met up with R. Schulz, a Shad alum who has been a pretty big part of my academic journey. When I say this, I mean we met the summer before I started university (right after Shad), then kept a close relationship throughout. It’s been 5 years and while I’ve been watching his two sons grow up over the years (even one new-born), he has also been watching me grow and mature – or so I like to think!

MARS, his 4-year old, and I had lunch together, and then spent a fair bit of the afternoon together. I remember during my undergrad when he’d bring his son to campus to pick up mail and I’d get a special visit! It was always a treat to see MARS’ smiles and receive a great big hug!

In the beginning I’d be “too busy” to meet up, but R.S. was very persistent in meeting up. Rarely are my friends so consistent and persistent in making sure we meet up. (Especially with different schedules in university.) For once it was someone else initiating and putting in the effort, so I would force myself to make time. It was SO worth it! These visits forced me to pause and take a break from studying, group projects, online research, or the daily “schedule” of being a student, to just breathe and take my mind off of things. Seeing MARS is always a subtle reminder about the simplicity of life and how how all the little things do matter and we should be grateful for them.

Recently, we met up again. This time, JAWS, his 8-year old brother, joined us and we made stop-motion videos together! During lunch, the boys said grace and each said one thing they were grateful for and I was the highlight! What a warm feeling – priceless!

So the moral of the story? Well, there really is no definite moral… but be grateful for each day, learn to enjoy the present, and cherish the people around you. Keeping in touch doesn’t take too much effort and sometimes it could be a simple email or phone call. (Is that too much time out of your day? You don’t have to contact everyone you know!) Know who your real friends are because those are the ones that will truly matter in the end. And remember, it really “takes two to tango”, so express your gratitude and make that extra effort. Communicate and realize that true friends will understand no matter what.

Now go and reach out to someone – even if the last time you spoke was over half a year ago!

Yours,
tyw

This post is dedicated to all my amazing friends out there – you know who you are!

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