Posted in Perspectives

Friends by Default

I’ve kept in touch with about a handful of my high school friends. And primary school friends? If you count liking their posts on Facebook, sure, we’re still in touch. Not that I mind very much. I only wonder why we didn’t keep our friendship necklaces and best-friend-forever promises?

The old cliche is that we grow up and we grow apart. Perhaps this is inevitable. Yet, isn’t it true that as two closely rooted saplings grow their branches eventually meet at the forest canopy?

On the other hand, if you think about it, the people with whom we become friends relies heavily on circumstance and a series of extraordinary coincidences – where you were born, where you went to school, which class you were in and whether or not you decided to go to that party the one time.

In my case, I sort of realised after I left school that there were many people with whom I was only friends because we had vaguely similar interests and had to see each other every day. I’m not sure either party was truly invested in the other beyond what entertainment we provided each other during break time.

They were friends by default. And why should we settle for those?

There are literally millions of people who, due to geographical and language differences, we may never meet. Any number of those people could have turned out to be your greatest friend. But not all of us can travel the world and honestly, it’s so much simpler to stay in our comfort zones. We love that which is familiar and easy. Still, I wish there was an easy way to reach out to people.

However, I must admit that though I’ve had many “friends by default“, I’ve also been very lucky to have some of the funniest, most thoughtful and intelligent friends that anyone could ask for and though not all of them are still in my life, the memories will always be printed boldly in my head.

To all my old friends – the real ones – if you ever read this, know that you weren’t in my life by default. Know that you mattered to me and that I’m grateful for the time we spent and the lessons we learnt together… and I hope you’re happy, wherever you are.

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