Hands up how many of you can, hand on heart say, you have friends that you count as your family?
I have both hands in the air and I know how extremely blessed I am to be able to say that without hesitation or reserve.
Why am I thinking about this today?
Well, because recently I have met my fair share of assholes. They come in many guises. People who pretend to be your friend, sometimes for years, and who turn out to be full of shit. Boys who turn up pretending to be all nice and fun, but turn out to be full of shit. Coworkers who are all nice and supportive, but turn out to be full of shit.
Are you seeing a theme here!?
But then, there are those few people who light up your world just because they are there.
All it takes is some dumb picture of a snowman in a film you have never seen, to make you laugh your ass off because you know that said snowman must entertain your friend so much. Or, an email that says “We are not talking about this because it makes me angry.” and knowing that you can totally talk about it if you need to. Or, a voice note on Whatsapp with your friend singing along to a cheesy pop tune from the 90s. Or, simply “xoxo” in a text because they can’t charge their phone due to a power out, but want you to know all is ok anyway.
These people were put on the earth to be my surrogate family. I love my family dearly, but being an expat makes it hard. I get snatched weeks with them here and there. The upside to that, aside from actually maximizing your time when you are with them, is that you then make friendships that you wouldn’t have before, that mean more than a friendship could if you had stayed at home and never had to restart your life in a new country with no one by your side.
This all seems rather deep for a Thursday morning, but there is reason aside from the asshole collective that has been circling:
Last weekend Bermuda took a direct hit from a massive hurricane. It was a very scary time for those on the island, but also for those who have loved ones on the island. The worse part was the next day, waiting for people to make contact. I was so happy when people I know started putting a quick hello on Facebook so we would all know they were safe. The best feeling by far, was the messages coming through from my best friends though. Tears of joy and relief met those messages.
Things like that just give you a little reminder that life is as precious as true friendships. It also reminds you how much you take for granted and that you should be more vocal when counting your blessings.
So… Whether I see you every day, or just email daily… Whether we chat once a week or once a month… Thank you for being my family. You now who you are and I hope you have a small idea of how much you mean to me.
Thank you for being in my life and showing me how to survive each one of the knocks, and most importantly, being by my side and showing me how to get up smiling again.
Love you xoxo