It was December 15th, on a beautiful celebratory Saturday. It was our graduation. I was wearing a very big and unique hairstyle that you can’t fit the graduation cap on your head unless you go to war with that hairstyle, and so I remember when we were given our degrees and we were supposed to put our graduation caps on our heads, I failed.
And then Vicky and Mustapher, were fixing it on my head, while I was just there, helpless. Vick (a lady that she is) took out couple pins from her purse and fixed my graduation cap, so that I too could wear mine (and could feel like a graduate?). It was at that moment that I realized that in my four years of university, I made the right decision to choose these people as my friends, in fact I made the right decision to invest in this friendships.
Friendships can be hard sometimes, it is true that people come and go sometimes. That maybe they are just in our lives for a season. However there are also lifelong friendships, those friends that you will spend a lifetime with, no matter which season they come in your life, those friends who you will share memories with, and remind each other about a certain time of your life.
A friend who just speaks to your heart, those that know you to the extent that you don’t have to explain yourself to them, they understand you. Those that defend you, and love you. And always want you to grow, those that can laugh with you while you said nothing, those that you share inside jokes together or you even have a code together, that only the two of you understand. Those friends that only you two know the name that you call each other, wow, friendship is life giving, joy bringing and laughter inducing.
I have been blessed to have many friends, I feel lonely sometimes but it does not mean I am alone or I don’t have friends but that’s a topic for another day.
Here are five ways i intentionally invest in my friendship..
1. Shared experiences
I talked about memories up there, you can’t have memories if you don’t have shared experiences, and this is either by travelling together, sharing meals,sleepover, attending concerts together, going to the museum or any other activities you can do. Vicky and me church hopped together in Mbeya, while we were fresh graduates and yet to find a church. They say,”you know a person by travelling or eating together” and so sharing an activity together could take your friendships to a deeper level and make you close because you share something in common.
2. Quality time
So, I said quality time, but what I mean here is being a listening ear. Instead of always talking about your problems, try to hear your friends as well, people love to be heard, your friends love to be heard, and they are also going through some things, and so listening to them will also enrich your bond.
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3. Showing up for them
I live in Mbagala, and my mom prepared a party for me (home graduation party- I had two graduation parties one in December, another one in April?). And honestly considering most of my friends don’t live near me I feared no one will show up. But they came, Helena, Angel and Shanto, I felt so loved. Showing up for your friends in good times or bad times, is how you invest in that relationship. You see that in award shows when artist say they are thankful for the people in their lives who have been there for them, well this is what they mean. Encouraging your friends, cheering them on, crying with them and being there for their events. Aaaaand, my personal favourite, remembering their birthday.
4. Calling from time to time
After graduating and we all moved to different cities, it is not easy to be as close as we were when we were in school. I read in a book that I will share in a blog post about ways that will help you spice up your social life – that means I forgot the title, and am so lazy to go and Google it?? / but that means I have a new blog post coming soon right?), so the author said, friendships are stronger when people are closer together and there is constant communication, and the bond gets weak when people are away from each other. This is true, I find myself postponing checking on my friends a lot, and so I have to schedule time o call them, so that I can keep up with what is going on in their lives.. Remember friendship is about knowing the other person, how can you know them if you don’t keep up? Schedule time, it is worth it.
5. Be present when you are with them and be committed to the friendship.
I know I said listening.. You can be there and be busy with your phone or even your mind is not there. Communicate openly, they are your friends you are not trying to act perfect in front of them. Forgive quickly, be yourself, show your true colors, be present in that friendship. It is good to initiate, but it shouldn’t feel like you are the only one holding the weight of the friendship.. I would say both of you go out of your way to show the other that you are investing in that friendship. Be loyal, fight for your friends, be the ride or die.
I hope you invest in your friendship to the extent that they will be the ones who fix your graduation cap, or show up to your parties when you least expected.