I think it’s a bit of a common misconception that back when we were kids life was better. I remember being regularly reminded when I was a child that school days were the best days of my life and it being reinforced that I should be making the most of them. I refuse to look back thinking days were better just because they are younger days. My school days were not the best days of my life; they really weren’t.
There is no doubt that life as a child is ‘different’ and when you are a kid the many burdens that come with adulthood aren’t present but there can be, for some children, very real life struggles. I had several struggles. Friendship was one of them. I was not popular and was a geek (arguably this is still true). I found myself jealous of those in close friendship groups but being alone was something I learned to accept.
I seem to have in my life, somehow, innocently stumbled across some who have felt the need to be quite horrid to me. This is true in both my childhood and subsequent adulthood. I look back retrospectively and think that being naïve has been one the main factors that has led to what seems to have been a repetition of finding myself in the company of unkindness. I don’t consider it has changed the level of kindness I offer my true friends. It remains the case that if I can help a friend in need I always will.
I have felt betrayal too many times in my life and despite meeting and marrying my best friend not so long ago, my life until about 2 years ago, remained without many close friends at all. I had retracted from friendships for fear of being hurt again.
I realised this morning whilst out horsing around with one of my lovely friends how blessed I am right now in many true and close friendships that I have now acquired. As I have grown older I have become wiser in ‘allowing’ friendships to grow. I have learnt to trust my instincts and now, when I met people, I seem to know and ‘feel’ whether they are the sort of people who should be in my life. The result is now I actually have some fantastic people in my life with whom I regularly share great ‘friendship’ moments. The happiness that that affords me is difficult to put into words. I feel a bit like a kid (this time a happy one) who on occasion wants to swing from the rafters just because I am happy and want to be a bit silly. I had best resist that urge though; I fear it might not end well! Perhaps the best days of my life are, now, when I have truly found happiness in myself and those that surround me?