It is the simple things in life that give me the greatest joy; waking up in the morning to see that it is going to be yet another beautiful day, managing to drive out of my street without being stuck behind the garbage truck, arriving in to work before everyone else, having an hour of blissful silence to be able to catch up on the News and read my favourite blogs, getting home in time to go to the gym and have a social life, and getting a Caesar salad at the 25 NIS (now 30 NIS) restaurant with my friends… oh and a big glass of red wine.
I have noticed that a lot of female bloggers are writing about friends/ lack of friends/ wishing they had more friends at the moment. I blame the summer. It is the time of year when everyone seems to be with someone. Everyone seems to be in love, walking hand in hand down the beach with the love of their lives, and when you are a single woman in your late twenties and thirties, the loves of your life become your simple pleasures and your friends.
I treasure my simple pleasures and even more so my beautiful and wonderful friends who at times I may take for granted (as do we all) but at the moment I am in a lovey dovey place so swallow it – I love you people!! But it has not been easy. I would like to remind you that 2 years ago I arrived in a new country, and although I was lucky enough to have 3 of my best friends either here already or following me on the plane, and I also had my family here waiting for me, it has still taken almost to this day for me to gather a quality group of people around me who I trust and adore… and at the same time can rely on at least one of them to get me drunk any given night of the week. It does take time, partly because you are so busy trying to define who you are in this new country you are calling home, it is not the easiest thing to do to develop a whole new social scene.
Plus the good friends we left behind will always be in the back of our minds… If so and so was here they would be able to cheer me up/ give me the right advise etc. But the sad fact is that after a while these friends too go their own way, move to another country, get married and have babies which rightly take priority over joining you to drink down your sorrowful love-life in the local pub. I would like to site my parents and the key example here. At age 52 (but he didn’t look any older than 40… ok 35) my father brought his wife and two youngest daughters to live in Israel. My parents prior to this had lived all their lives in Leeds and were still best of friends with people they had met at youth clubs in their teens. But they decided that Israel was worth the sacrifice of leaving behind the comfortable and reliable social circle they had so loved in good old Leeds, and decided to come to settle in Ra’anana, not really having a friend in the town. Now nine years on I see my parents in close friendships similar to those that they had developed over many many years. So have no fear… If two oldies can make new friends so can us younguns ;)
Another thing I have been blog reading recently is the phrase “quality and not quantity”. It is something that makes me laugh out loud. People (myself included) will regularly use this phrase in a way to make themselves feel better for the lack of something they have… in this case friends. Who is to say that you can only have quality OR quantity? I believe… no I know that I have both (my friends are all now reading this with serious inflated ego issues).
Why am I so special? I am not. As I said, it has taken some time for me to get to the stage where I can say I have a secure group of friends around me. But I think the key in any relationship is trust. I trust my friends, and in return they trust me; I rely on my friends, and in return they rely on me; I turn to my friends, and in return they turn to me… or maybe it is the other way around… which came first Little Miss Graham or her friends?
What I am trying to say is that on the one hand it does take time to build a quality amount of good friends around you. However, if you find that you have been living in Israel for a considerable amount of time… lets say 10 years or so, and you are still wondering where the quality friends are, maybe you should be looking to yourself instead of judging those around you for being less than willing to help you in your time of need.
Seriously, some people are bad friends and in turn attract only bad friends, and then wonder to themselves why oh why they are less than willing to help you in your time of need, or listen to your problems. I mean seriously if you are at the age of 30 still using your friends to ease your insecurities in life, but are less than sensitive when it comes to theirs then what do you expect? What were the friendship developing years of university for? You clearly learnt nothing! At some point in our twenties we all come to realise that after our family has let us fly the nest the only person you can rely on is yourself. Your friends may be the most wonderful people in the world, but ultimately they can only be there so much, and at the end of the day have their own lives to deal with. But on the other hand if you take that selfish attitude too far, of “MY needs, MY insecurities” where is the room in that for your friends’ needs and insecurities.
My advice is this; go out, get a life, get a job, stop whinging over not having found the man of your dreams and most importantly stop being a bitch to the friends who are actually willing to stick around you! They are your life’s treasures, so love them, give them a hug to show you care, listen to their problems without throwing them back in their face. And you never know, one day you may find the doors opening, the arms outstretched, more than willing to help you in your time of need, and to pick you up when you are down.