Ever wonder what life would be like if we had no friends? Had no one to share our feelings with, to experience things with or even to laugh with? Could we survive in a world devoid of the emotion called – friendship? Yes, I know friendship is not an emotion, it is a relation that we have with someone, the bond. But, I believe that more than a relation, friendship is a deep & abiding emotion that ties us to another being. In the process we experience, we learn & we grow. But what we get most out of it is the security of kinship; the knowledge that we have someone apart from family.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against family and I am a complete family person. Family comes before everything but it is this very family that creates the need in our life for friendships; emotional relationships that we use in life as rafts to help us navigate the deep alleyways of our existence.
Without doubt friendships are important. And who better as friends that childhood ones!
Why you may ask? Friendships are good no matter what age we make friends at? I agree. However, I also do feel that the first solid relationships that we build in our life are during our childhood and more specifically from childhood till post puberty.
The reason being, that this is the phase in our life when we gain just enough maturity to understand how to relate to another person in a deep & more understanding manner. We are growing up and with this evolution come an influx of emotions. In a manner of speaking I would say that it is during this period when we are transitioning from being children to young adults that our emotions come to fore and start to play a more vital role in our daily lives. So, we learn to love & get our heart broken, we learn just how much havoc the green eyed monster of jealously can wreak in our lives, we are envious of a few people and we also learn how to be a tribe. No, No I don’t mean that we go back to our primitive avatars. Surely not! Instead what I mean is that in learning to be a tribe we learn how to support each other and have each others’ back.
Our childhood friends see us undergo our metamorphosis. They see us at our best and worst. The period of puberty is a confusing phase for any child and not just because their body is going through change. The hormonal changes bring about many different kinds of reactions and children employ varied means to cope with the same. Some children become more withdrawn & quiet, others may act out in anger or rebellion, and some may start to pick more fights or may not be able to cope with the way their body is changing to herald adolescence. But, what remains the common denominator here is the fact that all children undergo this phase and hence, all of them see each other struggling & maybe even suffering. So, it is natural that it is during this phase that they develop the emotional ties that bind them for life. It is during this phase that the emotion called friendship is born out of their love & loyalty to another individual. And, it is this childhood friendship that keeps them grounded & centered in life.
Once all grown up, the paths tend to diverge more than converge. Work & career take us to different cities, even around the globe. New people enter our lives and we form alliances with them. The emotions that had started to develop during puberty tend to get more pronounced and we finally have the experience and maturity to deal with them, to handle them. But, what remains is the fact that even at these times we still tend to gravitate towards our childhood friends in times of need. We tend to lean on them when we seek comfort and we tend to hold their hand when we feel adrift. They are the relationships that being us the most comfort. Maybe because they are a constant reminder in our life of times that were more carefree and joyous! These friends are the people that grow along with us; they mature and evolve alongside into independent individuals with distinct personalities. And, this is how somewhere along this process called “growing-up”, the tribe is born.
Image – Larm Rmah via unsplash