Thursday, July 31, 2008

On childhood friendships and other matters....

I have many opinions about friendship and one of my most famous opinions that my friends cry about is the fact that I do not believe that the childhood friend can be considered as a "friend". Let me explain. Under my category of childhood friends are those neighbourhood kids you ran about with playing games and mischeif. Also, think about the kids you hung with at nursery school and perhaps primary school....sometimes secondary school friends can be under this category especially if you grew up in the same neighborhood and ended up all going to the same schools. Anyway, now, apart from if you all lived at home in the same neighbourhood with your parents until the age of thirty, chances are most people would leave home for different reasons. I know that I drifted quite early from my childhood friends because I was in boarding school in another city. Everytime I came home, new characters had formed from old ones, new identities emerged and I found myself meeting new philosophies, new ideologies...it was natural for me to know that my friends were growing up...just like I was.

I grew up far away, and none of them ever saw these transformations that had taken place. They never saw the books I read, the people I hung out with, the films I watched, the music I listened to.They never saw the things that made me angry or happy, or sad. They never heard me talk about my feelings about religion, life, the government...I grew up far away and they were not there.That is why they do not know that the waffy that used to climb trees with them does not go to church every single sunday. They do not know that the waffy that used to pluck every fruit in the neighbourhood does not care if Rukky is a lesbian....what I am try trying to say is that these people do not know me and I do not expect them to.

Therefore, I am always amazed when people think their childhood friends might know them best of all. How? In what manner? I totally agree that the connection and bond you form in childhood is not easily broken and yes, she/he would probably be the only one you can call in the middle of the night to help you out. Yes, I do agree with that. I know for sure that my childhood friends would never let me down. I can call any of them right now and they would not hesitate one second to bail me out of whatever situation I am in....but do they know me? do they really really know me?
Nope. Impossible.

I am not saying all the friends I formed in university or other places as an adult know me either....not at all....I can count maybe three people in all the different universities that I attended that even know my middle name.

All I am saying, is that very few people see us in our different phases...very few people would meet you in those phases and still think you are a friend. Very few people would see you grow into an adult and still think you are the coolest person on earth. Very few people...and a childhood friend you have not seen in a couple of years is not one of them.

3 comments:

Patrice said...

I think I knew, and perhaps still know, best the friends I made as a child. I befriended them when they behaved with little or no regard for what other people thought. I saw their raw, uninhibited reactions. We could bond more times during the course of a single football game than adults could in ten years of friendship. I didn't just see who they were, I could feel it. I may not know the details of their lives today, but I am quite sure of what they are like. They are much the same, at the core, as they were then. In fact, on more than one occasion, I have run into childhod friends I had long been out of touch with, and within seconds, we are talking as if no time had passed. They know me, I know them. Very little of what really matters in their character has changed. We cannot deceive each other even years later like we could someone we made friends with as adults. I am sure you are familiar with the saying, "give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man."

Standtall said...

Hmmm I view this in 2ways. I have a childhood friend that I still flow with cos he is somewhat at the same level with me but I have since stopped being friends to a lot of friends I played house with when I was younger cos they don’t see things as I do or I as they do. Life comes in different faces, so, is friendship. I have met wonderful people along my path to adulthood and life sojourn…

To some of my childhood pals, we can only be cordial now. Some are relgion fanatic while I am not. Tell me how we can trully continue as friends...

Ms. Catwalq said...

Some remain friends and there are some who will never be able to relate with us where we are at this point...