School; the place where everyone starts making friends. By the time you reach high school, the labels begin to surface and uprise the popular kids while you stay at the bottom. The popular kids were ‘friends’ with everybody, or at least the twenty or so people they chose to be friends with. But that never included you. You were the girl with the three friends, that lived down the street from you, walked to and from school with you, and came over to your house to play Barbie’s world with you. You have been friends since the very first day of school. You sat together in class, at lunch, and on school trips. The only time you were not together was when you had to go home. They were, and are, your best friends. The ones who are there for you when you need them, the ones with whom you share all your secrets.

So until the labels came, you were happy with the friends you had. Now, don’t get me wrong, you still are, but secretly you want to be in the ‘popular kids” group. You want to be one of those people that gets invited to all the parties, one of those girls that is asked to go shopping on a Saturday morning or to the movies on a Friday night to see the new film that’s out; one of those people with the hundreds of ‘friends’. But how many of those ‘popular’ kids were really friends? How many of those kids are still friends?

In reality, I was one of those people who had three best friends, one of whom was my sister. Yes, I know other people now, and yes, I would call them my friends, but they are not the kind of friendships that last forever. These friendships are colleagues from work, and as soon as you move onto a new job, those friendships, consequently, will end. Friendships due to common friends (most of which I can’t wait to be over); casual friendships with people with the same interests as you. They all have an expiration date. But I’ll let you in on a little secret; my best friends from school are still my best friends. With one or two new additions over the years.

But, for the sake of the argument, let’s say I was one of those popular kids with all the ‘friends’. Now, almost 5 years down the line, I wouldn’t have any of those friends. Why do I say that? Well, I have eyes and I see what goes on around me. When we graduated, everyone moved away to college, we got separated, and all those ‘friendships’ the popular kids had faded, away. They didn’t stick around for each other; they didn’t care. Yes, they’ll chat if they bump into each other on the street and send a Happy Birthday message on Facebook, but that’s about it.

They moved onto the bigger things in life. So did I, but I still share those bigger moments with my best friends. The ones I have a lifetime of memories with; and that I will keep adding to those memories with. Because just like Charles R. Swindoll said: “I cannot even imagine where I would be today, were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.In the end, it is better to have a few meaningful friendships than a load of acquaintances. Quality trumps quantity, always!

Author: Demie Charlotte Chioni

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