Friendship is a very strong theme for me lately. Of course, I've always valued friends. But, for one reason or another, I have been thinking about the whole thing a lot lately. Partly because I've been meeting a lot of new people through my graduate studies --- and partly because I've been reconnecting with some old friends. And yes, there are a few other matters on friendships that have come to my attention recently.
So, I've been pondering about what makes people click as friends... what makes friendships last... how do friendships work... can men and women be really "just friends"... how do you develop friendships... what makes a friend a real friend... Well, you get the picture.
Over the long weekend, I've had the privilege of celebrating friendship in three different forms --- through a long, ongoing friendship (with my good friend Bern), through a newly introduced friendship (Hi, Cleng!), and through a long-distance friendship that's now finally cemented with a face-to-face meeting (Yay, Christine!).
Christine and I met through blogging over five years ago. I saw her name in the blogroll of our mutual blogging buddy (Melissa), and decided to pay her blog a visit. Then, after reading Christine's blog entries, I decided to email her to say hello. It was a life-changing email.
You see, Christine has a number of special gifts. One of them is being a "connector". Connectors are people who don't only know a lot of people --- they love introducing who they know to each other, one way or another. They take joy in the whole process of making a difference by connecting people. That's why if you have a connector in your life, you will definitely find yourself blessed with all sorts of things. If you don't have a connector just yet, go find one - you'll see how great it is to have one (or more) in your life. And, if you're a connector yourself --- good on 'ya. You're a rare breed who can bring a lot of interesting things in to the lives of people you come across.
Anyway, within weeks of our first email, Christine ended up introducing me to Bern, her long-time friend who happens to have just migrated to Adelaide at the time. Bern and I became good friends. In fact, we did our online video show together for a while. And, she is now my daughter's godmother.
Christine and I have been hoping to meet each other for years. So finally, when she found another one of her long-time friends who moved here in Adelaide a few years ago (Cleng), she knew that she just had to come and catch up with the three of us. And so she did. Booked a flight from New Zealand to visit us here in Oz over the long weekend.
So, for 3 days, we talked, giggled, teased, ate, talked some more, shopped, laughed, joked, went sightseeing, took loads of photos, gossiped, ranted, raved, drove our partners a bit insane, and yes... talked even more.
It was bliss. Crazy, girly bliss that can only be shared between friends.
And, I realised one thing: I miss that kind of fun.
Being entrenched with day-to-day living, work, projects and studies, I really don't get to spend a lot of time hanging out with friends. As in, just hanging out and being silly. Talking about everything and nothing at the same time.
I know it's never going to be easy to do this sort of thing on a regular basis. So, I can only just be grateful when I do get the chance to have fun and celebrate life and friendship with wonderful people - both long-lasting friends and new.
So yes, friends, thanks again for a gorgeous, memorable weekend. I'm already looking forward to the next get-together.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.