I grew up on those kids’ books that always ended with a moral lesson. There was this one book about a girl whose new friend left her the moment her canoe broke.
The story ended by warning children of the dangers of “Fair Weather Friends” who would leave the moment things become difficult. All the books and all the shows would talk about how important it is to find real friends. Any villain can be beaten with the power of friendship!
But then we grow older and life gets more complicated.
Friendship isn’t just sitting together at the recess table. It was easier to swear that you’ll be together forever when you see each other every day. Sooner or later priorities and commitments pile up until you realize you haven’t talked in ages. Others would say: “Let it be. That’s how you know who your real friends are”. Let everyone go one by one until you’re left with the people who would be there through every tear and every shot of tequila.
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What happens to the fair-weather friend? She left you on inbox when your boyfriend broke up with you, so you’re better off cutting her from your life. Right? But then Facebook reminds you of that time you went on a hiking trip together when no one else would go with you. Your real friends love you, but they don’t love to hike. Then there was this fair-weathered friend who knew all about the best trails and invited you to join her hiking group. You look back and they were happy memories. You shared the post. She heart reacts and says you should hit the trail again sometime. You just might.
The point here is: you need friends for all your seasons. The proverbial real friends will not like everything you like or be around every single time you need them. Your whole life cannot revolve around such a small circle, so fill your life with all the different people you need.
Friendship doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Credits: 三 点 | Pexel
That hiking friend would be a friend for the spring. They’re the kind of friends that like the same things you like. They’re the ones who listen to the same indie bands. They go on fun runs with you when everyone else you know is a potato. They’ll rave about all the conventions you can attend together, or split the bill at that fusion restaurant you’ve been dying to try.
You don’t know how many siblings they have, and they don’t know where you went to grade school. It’s fine. You can enjoy all the bands, shows, concerts, and conventions together, but that’s it. This is the important part. You need to remember that spring friends won’t be around when the flowers stop blooming, but you can still enjoy the fun while it lasts. You both have other friends, closer friends, but that doesn’t make your friendship full of laughs any less valid.
Credits: Simon Matzinger | Pexel
When spring passes and summer comes, the scorching weather takes you back to a childhood playing games on the street. Summer days would be rounds after rounds of patintero on the road or getting black feet from playing tumbang preso. The summer friends who shared all these memories. They’re the people whose houses you visited as a kid. They’re the first people who aren’t your parents that went to the mall with you while your mothers chatted elsewhere. They’re your high school barkada or your JS prom date.
Some of these people end up taking a bigger part of your life, but some don’t. Some people stay in the memories of your summer childhood.
You don’t know what kind of person the other has become. You didn’t keep in touch even if sometimes you wish you had. The friends from these scorching hot days once made your life brighter, and no matter how much you have drifted apart, they still deserve the honorary title as your friend.
Credits: Pixabay | Pexel
The friends for your autumn seasons are the ones life has brought to you. They’re your coworkers, classmates, and teammates. They’re the ones who were assigned to the same project as you or the ones who volunteer for the same charity. You may have nothing in common, but they say excitement builds relationships.
Your friendship is built on everything you have endured together.
These are the people who will cover for your shift at work or were forced to do planks with you since you were both late to training. These are the people you might see the most often, but that doesn’t mean they have to be the people you hold closest to your heart. The friends for your autumn season were made because you needed each other. Life brought you together, even though they might not have been the people you would have chosen otherwise. Take refuge with your autumn friends. Go to drinks after work when the meeting went well, and celebrate every win after a game. They are a large part of your life, after all, so trust them. Enjoy their company.
Be there when they need you. When it’s time to clock out, or the day’s training is done, the friends of your autumn season may not have a place in your personal life. That doesn’t mean that they’ll forever be only a coworker. When you’ve been through hell and back together, then at some point they deserve to be called friends.
Credits: Yuliya Ilkovych | Pexel
Your friends for the winter are your closest friends. They’re your ride-or-die, the ones you treat like family. These are the people who come running to help after every breakup and every funeral. They worry with you when your mother is sick and you’re present for their wedding and their kid’s baptism. They are what everyone thinks of when they think about what a friend is. Some of them will also fill your summers or meet you in your autumn. Some people you’ll meet in the spring but would later stay for your winters. Cherish them. Cherish everyone willing to brave your storms with you. A friend who would stay for winter would stay for your whole life. They’re the people who would give every written passage about friendship a meaning.
Just never forget everyone else; the spring friends who laughed with you; the summer friends who made memories; the autumn friends who shared your struggles. They are not fair-weathered friends. They are friends for all your seasons. Even if they do not stay for the winter, thank them because they were a part of your life, and they filled the gaps where you needed them the most.