I am 21. I like saying it like that. But the truth is I only have 3 more weeks being 21. In October I’ll turn 22.

But ask me my age before October 2nd, and 21 is the answer you get. I don’t fear growing old. I just don’t want to right now.

I had many dreams I had planned on achieving by 22. I may not remember some. I may have failed on achieving many. And the ones that I have achieved look more to me right now like stages of life, things everyone will have achieved by 22.

One thing I have learnt though in my first 21 years, is that friendship is hard. Not like in a casual manner where we say friendship is hard and leave it at that. No. Friendship is extremely hard. And I want to believe it’s not just me who feels this.

But with all social media posts, pictures and meet-ups people are having all over, one would question whether I’m normal. “People have friends all over. So what are you saying?”

I know and understand well that everyone has their outward and inward self. The inner self is a person probably no one knows. And I want to believe that this self is the self that real friends should share. Why it is hard, and why many friendships don’t reach this level is something that’ll take ages to explain. Or fail at.

Let’s be honest, friendship sucks (friendships suck). This common tomfoolery we call friendship really sucks. I mean take a look here:

One, we have people in life we have to interact with at various stages of our existence because we are called upon by nature, and by fate to be together at the time. Like in high school, or university. You meet classmates and schoolmates and you, by design, become friends. But when your time’s up in school, it turns into calls of achievements, weddings, bereavements, contributions and such.

Two, I feel like there’s too much competition among so called friends and you can find yourself living a life that’s not yours. Sometimes you can fail to recognise it. And go with the flow. Other times it eats people up. And you find strife, war amongst peers. Your friend expects you to be there with them at all times but you always fail. You expect your friends to rejoice in your successes, but you realise that that makes them jealous. The only time there mightn’t have been competition is during the good old nursery days. When your friend was your everything.

Three, there are those who’ll only be there when they need something from you. Same for you, there are times when you are only friends with a person when you expect something. And this is the whole-mark of friendship nowadays. Be there for me and I’ll be there for you. And it enslaves us. It makes life a complicated maze of hidden joys and unexplored truths.

We hide ourselves from our so called friends. We hide our pains and fake our joys. Life becomes a struggle where it ought not to be.

I believe in friendship that’s rooted in commitment, honesty and sacrifice. In peaceful days and terrible times together. In uneventful mornings and stormy weeks, together. I believe that friendship means togetherness; heart and soul.

But beliefs and reality don’t always meet. And when they fail to sorrow becomes intense. Loss becomes unbearable. And one’s left feeling alone: un-cried tears, unshared pain, un-discussed plans, un-met dreams.

To be honest, friendship nowadays leaves you with all the “un”s above.

When you have people whom you talk with and believe are your friends because you’ve shared your whole life, dreams and fears with them. Because you’ve shut the world off together and dreamed of possibilities. Yet they fail to be there during tough times. Yet you fail to be there for them. Then what’s the need?

Giving more than taking. Being there more than offering”.

Here’s to the complications of life!

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