Choosing your family

“Friends are the family you choose.”  I am usually the first to cringe at such sappy Hallmark greeting card sentimentality but I think that there might actually be something to this statement.  It’s funny that I will scoff at such sentiments but still believe in the notion of soul mates and undeniable connections between partners.  My inherent romantic nature and real-life experiences may have something to do with why I am more willing to believe in the priceless nature of true friendship.

So how do I define true friendship?  I am lucky enough to have a few very close friends who I love deeply and rely upon.  So, I will draw from the relationships that we have worked hard to build and maintain.  I have shared much happiness and trials with these men and women, I have shown my absolute worst, and they are still the people I am fully and completely myself around.  It comes down to trust, which is something that is usually strengthened gradually but so easily lost.  I trust that they will love me no matter what.  I also feel that they have my best interests at heart and are truly happy for my achievements, while being honest enough to tell me when I am wrong.  The most toxic friends are the ones who may seem to be on your side but are involved in a strange passive-aggressive competition with you.  I have learned to cut my ties or at least loosen the connections with these people.  It really is for the best.

Strong relationships always involve reciprocity so I do try my best to also provide my friends with the same amount of respect, affection and care they show me.  This is not to say that friendships are not tested by time or distance but I have seen proof that the true ones last.  You may not be a part of each other’s daily lives but when you are together, the same connection is still there.  There are also times when my friends annoys me beyond belief but having grown older, I see how real connections with people are rare, which in turn develops my commitment to love them for precisely who they are.

If you want to see a film that addresses the themes of friendship, love and family I would recommend that you watch “Little white lies” (2010).  A character-driven piece, the film follows the lives of a group of friends who are on holiday in France.  You get to observe their moments of conflict and laughter all with a soundtrack made for a summer road trip.  Actually, my only critique of the film involves the music.  While it’s all fun, it did sound like a collection of the director’s iPod summer playlist.  I understand including a few favourites but the entire mish mash list is a bit gratuitous.  With regards to the writing, I enjoyed how like many groups of friends they were all close but there were also pockets within the network where some were closer to others.  This was also the only movie in recent memory that had me in hysterics with two memorable scenes involving a boat.

So, ending this piece I just want to thank my closest friends (you know who you are) for the decade or more of love.  I am beyond lucky to have you as my family.

Cast of “Little white lies” (2010)