“Once I was seven years old, my Mama told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely…..
This song just popped in my head when I decided to write this blog 😛 This blog is going to be quite long. I tried to keep it small but when I write, I just roll with it and don’t feel like shortening it because it removes the important details. Sorry, bear with me please. So here we go…………
BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN IR RAHIM
A person cannot live without making friends. We were created in a natural system of coexistence. There is only so much a person can do and bear without the help of others. The best task completed is that which is done with the help of others. And even when there isn’t a task to complete, we need a comforter, a supporter, a shoulder to cry on, a person who you can express your deepest feelings with without being judged and criticized, who can lift your spirits up and encourage you to be the best that you can be. Someone who is just there….when you need them to be there.
As you travel in your journey called life, you meet a lot of people you can call friends. When you’re little and in the innocent age of Kindergarten and Play Group, a friend is the person who shares their crayons with you, plays with you with your toys, giggles and laughs with you. Basically, you’ve befriended almost every little kid you come across, and of course your ‘special friend’ i.e your teachers who give you nice and adorable sweets and chocolates to satisfy your tiny heart that exclaims euphoria in the littlest of things. This can continue on till around the 5th grade. That was the case with me. I befriended all the girls in my class. We would make cards, share our food, play in the school swings and made up games like our own edition of Winx Club. We were inseparable then.
But as you grow up and begin to discover yourself, you start becoming selective of your friends and because you’re still so young, it is hard to keep in contact with your friends you used to have. People would shift to different schools if they were civilians or occasionally to different cities, such as Air Force Brats like me. It was difficult at first. Not only in school but I had a large group of friends in my colony. We would hang out and play games together all day long. But after staying in a city for a few years, it almost becomes too good to be true and your strong, muscular, hard working father comes home and tells your family that we have to shift now. I was 8 when I was conscious of it and I was devastated. It was the first time that I was conscious of our posting and I felt really sad to leave my friends, especially my close friends H and M. I wanted to stay there forever, make millions of memories with them and have the time of my life. But God didn’t make my life to be easy. My siblings and I stayed overnight at M’s house where our parents picked us up and we got ready to leave for our flight to Karachi.
I had never been there before. We traveled across Pakistan from Punjab to Sindh. The one thing I would be looking forward to was the beach, and family. And that was mainly it.
I despised living in Karachi, or perhaps in the colony where I was living in, but my optimistic Baba kept on reassuring us that though we might not like it there at first, but we’d love it afterwards. That’s the life of an Air Force Brat. You get used to living in one place and as soon as you settle down and love it there, it’s time to leave. That happened to me every time I got posted. But it was not entirely so in this case.
The friends I had in my colony were a large group of friends. We would play every single game known and unknown to man. It was amazing at first. But suddenly, the huge group cracked into two over the tiniest of issues related to a game. Ending friendships was not my area of expertise and I had to decide which group I wanted to join. So I chose a group, while still remaining confused about the enmity between the groups. I’m not sure I made the right decision because the group I chose further than their own arguments and misunderstandings over simple unimportant issues such as whether during a game of cricket, whether the batter did a sixer or not. One girl, lets call her Im, so Im seemed to have some personal vendetta against me. For every issue, there was a blame on me. Anything I would say, she would oppose. I personally had nothing against her but she became so bloody annoying that I had no choice but to continue arguing with her.
That’s how my day would pass; arguments over the simplest things. After a while, the group broke down further till I was left with only two friends. And boy, how much they would annoy me. They would fight and stop talking to each other, then forgive each other and become friends again, then fight and vice versa. And between all that, there was Little Miss Confused and Angry Me. Ughh…….what was it with these people?
At school, I had a few friends. Thankfully, they lived in the same colony as me so we would hang out alot during and after school. They were and are very kind, fun, caring and sweet friends. They stayed a year in Karachi before they shifted. That made the first year in Karachi great. Plus, one of them was a Jordanian and their group of friends were Middle Eastern so it gave me some exposure to foreignors. I still recall the great moments I spent with them and would be happy to relive them.
But when the year passed and they got posted, that’s when the word ‘miserable’ began to define my life. And Little Miss Confused Me was around 11 years old in the 6th grade at the time. Because my good Air Force friends of school got posted, I was without friends in school. I was friendly with a few girls in class, especially two girls who I cherish for being my friends when I was lonely. If you’re wondering what a terrible abode I was in, the school wasn’t bad at all. There were many activities to do. I loved playing sports, doing art work, reading books from the school library (I had a thing for Mary Kate and Ashley, Enid Blyton books and Shakespeare novels. I’m still a book fanatic but that will be for another blog 😀 ). I was part of the school choir because last year, when the teacher asked if any person wished to sing in front of the school, I did not hesitate to raise my hand, walk up to the stage and sing “Sweet Sixteen” by Hillary Duff (Mama always encourages me to be confident always 🙂 ) The school is perfect and great. But the people weren’t.
I would usually have small talk with the other friends of my class. Then suddenly while I was chatting with a girl in my class on Facebook, she called me a nerd, geek, stupid, annoying, loser and told me to get lost (I wore glasses at the time which could add to why she thought so) . That was a shocker for me. I kept asking her what was wrong but she kept on telling me how I was weird and didn’t belong to the girls’ gang which everyone was a part of except me. Yeah, I was getting the Mean Girls vibe. A few days later, a couple of girls gave me the same response as her. But, due to some God-given enlightenment, I was not angry at them. I didn’t yell at them, call them names or insult them. Instead I told them that fine, they didn’t have to be my friends but atleast they didn’t have to be rude about it and I hoped that someday someone would come to them and teach them what was right. From then on, I felt like leaving Karachi immediately.
In case you guys think I’m just ranting about how bad the people I meet and my friends are, that is not the purpose of this blog. I don’t hate these people. I have no grudge against anyone. Hatred, jealousy and criticism are not good qualities any person should have. If people treat you badly, repel what is bad with that which is good. I’ll get to this point later on.
Thankfully Allah answered my prayers and took me away from Karachi to the Capital. From my point of view, the best city to live in is Islamabad. The perfectly planned city, the fresh air, the cool rain that would always be in time to give comfort against the summer heat and last but not the least, the gorgeous scenic beauty of the plush green Margalla Hills spanning alongside the city. There I can say, Allah gave me a miracle in the form of good friends. Friends whom I had known previously lived there at the time. The perks of being an Air Force Brat is that the friends you make in different cities always meet you some point later in life. I met my good friend, R who I mentioned in my previous blog, again in Islamabad. She was my friend in Karachi and is currently one of my best friends, the reason also explained in the previous blog. The company you keep really effects your character. Your friends are a reflection of you so you should be very careful about what friends you make. Along with her and many other friends in the colony and school, my life was perfect, Alhamdulillah.
Though I had a few glitches in my life. I would play basketball in the afternoon with a couple of girls in my colony and boys too. It was like a combination of mine and my siblings’ friends. It was a lot of fun. But as time passed, the friends I would play basketball with would have inappropriate conversations with each other. I wasn’t able to talk to them about anything at all and I felt left out, being labelled as “shareef” i.e innocent, like it was a joke or something. Later on, I would usually come only for basketball. But as more time passed, some of those friends left and new friends came and we had a great time hanging out and playing basketball so it all turned out for the better.
Also sometimes, when some ‘alright friends’ get distant from you, the friendship grows so strong, you couldn’t even believe it was possible. Thats my friend and therapist, A, who I tell very personal feelings and troubles to and she tells the same to me. And it’s all text, barely a single phone call. But somehow, it is special 😊
Then I got posted. Again. And my social life came to a downfall. Again. I was in the final year of O-Levels at the time and I barely had any friends at all. People would be busy whining about their lives, studying till their heads burst, talking about the meaning of life or how depressed and bipolar they are or just plainly ignoring me. One girl is good friends with me, while the rest halfheartedly acknowledged my presence. There were two girls in class who I will highlight here. Girl 1 would, like Im, yell at me for no reason. She would be annoyed at the littlest things I did, such as sitting on a chair and she would be like, “That’s my seat.” or when I gave her advice when she was having some trouble, she would tell me how stupid I was. I would only try to explain my point. I didn’t say much further. Again, due to some God-given enlightenment. But in A-Levels, her behavior towards me changed. She no longer yelled and insulted me. She’s kind and asks me how I am, sends Salams to me, smiles when I acknowledge her and helps me out whenever possible. The change in character was sudden but I didn’t tell her about it. But it felt good knowing that people can change for the better. And I’m happy for her for that.
Then Girl 2. She is a very jolly, happy, excited, kind, active and funny girl. She’s caring and respectable to everyone. But one day, I reserved my seat by keeping my bag on a chair. It was beside a friend I preferred to sit with. But when class started, Girl 2 had put her bag there. I told her that I had reserved my seat her. It was a calm conversation about how she wanted to sit there but I had reserved my seat. She carried her bag and sat somewhere else but as she did it, she said, “To be honest. I don’t like you.” I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone else said it but her? She was so sweet and kind to everyone. Why did she have to be rude to me? Why did she have to have a negative feeling inside her sweet and caring heart? Whenever I would talk to my friends, she would intervene. This happened a few times. I tried to be nice to her but she didn’t respond the same way. But at the time of my CIEs, she came up to me and asked whether I could accompany her to the restroom. I was expecting to meet a friend but I agreed. After a few seconds while walking together, she apologized for how she treated me. And my heart melted. This is the person I know. This is the good soul I see in class. I told her it was alright and forgave her. Sadly, she had to shift abroad. Shame, we just got to be friendly and she had to go.
And now I’m in A-Levels and life is great, Alhamdulillah. I have my close group of friends but I am also friendly with almost every girl in school. My entire social life seems to circle around in this school as most of my friends, studies and activities are in this school. As for my old friends, I have great best friends such as H, M & R and other friends who I stay in contact with.
From what I have learnt about the friends I’ve made is that you may click with some people, you may just be acquaintances with people, you may just be “Hi, Hello.” friends with people or you may not get along with people at all. And that’s alright. We can’t be every person’s best friend. If people don’t like you or hate you, it’s alright. You can’t please everyone. You can just pray that they are alright, that they don’t hurt anyone other than you and that their bad deeds may be forgiven. People can call you the meanest of things but we must not rekindle their fire by retaliating in the same way. But being good to such people, who knows somehow they may change for the better through you or by themselves. People can behave neutral as well. For example, I greet everyone in my school but less than half of those people would greet me before I greeted them. And that’s okay. Have no hard feelings or resentments against such people. Don’t start having a delusion of reference where people ignoring you means that you’re a terrible person. That’s not true. Always see the good in people even when the bad seems too prominent. People aren’t plain black or white. They are a combination of different vibrant and beautiful colours. Give people a chance to show their true colours. If the colours don’t appeal you, then leave them. No hard feelings. Because we would want people not to think bad about us as well.
But if you do have or find good friends, they should be those who encourage you to do good, to take risks, to achieve goals, to be the best person that you can be and those who remind you of your Beloved Creator. If a friend reminds you of your Creator, you will start to automatically aim to achieve righteousness and do good.
This blog is not to receive sympathy from you guys or to badmouth the people who have not treated me fairly. If you intend to write that in the comments of this blog, please don’t. This post is for those people who have trouble in trusting people and feel like they are not social enough or that people don’t like them. Life is a struggle. If you try hard and have faith, everything will turn out for the better, Inshallah. Just hold on. Do not despair of the mercy of Allah for he is closer to you than your jugular vein 🙂