Ladies first

Being independent isn’t always easy and being alone isn’t always easy but I’ve realised that I have two huge blessings in my life that keep me going: family and friends. Sounds fairly straight forward right? But I have realised that some people don’t have that going for them either because of family rows and distance between each other or their friendships lack depth. Gross generalisations I know but let me explain. Family is a huge part of most people’s lives and everyone thinks that they have great friends but I think sometimes when making friends you need to really look at how good that person is for you. Some people I know change friends on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis – why? Especially when you get to your twenties and get older, who even has the time? Others struggle to maintain friendships and find themselves alone so immediately latch on to the first person that shows them kindness which can end up with that person feeling suffocated and wanting out. Then there are those that find faults in everyone and the older they get and try and adult, they really are only out for themselves and not afraid to be cut throat about who stays in their lives and focus their energies on relationships etc and fixate on finding the one.

It is perfectly fine to want to find a partner and want a future with that person but I think for me, my friends are the greatest individuals I have ever met. They make my life so much easier and drama free (I don’t get people who love drama and gossip in their lives – I don’t need the extra wrinkles or grey hairs, cheers).

As a Muslim girl growing up in UK, my friends come from a whole range of backgrounds – religion, nationalities, cultures and I have learnt so much from them without changing who I am as a person and my identity and I am so grateful to them for being so understanding. I find it strange when I see people only befriend those from the same religion and background etc in a country like the UK – you’re missing out! People are people at the end of the day – look for your kindred spirits! Whilst living away from home for uni, I met a girl who I feel as if I have known her for a lifetime. Physically, total opposites but there is nothing I wouldn’t and couldn’t share with her. Coming from an Irish background, she immediately embraced me when we lived in halls and when we shared a flat and was more than accommodating of my “halal” lifestyle to the point where she’d even venture into the Bengali butchers to get halal meat for us to cook together. Sometimes you need to give people a bit more credit and you’ll find that people are a lot more open minded than you think. I know I can count on her for literally anything even though now we live miles apart and I knew when I met her that I had a friend for life – I won’t turn this into a super sappy post because I know we’ll both end up cringing but I know when she reads this, she’ll already know how much I value her being in my life. Her mum recently had a chat with her about her single status and we talked it over and realised something – there was no urgent need for a man in her life because she didn’t feel like she was incomplete without him. Reason why? The dependency a lot of people have on their other half was irrelevant to her life because she had family and friends to lean on instead and solid foundations with people she could count on. There was little extra a boy could bring to her life, especially based on the state of relationships and boys that have been encountered along the way – seriously not worth the grey hairs and we can cause the extra weight gain ourselves, because you know, food is bae.

My school friends, one of whom I have been friends with since we were 5, are still my close friends and now that we get older and live and lead super busy lives trying to stay afloat, seeing each other regularly isn’t always an option but when we do get together, it literally feels like nothing has changed and that is how friendship should be – you pick up from where you left off. You can’t expect people to be at your beck and call whenever you need them once you leave your teens but it shouldn’t mean you break ties because of it. These girls make me laugh till I cry and my friend that I have known for over 20 years now? We bicker and squabble just like sisters because we have literally grown up together. One thing is that we all have friends outside from our circle – it has added extra dimension to all of us so that we have managed to mature from those awkward school girls into the young women we are today with even more to bring to the table (in our case literally, we love going out to eat – noticed the pattern that my friends and I like eating?!).

Recently I suffered some heartbreak (I hate the use of that word because it sounds like he destroyed me but how could I be destroyed when we weren’t even together and my friends were my biggest strength to back my decision to walk away). My friends fiercely rallied around me after the way this boy treated me and genuinely, I don’t think I could have picked myself up quicker without them. I may write a post on what exactly happened, mostly as a warning for others not to fall for dweebs but we’ll see. My two best friends from uni and school had known about the whole rollercoaster of my friendship with this guy and at times, they might have seemed brutal in telling me this guy was not worth my time but you know what? That is precisely what I expect from friends – not to sugar coat for me or to let me keep making my mistake. They knew how hard I was having it to let go but they cared enough about me to be honest. My best friend from school who I know when reading this will literally implode if I get sappy about her did fret that she was being too harsh but it was necessary. Did it break up our friendship? Course not, I went to her house the night after I rid this guy from my life and she let me cry it out without the slightest hint of judgement or I told you so. As far as I am concerned these are my ride or dies and the ones I will focus on before I let another man into my life.

This post was inspired by the fact that I recently saw “Girls Trip”. Not exactly Oscar – winning material or something that should inspire me to be writing this post right? Yes it was indeed comical with all the elements of a mad chick flick but underneath it all, there was something to be taken away from it and I’m not talking about the excessive drinking and ways to lust after the opposite sex (that’s me putting it very delicately ha!). The film was based on 4 friends and celebration of their bond and sisterhood years after they first became friends – something that I feel a lot of girls seem to forget these days. It wasn’t purely about a man swooping in and making everything happily ever after. I look on social media and I see so many memes about how girls bitch about each other and look for ways to bring each other down, mostly and sadly due to relationships and boys and it genuinely makes me sad that yes, ok, it isn’t all to be taken seriously but there is an underlying truth somewhere where this has stemmed from.

My rules for friendship? Take it slowly and genuinely get to know each other so you know who you have things in common with. Friendships that seem to have started off with 1 common aspect and we have immediately become “close” tend to be the ones that drift away quicker because we then use time to realise that actually, take that factor away and there isn’t much else there. Nurture your friendships, make time for people – it takes two to tango and in this case, it takes two to keep that Whatsapp convo going. Don’t just be the quiet creep following their Facebook account, sprinkling likes here there and everywhere without actually taking the time to really find out what is going on under the filtered, hashtagged pictures and uploads.  Choose those who will support you morally, spiritually, emotionally. You can’t choose family but you sure as heck can choose your friends.

Bit of a sappy post but it had to be done!

Salaam/Peace and love x

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