I’m sure you all know the African Proverb ” it takes a village to raise a child”. But how many of us actually have a village?
When I first moved into the community I am in now, I knew no one, besides my soon to be husband. It was fun and exhilarating to be on our own away from family and friends and living on love.
My God, we had soooo much sex.
It took us a good two to three years before we made friends who we didn’t work with at the radio station. If you know radio, you know that people move a lot. And that we are a bit wacky and other people don’t really understand us the way we understand each other.
So, we didn’t have a lot of friends that weren’t from work.
Maybe it was because we were having so much sex that we had no time to make friends, but for the most part, we were without a village.
During that time I somehow met a few women who were around 15 years older than me, who liked me even though I was young and my problems were annoying. (My words, not theirs, I still don’t know how they could stand my worries!)
When I look back at it now, they were about 42 years old and I was 28. These women not only gave me the best advice, they would also just listen. There was never any drama. Or hurt feelings. Which was all so absolutely foreign to me. My entire life had been full of me and my friends gossiping, making out with each others boyfriends or exboyfriends and overall lacking respect for each other.
This was a new thing for me.
Could friendship really be like this?!
As I got older and had children, these were the women that held me together when I thought I couldn’t parent, couldn’t work, couldn’t marriage correctly.
I felt safe.
I felt that no matter what I said, I could trust that these women would keep my dark thoughts, my insecurities, my work struggles to themselves. That I could tell them anything and they would love me unconditionally.
That was 13 years ago. These women are a large part my life. They still listen to me and my less annoying problems. They never judge. They never call me out. They never criticise. They never made me feel less than.
We don’t see each other every day. We don’t talk or text every day. Still, I know that they are always there to love not only me but my children too.
I do have other lovely friends in my life, who have children the same age as ours, who treat me and my family with great big love. We adore them too. I feel so honoured to have all of them in our lives, too. They are an extension of our village. I’m unbelievably grateful.
But, it is a bit different.
Or maybe we are just not there yet. Maybe after 13 years our friendships will grow too. Or maybe it’s age. Maybe as I age, I will learn to be a better friend to my friends than ever before. I think my friends have taught me how to be a better friend.
I know that to be true.
I know that having friends older than me has taught me how to be a friend.
And now that I am in my 40s, I am looking for a woman in her mid-twenties that wants to be my friend and can take care of me when I am old like I am going to do for my friends.
That’s an inside joke.
If you can find people that love you, love them back. Fiercely. It’s worth having a village for.