I didn’t have many friends growing up! No thanks to my parents who barely lived in a city for more than 2 years. Having attended 4 primary schools and 4 secondary schools, you can see how socially excluded I was as a child. While it was fun to get away from annoying classmates and teachers, maintaining long-term relationship was almost impossible because I grew up in an era when the World Wide Web was yet to be popularised. So, every 18 months or so, I bid farewell to old friends and embraced the new challenge of making new friends.
It was not until I got to the university that my social life took a rather interesting turn. For the very first time, I would actually stay in an educational institution for four years without having to jump ship midway into the programme. I mean, I couldn’t afford to do that and my parents knew the implications of this too. Hence, I was determined to have a more lasting friendship with people who shared similar values as me.
It was at this point that I came to understand the meaning of the 10-letter word
FRIENDSHIP! In my first year as an undergrad, I became friends with a bunch of beautiful, intelligent, crazy, fun and God-loving girls who still exhibit these same virtues till date. Sure, we have all added flesh, grown in wisdom, added new titles to our caps and also have a few life scars of battles fought and won in the course of the years. But one thing that has remained constant, all through the time we spent as undergraduates and now as career women, wives and mothers, is their continued determination to not only succeed within but also to succeed without and use the platform they all have been given to impact their world.
I have heard the phrase ‘you are the average of 5 of your friends’ in passing before. However, it hit me some weeks back as I listened to my pastor talk about the value of ones social network. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I have been fortunate to have been in the circle of purpose-driven women who have become my sisters for life. For instance, I choose to go into International Development because one of my friends, at the time, was interested in that field. So she encouraged me to consider it as an option too especially because it would put me on the path were I get to make a difference anywhere in the world. Today, I am fulfilling that dream and I know the chunky part my friend played in the process – including going for our masters together and overcoming the challenges of life in a land far from home.
Also with friends like mine, you can’t afford to be laid back or be comfortable with ‘average’. Not like I’m blowing their trumpets (but maybe I am small…lol) these are ladies who topped the class (one was the Best Graduating Student of the department), they studied non-stop and cheating in exams was never an option (even if you were sick and couldn’t study, they would not help you out once in the exam hall). They have grown to become documentary film maker, brand consultants, entrepreneurs, bloggers, development practitioner even an award winning-actress and all are still God lovers and worshipers.
So you see how my decision to make my friendship work with these ladies at the time paid off. This friendship between 6 women has lasted for the past 16 years and still counting. They are still my go-to-ladies on both good and bad days or when I need a little bit of motivation or advise about God, life, career and man! Looking back at my life and all the stupid options or not so fruitful path I could have chosen back in the days, I am grateful that I had them around me – friends who believed in me, pushed me to be better than average and I can, as a matter of fact, say that my FRIENDS, to a great extent, made the woman I have become today.
Have you got any inspiring friendship story to share and with pictures too? Would love to hear from you…