Readers of this and my other blog Sunrays and Saturdays [and that sounds a bit prententious but never mind] will know that I have been a loner and some of the reasons for that have been discussed in various posts across both blogs.
I can probably count the number of true friends I have on the fingers of one hand, and I don't mean to offend anyone by that. I am sure that there are probably a lot of people who may consider me a friend despite the fact that we don't see each other, or socialise from one year to the next. I have been told that there are those who feel that I have somehow abandoned or ignored them in recent times as well as my family. But I'm not entirely sure of that. Since I moved out of the family home I have had no visitors of friends at the place I now live, I also have not invited anyone around I have to admit. I have also not received any phone calls from friends asking how I am travelling, although I have made some calls myself. Not many I will admit.
I look back at the various compartments of the years of my life and I realise that the friends I do have are from my school days. I see no one from university, nor from the 16 years I spent in the police force. I see little if anything of neighbours or people from my local community in a friendship sort of way.
I am sometimes envious of those who are always busy, always visiting or talking to others. And I am often comfortable in my own space which I suppose is both the blessing and the curse of the loner.
With the current estrangement from one particular family member I got to pondering about the nature of friendship. So here are a number of rhetorical questions -
1. How do you maintain friendships?
2. In order to maintain one, does there need to be regular contact?
3. Can you pick up a friendship where it leaves off when there hasn't been regular contact?
4. Everyone has parts of them that they wish to conceal, for many reasons, but what are the risks of revealing them to friends?
5. Is it possible to be a friend and also something else - e.g. father, son, boss, teacher etc.?
6. Can friendships only be maintained with a physical proximity?
7. I ask the last because I wonder about the nature of cyber friendships - are they real, are there risks in taking them outside the bounds of the cyber world in which you met - whether that be blogger, social network sites or whatever?
8. Is there a risk to friendship by assuming that the cyber world is semi anonymous? I.e. Can we reveal too much of ourselves to strangers here?
9. What is the definition of a friend? I'm sure everyone has come across those gregarious people who assume everyone they meet, not matter how fleetingly, is a friend, and the other type of person who take a long time to embrace a friendship.
So here's a challenge folks - write a post about your best friend and let us all explore the nature of friendship together. Let me know when you've done it and I will post all of the links here. And I guess if no one responds I can assume a bit about the nature of cyber friendship as well. ;)