"Life is nothing without friendship." (Cicero)

I've been staring at an empty page for close to twenty minutes, but apparently this blog post will not write itself. So far I've made twelve attempts at writing the first paragraph of this post. I've erased all twelve attempts. I think attempt #13 will make it into the final version of this post...probably because I'm not actually writing about the very thing I want to write about.

This blog post is proving to be more difficult to write than a lesson plan for a 'teaching with limited resources' ESL (English as a Second Language) lesson. That one was a struggle -initially-, but when I got to grips with it, I managed to pull off a fairly decent lesson plan (not my opinion, my tutor's opinion).

With a little bit of luck (and effort) I can do the same with this post.

Usually, with posts like this, I spend a fair bit of time contemplating what I actually want to write about before I put it onto virtual paper. This time I didn't really think any further than 'Oh I could actually write a few paragraphs about this...' Mind you, I do have a solid reason for choosing to do a bit of a u-turn and abandon my blurbs about Chinese food, Wang Leehom and my other half in favour of discussing the merits of friendship. I am random but not that random, but let's discuss my randomness in another blog post.

First off, I don't want to give advice or lament a friendship gone wrong. Quite frankly, asking me for advice when it comes to friendships is probably as big a mistake as asking me about the nuts and bolts of a successful romantic relationships. I can honestly say that no clue about romantic relationships. Ninety percent of the time I wing it, hoping that whatever I do won't lead to my relationship resolving into dust.

I have a little more experience with friendships but only because I've been winging it for longer. If you wing something long enough you get enough experience to pretend to be quite good at it. Mind you, sometimes I still make mistakes when it comes to choosing friends but I can safely say that over the years I've met some truly awesome people and those awesome people are still a part of my life.

If they aren't a part of my life anymore they probably weren't awesome enough. Sorry! You need a whole lot of awesomeness to be my friend. It also helps if you're a bit quirky, different and like the same stuff I do (you don't have to like everything I like though, that would be totally boring). You've got to be honest e.g. you should never shy away from telling the truth. If I ask you for advice, I don't want you to sugarcoat whatever you have to say. Just come right out and say it. I may hate you for a while but I'll learn to appreciate and value your honesty. You'll also most likely get some brownie points for being awesome which will make you all the more awesome, if that makes any sense at all.

This is not a personal ad, by the way. While I'm always happy to make new friends, I'm most definitely not going to write and publish a 'looking for a friend to accompany a lonely heart' type of blog post. I'm not that crazy (just yet). Besides, I'm sure somebody already pulled that sort of stunt so if it ain't original I ain't doing it.

Also, I do actually have plenty of awesome friends. Well, I wouldn't say I have plenty of friends but I tend to make friends easily. If we're talking about best friends (a term I actually despise), then I only have a couple of friends. Still, I don't categorise my friends. If you're my friend, then you're my friend, full stop. It doesn't matter whether we've known each other twenty years, two years or two months. Some of my friends know my life's story, others are still learning. Simple as.

I made my first friend at the tender age of two, we've known each other for twenty plus years now and she's a pretty cool gal. She knows everything there is to know about me, there's no point in even trying to attempt to tell her a white lie. I wouldn't get away with it anyway.

Then there is that crazy gal I met in secondary school. I still remember the first time I caught her eye across the classroom. She gave me a death glare and I returned the favour with just as much venom. At the point I only knew her name but I'd already decided that I hated her guts. I'm not quite sure why but it goes without saying that teenagers can be a bit out of balance at some point. That mutual hatred lasted until we realised we could actually benefit from each other. We stopped giving each other death glares and called it a truce. She started to tutor me in maths while I made sure to improve her English.

There're actually a lot of cool people I could mention here but I'm not writing an award acceptance speech.

My friends are scattered all across the globe and sometimes I sadly don't get the chance to give them all the same amount of attention. Whenever we do talk, we seamlessly pick up where we left off and there's no awkwardness. It just means that when we do catch up, our coffee dates last a little longer. Never a bad thing.

What I admire most about friendships though is that it doesn't matter how well you know a person, they still manage to surprise you time and time again. When you hit rock bottom and you think that you're well and truly alone in the world, somebody will light a match and prove you that you're not alone at all. I've such wonderful people in my life and there's nothing in the world I'd accept in exchange for them. There is nothing in this world that's worth more than true friendship, it's priceless, truly priceless.

I'm honestly not sure whether I've at all said what I've wanted to say. It probably doesn't help that I went out on a limp when I decided to write this post. Consider this post to be a weird diary entry of sorts.

I know I said before I wouldn't attempt to give advice on friendships or otherwise but I do have one thing I want to say even though you all know what I want to say: Treasure your friends (and tell them every now and then)! You'll never ever regret it.