Love For The Moment
What does friendship mean to me? As a third culture kid, or any international/expat for that matter, maintaining friendships is quite hard. When you tend to move around a lot, bouncing from one culture into the other, you become independent as you quickly learn to not attach yourself to places or even people. Who knows when you’ll leave again, right? Where most people stay in one place and surround themselves with the same friends for most, if not all of their lives, a TCK’s friends are spread across the globe. We have to deal with long distances and time differences which makes something as simple as a Skype call incredibly hard.
I worry a lot if I’m a good friend. The friends I’m closest with are spread across Netherlands, Brazil, France, Curaçao and Spain. I myself live in Brussels. I try to be there with important milestones like weddings and births, I try to give emotional support when they need it, I try to be a good listener and give advice when asked, but not being physically there when someone needs you the most is unbelievably tough. Not being able to hug them and try to make them laugh in difficult times is something no technology can fix. The same goes for when I’m going through hard times, which was most recently when I was dealing with the most painful heartbreak I’ve ever gone through.
And still being the restless person that I am, I will always be on the move. I will always choose this path no matter how lonely it may get sometimes. I do dream of one day having a big garden where I can organize BBQ events with friends or maybe if I get married one day I will have all of my loved ones gathered around me at once. Still, even then, most of them will live in different countries. So what does friendship mean to me? Space and living in the moment. Space, since my friends and I let each other be without ever complaining, which for me is the highest form of love. And living in the moment, because when I do happen to be with them I utterly, profoundly appreciate the moment since I never know when I’ll see them again.