Keeping friends close

Angela Hill
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This week has been a little tough, because I had to say goodbye to two people who reached out to me when I first arrived in Prince Albert.

This week has been a little tough, because I had to say goodbye to two people who reached out to me when I first arrived in Prince Albert.

Both are moving back east. It makes me wonder what they know that I don't.

Each person influenced me differently - one taught me a lot about living life fearlessly and the other reminded me that being true to yourself is the best way to live life.

Their leaving makes me reflect on how lucky I am when it comes to friends and the important role friendship plays in my life.

I've said goodbye to people I'm close to my whole life.

Not only do I move to different places, but they do also. This is the essence of the problem with being friends with like-minded people who have a lust for adventure and new experiences.

One of my best friends and I have never lived in the same city. Ever. We met traveling overseas and have not looked back. We make an effort to arrange trips with layovers in each other's cities and, until the creation of Skype, we'd ring-up expensive long-distance bills.

She's the one I call when things are going really well and when things are going really badly. She always forgives my forgetting time zones.

Before leaving for Cameroon, she called me crying with fear and excitement over the adventure that awaited her. She was full of advice when I called her sobbing just after returning from Uganda.

Sometimes we don't talk for a while, but in the end we always reconnect - especially when one of us is making a big decision.

A big part of who becomes your friend is sharing similar tastes. For example, my "kindred spirit" is a girl with whom I shared a love for Anne of Green Gables books, the outdoors and, later in life, margaritas.

They, whoever they are, say a friend is someone who knows everything about you, but likes you anyway. One such friend is a girl who currently resides in Australia.

We survived high school together and she can make anyone, in any mood, laugh.

By the way, that's a good trait to find in a friend. Often I see her dramatic flare in people and it almost instantly makes them my friend. I am fortunate because another friend like this is much closer in Saskatoon.

Friendship is honesty, even when it's hard to speak the truth. And according to Wikipedia (and Wikipedia never lies), friendship comes with a being there for each other in times of need or crisis.

Sometimes I forget how many friends I have, but there are so many people I would go to if they needed me and so many I know could come to me.

It's so unfortunate that it takes a crisis or major change in life to remember how important our friends are to us.

So I recommend a couple of things. Take the time to see friends, even if it is only for a couple of minutes playing Dance Dance Revolution at the local arcade or having a sleepover.

Or for something more adult-like, splitting a beer and a plate of nachos.

If you can't see them because they live a million miles away, pick up the phone or write an email.

Facebook is a great way of seeing how old friends are doing, but a "poke" hardly counts as keeping in touch. Write something real and say thanks for what they have done for you.

That reminds me. I have a couple of friends that I have been horribly out of touch with, so I have to get writing that note.

To the two that are leaving, travel safe and I look forward to seeing you sometime in the future.

Please, keep in touch.

Angela Hill's column appears every Tuesday.

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Cameroon, Uganda Green Gables Australia Saskatoon

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