Sunday, February 3, 2013
This is a short-and-sappy-but-necessary post about friendship. I've been feeling pretty stressed lately, which means I've really been missing my family and friends back home, though a fantastic Skype chat with Abby and Emily (at the same time!!) last night certainly boosted my mood. Before I moved, one of my biggest fears was making friends, which to some people may sound pretty silly, but I am a very social person. Not in a going-out-all-the-time sort of way, just in the sense that I've always had a fair amount of people I enjoyed spending time with, and I do believe my friendships make me a healthier, happier, better person. I've never wanted to be someone who had my significant other as my sole member of my support system, not because Josh is not fantastic company and an expert at making me laugh and cheering me up, but because my need to connect with people has always made friendship an essential in my life. While the move obviously did not mean I'd instantly lose all of my friends, it did mean having to find new people to call friends in a new home, people whose company I enjoyed and whom I could spend time with and feel comfortable at with. The first few months I was here I was still really nervous about meeting people, but then I got very, very lucky, and Amber (middle, above), a friend of Josh's, really reached out to me in wanting to spend time with me, not just because I was Josh's girlfriend but because we genuinely get along. Through Amber I met Hollywodge (right, above), and now the three of us thoroughly enjoy spending time together, with or without our respective partners, doing things like shopping for housewares or attending awkward post-Christmas pantos.
I am also extremely grateful for the people in my program with me, because over lunches and coffee breaks we can discuss our dissertations and job prospects, and provide encouragement and advice to one another in these areas as well. My only regret about living in Carmarthen and not Swansea is that it makes it difficult to see Kate and Amy as much as I'd like to (my fellow classmates who also entered immediately following their undergraduate studies), but I love having people in my program who I get along so well with and knowing I can count on them for advice.
I'm sharing this because friendship is something really important to me, and I'm so glad to have found it here, and I want the people I love stateside to know that even though I miss you all, I've got plenty of people here who are wonderful to me, and I am extremely grateful for all of them.