I was admitted to the exact Faculty and University I planned for, exceeded my expectations and had assured a place in a long desired student dorm, downtown Bucharest. Couldn’t be happier! I was preparing my luggage for the big move and I asked my parents not to join me. I’ll handle myself all of the enrolling and accommodation, even 400km away. At first I felt wild. It was a true adventure: I even used a map to travel the city. I was avoiding asking for directions unless no other choice. I read some pieces of advice about adjusting to new places: make good relationships with the gatekeeper, with the seller from the corner shop, with the neighbours…relationships…
I got to the student dorm, many cars from all over the country. Only one was from Iasi. It brought a nice and confident feeling. After unpacking, I rushed to the stairs so I would offer some cake to the lady at the gate, who helped with indications. I would smile whenever I bought something from the shop or when I got served at the cafeteria. I would think of something nice and true to say to some colleagues I had around. I wouldn’t get myself tired with fake faces, so I had to look for the good everywhere.
It was my desire to leave home, to be on my own, but still, I felt homesick and used to see my mom in many women on the streets. It was not easy, this city was crowded, noisy, tiresome…I had headaches after my first subway trips or after half an hour in a hypermarket. People were grumpy, slept in the bus and did not smile… at all. Well, there is no undo button for this. Keep calm and carry on!
I was lucky enough to be among awesome people and this built me strong. I learned true friendship, forged through good and hard, with my room mates, co-workers and other special persons encountered on my way home, those years of self-construction.
In the dorm, we were gathered from three different regions of the country, we had different accents, different food preferences, different ways of studying, but same desire to learn and to live joyfully. They were my second family. Time had passed like a rushing river, we walked on different paths, maybe different lifestyles… still, after many years of not getting to see each other as we used, we still had our hearts open, being vulnerable, talking openly, ultimately being us. I guess this is what friendship brings – the peace of being your true self, imperfect and loveable.
What is friendship?
- when you argue over opening the window and then giving in, all for one, so there is peace.
- when you are a night bird and buy a lamp, not to disturb others with your lights on.
- when you get help to carry your package from home and then open it with enthusiasm, sharing all the goodies.
- when your friend takes you out to rollerblade, so you get out of your depressive mood.
- when you break your arm, have pain and the other helps you get dressed, gets you food and cares for you.
- when they respect your decisions, yet they tell you their true opinion.
- when you talk and talk and talk late into the night and still not finish all the debates.
- when you are comfortable being silent, next to each other
- when it hurts if the other has a problem and you have tons of scenarios of how to solve the problem, but you manage to keep discreet and only remind them you are there for them and don’t intrude.
- when you cherish your time together, when you feel you can move mountains.
- when you want the best for the other, as for yourself.
- when you want to be of use, to help, to support without expecting anything.
- when you feel blossoming whenever meeting and discussing, when new understandings are revealing, when new doors of the soul were opened, when you have a tree of confidence growing within you because of them
Friendship is when you choose and accept it, it’s not given. You attract what you are, what you need. You learn to accept faults in others, thus you accept yourself. You may have very different friends.. I may talk about God and spirituality with some friends, about books, cosmetics, self care, personal development, business, money, children, breastfeeding, education with other different ones, they are all part of me and I appreciate their presence. They help me become a better self.
At age seven, I promised myself I would learn from anyone and anything. At 33, when my dad passed away, the priest (my uncle) said something at the ceremony that stuck in my mind ” What does he take with him? He only takes you, the relationships he had with you. Being present here despite all difficulties (snowing in April, friends came from all over the country the next day they found out the news) and thinking of him with warmth is proof that he gave us all his love, all his friendship“. So, above all, I want to learn true friendship … with myself, with my loved ones, with nature and with the world.
This could be a good strategy to changing the world, isn’t it?