This is my fifth month living in Hawaii, I cannot believe in two weeks I’ll hit the six month mark. I guess the cliche of “time flies” really is true. I’ve recently been reflecting on friendships a lot lately. In New York, I had an extremely close-knit group of girl friends deemed the six-pack. Every Wednesday of each week a group email chain would inevitably form, first off with the girls, then significant others looped in, discussing the upcoming weekend’s plans. Happy hours, movie and game nights, brunches, we basically did everything as an extremely large group. In the four years I lived there, I saw the group fluctuate with moves, one month after the six pack became five due to a move to the West Coast, another girl moved to NY to return us to full strength. Boyfriends would come and go, Sunday morning recaps of a date with a final thumbs up or thumbs down from the peanut gallery.
Now, move 5000 miles and a 5 hour time difference away. That support net vanishes once that 12 hour flight hits the tarmac. I moved to Hawaii knowing only one person: my mother. Here I was without a job, without my health, and now with zero local contacts in my phone. I didn’t have a damn clue how I would meet people, and then turn those acquaintances into real friends. At 25 years old (at the time), I didn’t want to be forced into surface level friendships any more. I know the value of a true friend, one who will listen to your problem without secretly comparing and deeming herself victorious. Side note: do not have these friends in your life, they are a slow poison leaking into your outlook. I want to be able to share my amazing weekend with my boyfriend without a jealousy-ridden “aww” on the other line of the phone, I want to get a raise and have people genuinely excited to see me succeed in my career. Those are the people to surround yourself with. It’s not about bragging in any way shape or form to share your victories. Remember how you would come home with an A on your school project and your parents would wrap you up in the biggest hugs and share in your celebration? Reach for that type of friendship AND more importantly, BE THAT TYPE OF FRIEND.
If you hear your friend gushing over her latest date, or vacation to that tropical island or snagging that pie-in-the-sky client, celebrate with her. If you feel a twinge of jealousy, figure out why, because that’s you and your subconscious. Are you not getting a raise at work? Work harder, and ask for it. Not dating? Are you just waiting for a man to swoop you off your feet walking down the street? Unlikely. Go on a dating site, tell your friends you’re looking to meet someone, actively pursue that spark you think you feel with your single acquaintance. Be in control of your life.
Here I am, five months into living on a rock in the middle of the Pacific, and you know what, I have friends. I have packed weekends with BBQs, and concert invitations, and beach days. I chatted up the girl at my local boutique, turns out she is allergic to wheat just like me, we now trade recipes. I followed through with a one-off “let’s hang out” with a girl who’s family lives in my building and she’s now one of my closest friends here. Turns out, her best friend dates my boyfriend’s brother. Small island, small world. Four months after moving to the island, my boyfriend moved here as well. Lucky for me, he grew up on the island. He has a huge family, extremely close high school friends, and a big network. I won’t lie and say all my plans are solely from my own doing, but while I’m with his friends I”ll make it a point to get to know others at these BBQs and form my own friendships.
Overall, am I the best friend? Maybe not. When I’m cozy on a Saturday morning with my coffee I’m not jumping to grab my phone to reconnect with my friend 3000 miles away, or sending that snail mail just to say hi. But I check my jealousy at the door, I am genuinely excited for friends who are succeeding in their careers, their love life, their happiness. Be the best person you can be and surround yourself with people who care for you and then be happy for each other. It’s just that simple.