The sisterhood of the traveling pants

I cry every time I watch this movie. 

I tend to forget just how much it moves me. But then those who know me would argue that I’m a softie and I cry at anything. This is true. What can I say? I wear my heart on my sleeve 🙂 

Anyway, the movie was playing on one of the channels this past weekend, and so I and my box of tissues had some time to commune.

The story particularly resonated more this time around because this year I struggled a lot with this concept of friendship.  I experienced one of those times when I kept going back and forth between my past and present; reminiscing of friends lost, closeness suspended, intimacies severed and the emotions and pain that accompany these disruptions.

When you lose so many friends along the way, you can’t help but wonder if there is something wrong with you as a person. That’s the space I was in for most of this year. It took so much out of me to face my weaknesses and to also really understand that a friendship is a two-way contract, and that I cannot hold myself responsible for what the other person brings into the relationship. I had to let go of a few things and that truly hurt.  

One of the things that I love about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is the characterisation. The characters are so different yet so real and the emotions they show are so raw. The closeness and sisterhood between Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget is beautiful because it’s honest, open, realistic and committed. This is what I try to take into most of my friendships. But as I have learned this year, sometimes even this is not enough to save or sustain a friendship. 

This is mostly because we cannot be accountable for things that are not ours to give. If someone cannot give you honesty, realness or love, there is little you can do to make them give you those things. Yes, you could try and make them see their lack or force their hand but to have to resort to these measures means there is no willingness in them to freely give in the first place. Thus, sometimes there comes a point where things, people and expectations have to be let go.

These are hard lessons to learn…especially for someone like me who supposedly suffers from a saviour complex 🙂 I tend to take on other people’s burdens as though they were my very own which is a lovely trait to have but it can also be very destructive. 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is about intimacy in friendships and how you maintain that intimacy within the happenings of life. I feel one of the ways to do this is by capitalising on the good times. When everything is going well, use that time to draw closer to your friend (s). Learn about them. Love. Give. Share. Share time, emotions and everything in-between. The intimacy you develop during that time will act as a buffer in the difficult times. It might not entirely stop the pain that comes with the trials of friendships but it will definitely soften the impact.  This is one of the gems I’m taking with me into the future. 

And as MARC eloquently reminded me – “making a thousand friends is not a miracle. A miracle is making one friend who will stand by your side when thousands are against you.”

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