Dancing Through Life, One Stitch At A Time.

Crochet, TV, Film and Books.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

-William Shakespeare.

Today someone said to me ‘Internet friends are not real friends. They can’t be there for you. They don’t count.’

I beg to differ.

These last few weeks have been absolute crap for me. I must admit that the only positive thing that has happened in the last couple of months has been that I now have the most wonderful and loving Boyfriend a girl could ever ask for. However, I digress.

So it’s been a tough few months. Relationships with my family have been precarious, my financial situation, darn right scary at some points and on top of it all I’ve had to deal with a lot of difficult situations for a number of things. It has been relentless and as soon as one thing has been sorted, another seems to spiral out of control.

I have never been an advocate of ‘Internet chat rooms’ where mindless conversation takes place between strangers. However, I do feel that in today’s society, where the entire world can be connected through the internet, there is certainly a time and place for having ‘friends’ on the web.

The dictionary definition for a friend is a long one, but it states.
a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
a member of the same nation, party, etc.
( initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
–verb (used with object)
Rare . to befriend.
make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.’

Now surely one can easily see that there are people who fall into that category on the internet.

Take me for example. I am part of a group on a website, we share three common interests. Knitting, Harry Potter and Ravenclaw. This is extremely simplified as we share many other interests too. However, my point remains. During said rough patch that I spoke of before, and to be honest I am still going through now, not only were the members of this community there for me, offering me advice, support and friendship. But they even went so far as to offer to send me things. Tights being the perfect example, something small, relatively inexpensive to them, but worth their weight in gold to me.

Recipes for frugal cooking, because having to live on £5 a week for food is damn near impossible otherwise.

Advice on dealing with water companies and banks and life in general. Being there to hear my rants and offer a shoulder to lean on when times got tough with family relations.

As for my ‘real’ friends? I haven’t seen them since June, and none of them have taken it upon themselves to try get in contact. Hell, they pretty much forgot my birthday, so you know, apparently I’m no loss there.

Friends you make in life can come in many different forms. People whom I have never met in person, but seem to know like we have been friends forever. People who live in America, or Germany, or somewhere else that I am probably never going to live.

These are the people that truly care. Just because they are on the internet, doesn’t mean they matter any less to me than people I know in person.

In fact they somehow matter more, because they know the true you. The you who isn’t restrained by society or family or expectations. The you who speaks her mind freely, without fear of the consequences. People who still like you, regardless of all this, and do not judge.

If that is not a friend, then I don’t know what is.

So thank you to all my internet friends around the world. You all know who you are. Each and every one of you is a very special individual.

Ali x

Thursday, 14 October 2010

nanos gigantium humeris insidentes

nanos gigantium humeris insidentes.

I was once told by my Grandpa that this inscription, which could be found on the edging of a £2 coin meant ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.’

Now, not for one moment do I believe that my Grandpa got his interpretation wrong. Indeed, he was possibly the smartest person I ever had the fortune of knowing, and though he is missed dearly, this piece of wisdom bestowed on me by him has bugged me for years.

As a petulant and incomprehensible 8 year old, I always assumed that it meant being able to see lots, because you would be really high up. However, as I have come to realise, the meaning has much more significance than that.

In some cultures it is believed that if we were to see our lives mapped out, our past would be in front of us, our present where we stood, and our future behind us. To me this makes perfect sense, as one can easily see the past, but the future, in all its uncertainty, is blissfully unavailable for our eyes.

At this stage in my life, I find myself considering many things. The past? Certainly. Though I have long since learnt that it is one of many things in life which you cannot change. It is also what allows us to learn, and endeavour not to repeat its mistakes. The Present? Not so much I must admit, as each new dawn brings another day hurtling towards me at break neck speeds, I simply do my best to embrace whatever arises.

But the future? Yes the future I think about a lot. It’s the one part of my life which I seem to have a slight sense of control over. And though I may not like how fast time is flying, and how such happy moments of childhood are now nothing more than distant memories, I find myself curious.

If one had the chance, would it really be wise to see one’s own future? I sincerely doubt it. For one thing, the past is full of the things we cannot change, yet the future is full of the things we can. I am a great believer that everything, no matter how good or bad, happens for a reason. And if we were to mess around with what is yet to happen too much, would it not directly leave us with consequences that must be dealt with in the present?

The future is a delicate thing. Our choices should be our own, but only to a certain extent. Some things are preordained, some things are going to happen, regardless of how good or bad a person you are. Some things you can’t control.

And that’s the way it should be.

Don’t come crying to me if your life isn’t working out the way you planned it. Because let’s be honest here, whose ever actually does. You can only try to be the best person you can be, not necessarily who everyone else wants you to be. Be happy with your choices. If you make bad ones then regret them, certainly. But do not dwell on them. Nobody ever had a happy present whilst trying to rectify their mistakes of the past.

“I shall pass this way only once. Therefore any good that I can do, or any kindness I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Stand on the shoulders of giants my friends. But be sure to face the right way. Nobody ever made progress whilst trying to walk backwards.

Ali x