The geometry of friendships
I was having a beer with someone a couple of weeks ago before I leave Istanbul, and we talked about friendships and the hardships of making new friends as an adult. I pointed out that I could talk to a wall if necessary, he took a second to think and said, “yes, but you have your circle of friends.”
That “circle of friends” stuck with me, and it made me think about all the shapes my friendships contort and that they aren’t necessarily always a neat, perfect circle.
My circle of friends sometimes becomes a straight line when I confide a secret in one of them or seek advice.
It becomes a triangle, like when my friends get partners, or start a family and suddenly, there’s an addition to our equation.
It can be a square to become a ring when we fight. Even when it has seemed like the end of everything, and everyone takes shelter in one of the corners, we mostly hug it out afterward — which sometimes takes a couple of months or years.
It is a beautiful rectangle filled with delicious food and wine when my friends cook and invite me over. Sometimes there’s too much wine, but nobody is complaining.
It becomes a Venn diagram when different circles come together and new friendships are born.
But then I think about the times when it is a perfect, neat circle. It is the best cheerleading squad when there’s something to celebrate and the most effective shield when there is grief and sadness.
Some people in the circle have never met, but they are standing shoulder to shoulder. Each position is unique and vital.
Sometimes, the circle loses its shape entirely. You walk a full circle with a friend and go back to the starting point. You become strangers again. There’s now a void waiting to be filled as you let friendships go. Will you shrink your circle or expand it?
Whoever is in that circle knows who they are, and I hope I can be such good friends to them as they are to me. May the geometry of our friendships change into other forms, but always keep us together.