Tholos restaurant, Symi, Greece.
Waiting for good friends to join me for dinner.
A glass of wine and the evening traffic keep me entertained.
I’ve written about this restaurant before.
For a final Saturday-swim that day, the salty-feisty sea-dog and her fine-warm human took me to the Light House beach at Kiotari. Earlier, we’d ventured into the blue and then relaxed cheek to cheek. The freddo cappuccino, the laid-back soundtrack, the soothing shade and the cooling sea provided the ultimate chill on a hot afternoon.
Me, with salty-feisty sea-dog and captain of our trip, Zumba, in the beach tent at Lachania, Rhodes, Greece.
Just after our first swim, not our last, into the blue.
One September Saturday, together with a good friend and her salty-feisty sea-dog, we went swimming here.
At Lachania, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, the beach is close enough to the village to take its name and distant enough to keep its integrity.
First, there was Summer School.
Then, we formed #TeamOutlier.
Together we made this thematic analysis poster.
Next, our band of women, armed with colored pens, moved on to draw a discourse analysis poster.
On the final day, in the final hour, one #TeamOutlier member made this. We all felt it mattered, so we took this picture. Then we left to go our separate ways. Released back into the field, I know we'll meet again.
Silently and quickly,
he stood up,
removed my sunglasses and smiled at my eyes.
‘That’s better’, he said.
And he sat down.
The companionable silence resumed.
We stared out to sea once more,
from time to time glancing at each other
– almost coyly.
Because we knew.
There will never be a last time.
Late last year, I had cause to stop and take stock of friendships. I jotted down these notes in a moment of clarity to help me focus on when to hold on and when to let go. It was a useful reminder in funky times. Now, I’m sharing…
Friendship: Notes to Self.
Good ones are there for you and you them. Suspend disbelief, it’s often not those you expect who step up.
Friendship can only be based on what people are, not on what you want them to be.
Do not use friends to plug a gap in your life.
Online friendships can be supportive without needing to move off-screen.
Do not base friendship on one you made earlier. Jack is not just like John used to be. No, he isn’t. You aren’t who you used to be either, and if you knew where the hell John was now, you’d find he’d changed, too.
Manage your expectations and let others manage theirs.
You cannot live solely for the approval of others.
Never say never when starting a friendship, but do say never again when calling it.
It’s ok to forgive, it’s not ok to forget.
True love changes with you, it doesn’t end, don’t confuse the two.
Fear of rejection can only drive you deeper into relationships you don’t need.
Let go before a friendship’s bled right out. Walk away, don’t look back.
Clinging helps no-one. Ever. Even Cinderella almost overstayed her welcome.
Accept that you’re only human and afford others that courtesy, too.
Laughing is good. Laughing with someone else until you get cramps and can’t see through the tears is even better.
Hold onto your self-esteem.