Remember a time when a friend/acquaintance/lover/hater said something to you that just stuck? They offered you some off the cuff life advice that affected you astronomically, like a planet spinning off its axis. For you, it was impossible to ignore something that they probably said casually, in between mouthfuls of smashed avo, that they don’t even recall saying it at all. They probably remember that smashed avo, though, because it was damn good and they always opt for decadent brunch over a home deposit.
What they did, without realising, without expecting any increase in their return, was give you something so powerful: an investment in the very essence of a future you.
It’s so important that we support another in times of happiness, sadness, jealousy, fury and loneliness, and lack of shame for watching Dance Academy re-runs instead of writing articles (guilty). After the excesses in life are stripped back, we are all we have. It would be narcissistic to think that we can change everything for the best with one act, but it would also be ignorant to think that small gestures of love and kindness have no bearing on those around us.
Why is it that the people we love the most, who we should be donating our time to, often get left by the wayside? “Sorry, already took my bra off!” or “Haha I’m not putting pants on, it’s after 7.” Sound familiar?
Yes, we are busy. Yes, we can barely find time to brush our teeth before bed, let alone sit on the phone for two hours bitching about aaaaaaaall the drama that has exploded since 8am this morning.
Perhaps friendships should be like mutual funds. In layman’s terms, you have a company, you have investors, you have money. Your time = money. Your investors = friends. Your company = you. Money should be invested broadly and evenly.
Don't be afraid to make a risky investment, those are often the ones that pay off.
What we shouldn’t be doing is refusing to invest in, build and prosper our portfolio, whilst thinking our investments will pay off. The reality is, tumultuous ebbs and flows can’t always be predicted, but you can guarantee that if you don’t redistribute the “dividends” to your “investors”, there will be fewer good times (boogies). The longer and smarter you invest, the longer you’ll have to ride the volatility of the market and that volatility can make the dividends (fun times with friends) all the more enjoyable.
Although, not every friendship is equitable so heed caution with stocks that seem too good to be true. Put together a portfolio that you are proud of, and provides both stability and support, even amongst the tension of a GFC: Great Friend Crisis.
With this in mind, remember to look after your own interests too, because you can’t be there for others unless you gift a little love to yourself. In the wake of another day of outlandish PDA’s and bears hugging hearts, you have 364 other days in the year to wrap up a parcel of Shit That Makes You Happy, and seal it up with a bow.
So, take your friend/acquaintance/lover/hater out for brunch. Take them on a wander through tree-lined streets. Invite them round for tea and ask them genuinely how their life is going, and listen earnestly to what they have to say, instead of thinking about what you're going to say next.
Don’t be afraid to remind those around you that they are worth more than exclusivity rights to the first pictures of Beyoncé’s twins.
P.S. The Dance Academy movie is out on 6 April 2017. Just saying…
Image: Alex Jack Photography
Madeleine Sharpe needs precisely thirty-seven alarms to wake up in the morning. Likes: coffee, and a cheeky boogie in a pair of sparkly heels. Give her a kilo of cheese and she'll love* you forever.
*love not guaranteed.