When the excitement of the leaving party was over, and my desk was finally cleared. Hands had been shaken, and well wishers had wished me luck. I had driven out of the school gates, that had greeted me every working morning for sixteen years, for the very last time. From the hundreds of colleagues I had worked with, sought advice from, given advice to, laughed with, drank copious amounts of wine with, holidayed with, argued and made up with, cried alongside, suddenly there were a few. All the promises to "keep in touch" and "catch up" were not seen through by the many, only by the small few. Such a very small few that reached out across the winter working week to wonder how I was filling my days.
Those few were not just colleagues; they had crossed the line to become friends. Friends who spent time listening to me rant, and wallow, and pretend to be okay. As you do. Those same friends remembered to text me good luck as I prepared for interviews, and insisted that the 'right job' for me would appear. An army of mates who reminded me of the good I had done and still had left to do. You know, my family were supportive, but these friends knew the deal on the inside; knew what was what.
There's the one who calls me when we are driving to and from work, away from and back to our families, and we deconstruct husbandry and the pitfalls of management. There's the one who makes my stomach hurt from her give-a-shizzle attitude and loves to tell people what's what. There's the two who give me a kick every now and then when I'm pig-wallowing in gloom. There's the one who tracks me down when I become too 'silent'. And the one who what'sapps me into giggles late in the night. There's another who I love to slip into Caribbean vernacular with; allowing us to 'cheups' and 'cha' our way through the misdemeanours of pupils that week. This makes me understand friendship.
For all the office days and pub nights that once happened, I understood friendship when late night texts from these few would arrive when I was sitting rock bottom and unable to stir my spirit. Taking time out of them to help me get back to me. And it worked.
Now as I work my way back to confidence those few are still there, resolutely. And I thank them for that.
This post is linked up with #post40bloggers #writingprompt7: I understood friendship when