Chronicles Of A 30 Year Old: Friendships

Friends, what would life be without them?

Anyone who knows me really well, understands just how much I value my friends. Similarly they also know how much I expect from my friends and the standards I hold them accountable to- yes I am that guy who will ask you about your five year plan while enjoying a Gin & Tonic or what your financial plan is looking like. And if the response isn’t satisfactory, I won’t let things slide .

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend it celebrating a friend’s birthday and catching up with my varsity besties in Johannesburg. Although we speak often, I hadn’t seen them since 2013 which is really shocking for someone like me. As exciting as this was, it obviously had financial implications and this blog is about my crazy financial adventures. So here goes…

I always emphasize planning for all financial decisions and to do so honestly. So I’ve stopped lying to myself about my love for the social scene and how much it’s costing me to maintain. As such, I’ve increased my entertainment budget and increased my sources of income so I can afford all the finer things a 30 year old bachelor yearns for. I bought a ticket for LSL600. to attend The Grand White Dinner Joburg (this is where the birthday celebrations were held) which also came with a complimentary bottle of wine. The return trip from Joburg was LSL850 for petrol and LSL200 for toll gates (my car is really fuel efficient).

Outfit- you absolutely need to look the part. Looking good is a full time job that I take very seriously, so I spent LSL1 000 for my customised shoes and LSL500 for the pants. You cannot be in the city of gold and not explore the night life- so yes, I spent LSL1 500 on drinks, food and other things- must admit that News Cafe Woodmead was amazing. A total of LSL5 000 was budgeted for this extravaganza. And I stayed within the budget which is always a plus. I raised the money from my ice sales, part time lecturing, MC’ing an event and part from the annual bonus.

Now that we’ve dealt with the serious things; why should we make time for friends? We always claim to be very busy and never make time for friends. We have a lot of reasons why we can never meet- school, work, distance etc. The list is endless. Having lost a friend tragically in July 2018, my biggest regret since then was never making time to see him- he was an hour away, but I always claimed to be busy. Was I really THAT busy? Although we talked a lot, it would have been great to see him, to talk to him and ask him about his 5 year plan. Sadly I can never do this . I can never call him again and ask him how he is doing.

The last few years, I’ve had endless excuses why I could not catch up with my varsity friends and I rationalised it (don’t we all?). This time I decided to take the plunge and commit. At first I thought spending LSL5 000 for a weekend of fun was unreasonable (which it should be), but I decided to go ahead with it anyway. I do work very hard and spend more than this doing meaningless things at times.

Arriving in Hatfield, Pretoria and seeing my friend was life changing- the smile and sparkle in the eyes was beautiful. We hugged, no words uttered and just smiled; 12 years of friendship- many struggles shared and countless memories trying to “school life with degrees”. Hours later, we met my other bestie and the reaction was similar, but this one had a loud scream of excitement (each friendship is unique).

What made this weekend truly worthwhile was seeing how hard each one of us has worked and celebrating how far we’ve come. More intriguing was seeing how our visions from university have unfolded and materialized. Equally important was hearing the plans to be better human beings, the drive and hunger to excel in our respective careers. It was exciting to meet their new friends and to see life through their eyes. I’m talking about ladies killing it in the mining industry- a combination of beauty, brains and style. Guys who are equally driven to achieve and be more- all the while enjoying life. This experience was worth more than the LSL5 000 I spent. There is a phrase that says ” travel because money returns, but time does not”. This experience was exactly that!

So as I head back home to work hard again and make that money for the next excursion, I come back full of life, inspired and excited about the future. I come back eager to make an effort to celebrate ALL my friends, to commit to making time to seeing them and to do so intentionally.

Life is very busy, we ARE very busy- but what makes life meaningful is relationships. So my plea is to make time for friends, to nurture them and celebrate it. You never know when you’ll lose them. So make today count!

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