Something which I do, but which I’ve not known anybody else to do, is keep something I call the Friend Square. What it is, is a collage of my twenty-five closest friends as well as the members of my immediate family. I keep the Friend Square for many reasons, for one I like to use it as a way to remember how important people are – if you have a close friend and then you lose touch with them, a year or two later, you might then look back and think that that person was not very much of a friend, but I think that would be denying the truth of your feelings. Generally, I keep in touch with loads of people anyway, but I feel like this has been a good way to remind myself of who I need to take extra care to try to stay in touch with – on top of that, it’s good for making me feel happy. If I ever feel sad, I can take a look at it and remind myself of the love I’ve shared with all of those people and it’s a sure way to help make myself feel at least a little better.
But it’s not just a useful thing for looking into the past; when I first made it, it was a collage of the seventeen closest friends I had had over the years, since then I have formed significant bonds with eight more people, which makes me very happy. Who knows how many people it will ultimately hold? The idea of it being really, really huge in ten years or so is something which really quite excites me, because forming real, valuable friendships is probably my favourite thing to do. When I add somebody new to the Friend Square (and I always have to think about it for ages before I do, considering things like whether I could turn to them with a problem and if they enjoy my company as I enjoy theirs) I always feel very happy, because at that point I know I have a new friend for life, so then I tell the person just so they can know that they are very important to me.