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Friendship. Those close to me know, without a doubt, that my friends are the most important thing in my life. They always have been, and always will be. This is the one constant in my life.

People have always judged me for the friends that I choose, sticking to the “guilty by association” thought pattern. This is what they do not understand though – the more different my friends are, the more they enrich my life in different ways. I have friends that most people would not want to associate with because of their social standing, personalities, careers, race, habits or age. These factors serve as mental blocks for most people and they do not take the time to look past these elements to see what may lie underneath. This is where you find the true gems in your life.

“I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress.” Nelson Mandela

I will never apologize for having the friends that I have, regardless of anybody else’s perception or opinion of them or me. These people know the real me and still remain true, unyielding and non-judgmental in their friendships to me. Why on earth would i EVER give that up?

“Our differences are our strength as a species and as a world community” Nelson Mandela

So when I encounter people in my life (family, boyfriends and other friends) that think that they can tel me who I should and should not be friends with, the answer is very simple. My friends form part of who I am, if you do not like it, you are free to leave.

Do not compromise your friendships because of the opinions of others, true friendships are a gift and few people have true, fulfilling friendships – so embrace them! No matter their social standing, personalities, careers, race, habits or age – friendships can come from anywhere. Do not close yourself off with narrow-mindedness.

Trust me, it’s worth it!