Having a hard time coming to terms with the transient island life yet? Early on in my rock life, I learnt the hard way what it means in reality to live in such a place where people come and go frequently, just like the oceans’ tides.

Living on an island with many seasonal workers and rock life wannabes arriving each and every day has many pros and cons. One downside, which I found hard to adjust to, was that the friends I made quite easily, I ended up losing when they decided that island life was not for them after all. Yes, there I was, dumped by the roadside yet again, feeling not unlike a super cute kitten which they promised to love and care for, only to be left behind once the summer passed.

We have all heard the saying, People come into your life for a reason and leave for another. Well, I sincerely hope the leaving the island part doesn’t have so much to do with me as much as island life not appealing to them as much as they initially thought (and of course a million other reasons). As to why they come into my life, well, I can only say thank you for enriching my life (no one mentioned, no one forgotten) and for staying as long as you did. I humbly wish that you may (or may not) feel the same way about me.

 

 

I find it interesting how this cycle of people arriving, staying for longer (or shorter) times, and then leaving again happens so much quicker than what most of us experience in a lifetime on the mainland. Sometimes though, having to go through this torment (which is constantly repeating itself), can make you feel that it’s better to just stay put and not fall for the same tricks again.

On many occasions, I have told myself to go easy, don’t invest yourself too much, it’s not worth the effort, etc. etc. But do I ever truly listen to myself? Of course not. Although being a careful and reserved Swede (these are traits that comes natural for most Swedish people), my somewhat reformed social island self throws caution to the wind and I end up starting new friendships with most people coming my way. On the plus side, I am pretty sure that if I had stayed put all those years ago in the small town where I grew up, I wouldn’t have met and made friends with half as many gorgeous and different people as I have here over the years. For this, I am forever grateful.

It hit me the other day that island friendships resemble courtship in many ways. First, we have the flirting stage where we both are sounding out who the other one is, what they are like, and what common grounds we may have. Of course, this is when you both put on your best behaviour for each other.

Then comes the relationship stage, or as I like to call it, The Thelma & Louise Stage. At this point, you do everything together, you confide in each other, you borrow each other’s clothes, and you hang out every single day. It really does feel like this is The One – you’ll be together forever! I would drive off a rock for you and with you!

 

 

But oh the horror, the day your friend calls you up and says, “I have something fantastic to tell you!” Then folks, you know that it’s over. Your island bestie love story has come to an end yet again. Make space for sorrow, because now you enter the divorce stage – the hardest of them all. In love and in friendship alike.

“But better to have loved and lost, than never have loved at all,” another common saying goes that gives little comfort when you are on the losing side.

–   –   –

How do you manage the transience of island friendships?

Do you keep throwing yourself in again and again, regardless of the consequences? Or do you find yourself being a bit more reserved in making new friends on the rock?

Christina Myrianthous

Current Rock of Residence:

Limassol, Cyprus

Island Girl Since:

1990

Originally Hails From:

Gothenburg, Sweden

Dragged to Cyprus on vacation by her best friend, some horrifyingly high number of years ago, Christina so did not want to spend her hard-earned holiday in an expat-friendly environment. No, she wanted to travel to a much more original and exotic destination and be free from all Swedish influence and only meet with interesting locals. The three weeks they spent on this rock that summer so long ago did not exactly live up to Christina's expectations. Although they managed to mix in some ancient culture sightseeing between bar-hopping and yes, they did meet with quite a few of the local people (mostly men in bars) but nevertheless, she somehow managed to make this rock her home, raised her two wonderful kids here all while working in various establishments ranging from having her own creperie to selling BBQ spare ribs out of a van. She can’t say she's regretted it one single day. Living in the sun has made her a better person, a more relaxed and tolerating individual, and why would she want to change that?

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