When you can't help a friend

May 14th, 2014, 11am

It was 21°C with nil significant cloud. The breeze was light.

I drew this in my sketchbook when I was in Tokyo last week. It’s a picture of my friend from Kobe, who has been at university in Tokyo for the last 4 years. Everytime I’m in Tokyo we try to catch up and have tea.

She’s a very smart, intelligent girl who has an interest in starting her own fashion label, but seems to be finding the whole world against her at the moment. She’s looking for work in fashion companies, but her parents are pressuring her to go into finance.

Her father is the president of a reasonably well-known company, but she only told this to her close circle of friends. Recently, the head girl in her university circle found out about it, and has been making her life hell ever since. It’s a simple case of jealousy, and my friend knows that soon she will graduate and be free from this bully, but even that knowledge doesn’t really help her get through the everyday niggling and pettiness.

When I first met my friend in Kobe, she was bright and full of life. Last week she was quiet, defeated and sad. When we are 20 years old, we have some ideas about what we want to do with our life, but not many of us have the confidence to know we can just go out there and start making it happen. It’s hard when our experience of the world has mostly been parents who tell us that our dreams are unrealistic and classmates who make fun of those dreams when we talk about them in class.

For a short time I could laugh with my friend, while we talked about movies and ate cake, but I left wishing I could do something more to help.

Luis, ankel, Shu, Samantha and 11 others said thanks.

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