Today’s post is all about the evolution of friendships and how they can change over the years. Last year, I had the awesome opportunity to guest post on the blog Hello Hustle. For my new readers who never had the chance to read it, I wanted to share it here with you all here on my blog as well.
Friendships grow and change as we grow and mature. I’ve had the same friends since I was about three or four years old. We grew up together, went to dancing school together and remained in contact over the years. When you’re in your early teens or shall I say tweens which is what I consider to be 11-13ish, you have this mindset that friends will be with you for the rest of your life. You have sleepovers, go to the movies, the mall, each other’s birthday parties, and participate in sports together. You’re basically inseparable and if your parents allow it, you will either be at your friend’s house all weekend or vice versa.
Then you enter your actual teenage years, let’s say 14-17, you’re in high school, you start to lose contact with a few friends because you either go to different schools or some may have moved away. You make some new friends and all is good right? Well this is also the age where you and your friends start dating, have boyfriends and well you know how it is. That’s when you start to realize that you’re talking and spending less time with them. It’s difficult because now you have a new person in your life and you want to spend all your time with them. When you’re this age, it’s important to keep your friendships that you’ve had long before you had a boyfriend. The reason I say that is because we’ve all had our heartbroken at a young age so naturally who do you turn to when that happens? If you answered your closest friends, then you are right.
The majority have the same friends until we graduate from high school. You spend the summer with them before you all separate and go your own ways. By this time, you’re about 18 or 19 year old and as the years go by, the one thing that you will notice most is that you no longer eat, sleep and breathe your friends. You are busy living your life. Sure, you keep in touch by email or text and try to see each other when you can but it’s not the same. You start to accept that this is a huge part of growing up and getting older.
Now you have entered your twenties! Oh yes, the magical era where you think you’re grown and you know everything! Why? Because you’re over 18 and you’re an adult. I’d give anything to go back to the days when I didn’t have real adult responsibilities. Now you’re either finishing up college or working at some retail store and maybe still living at home with your parents. After work, you meet up with your current group of friends which by this point may or may not include your childhood friends. You spend time catching up and reminiscing. Some of your friends may have already settled down with their significant others and already have kids. By this point you realize that you still have many things in common but you also lead very different lives. I know a lot of people who have said that once they’ve settled down and had children, their group of friends got much smaller. While they realized that this is now their new way of life, they’ve also accepted that friendships do come and go.
Uh oh, now we’re in our thirties! You know the age that we once considered old when we were fourteen. By this time, you have learned quite a few lessons about friendships. While it may not have been easy, you have accepted it and moved on with your life. If you’re really lucky, you could very well still have maybe just a few friends left from your original crew. If you’re both settled down and have children, you may or may not always get to see each other but thank goodness for Facebook. As for me, I still have many friends my age that either live near me or further away and the number one way that we always manage to stay in contact with one another and see what the other is up to is on Facebook.
One of those friends is a person that I have never actually met in person. I virtually met her on a website called Café Mom approximately nine years ago and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Even if maintaining the majority of my friendships online is the only way, I love that all of us get to see each other’s kids and laugh about the same memes that we have seen that totally relate to our lives at this point. Let’s be honest, by this point, you’ve realized that you have reached that point where the quote “you can count your true friends on one hand” applies to you. If you’re extremely lucky, then you have ten. Count your blessings.
By this point in my life, I can say that I am happy and content with the number of close friends that I have. While I won’t go into much detail, I will say that in the last year, a couple of longtime friendships ended and for different reasons. I turned 40 last year and the fact is that I have accepted it. I can go on knowing that I have the friends that I love and can continue my life with, the ones that are living their lives just as I am the best way we can and are content with just being happy and alive.
Friendships are a wonderful thing to have in our lives. If you are lucky enough, you can form an amazing sisterhood with some of your closest female friends. As you can see, the one thing that I am sure we have all experienced is the loss of friendships along the way. The sad truth is that it is unfortunate but it does happen. The important thing to remember is the way that we choose to deal with it is what helps us accept it and move on with our lives.
I hope that you all enjoyed my post. I hope that maybe at some point while you were reading that you found yourself relating to what I was saying. At the end of the day, we grow, we mature and we become the women that we are today by going through life experiences which in turn only make us stronger!