Growing Up and Growing Apart: Friendship in Your 20's


Alright friends.... It's getting personal today on the blog.

You know those girls who meet their 3 best friends in first grade, are eventually each other's bridesmaids, have kids at the same time, their husbands become best friends and everyone lives happily ever after? Well, I have never had that kind of friendship with girls. I never had a "best" friend from school or even college. I was never in a clique. I was always just kind of my own person with a lot of female acquaintances. I make friends easily and I get along with most people. But I just never seem to truly become close, close friends with people.

There have been many instances over the years where I have thought I found those type of friends. I moved to a new city when I was in 5th grade and immediately made two friends who I thought would be my bridesmaids. Flash forward two years, a million sleepovers and memories later and they up and decided we weren't friends anymore... for reasons I still don't understand almost 10 years later. I entered high school without close friends and I just became an acquaintance to everyone. I thought again junior year I had found a "best" friend but she moved away and we weren't able to keep in touch. 

In college, I found a group of friends freshman year and we became inseparable. After a summer apart at various internships, we just drifted apart. My sophomore year I grew close to one person in particular... I thought I finally found that one best friend everyone else seemed to have. Moving forward into junior year we were still close and I also moved in with 3 other girls. In a very short amount of time, we become closer than I have ever been to other girls and life was great. They all become bridesmaids in my wedding, we did everything together, we were best friends. Rolling into senior year, job searches, wedding coming up and two friendships, one roommate and my best friend from sophomore year, completely fell apart and went up in flames. This left me two bridesmaids short and heartbroken. It also made things very awkward with my other two bridesmaids who were in my wedding but chose the other girls side over mine. I dried my tears and picked two other friends to be last minute bridesmaids and proceeded on with life. I married my true best friend and love of my life right after graduation... I eventually realized that as long as I had my husband, I didn't need the gratification of a "best" girlfriend. 

After the wedding, I really only stayed in touch with two of my bridesmaids (besides my sister who will always be my friend whether she wants to or not LOL).... and that was not for a lack of trying. I sent them birthday gifts and Christmas cards... I texted whenever I thought about them. Those efforts were not reciprocated and eventually, I started giving up the effort.  

Up next, law school. On day one, I met my law school bestie. We were inseparable all throughout the first year... until second semester exams. She just stopped inviting me to study group, stopped texting... once exams were over I didn't hear a thing. I texted her several times and got no response. When she finally did respond, it was all about her and she never even asked me how my summer and internship was going. Once again, I started to realize it was not worth the effort when the only effort came from my end.

Other friendships have drifted apart because life just gets in the way. I am the only one of my close friends who is married, I own a house, I have dogs to care for and I am in a grueling graduate school program that takes over my life. Some don't understand why I don't have time to do this or that because I have to study. Some don't understand why my husband always comes first. Some don't understand that I can't just go out every Friday night and leave my dogs in their crates for hours on end. Life change and evolves and often, the friends you had before don't mesh with life evolutions. and that's okay. Friendships change and sometimes drift apart. 

I have come to a point in my life where I am tired of chasing that kind of perfect, best friendship that is seen in movies. I have some wonderful friends... friends who have stood by me for years on end and are always there for me. They are absolutely wonderful and I do not give them enough credit. For some reason, I kept on chasing a perfect friendship like I thought I needed. I tried so hard to be the best friend anyone could have.... I gave birthday and Christmas gifts and brought Starbucks just to be nice. I planned fun things to do and invited them on vacations with me. I tried everything I could possibly think of to be a great friend and yet... no one seems to care. It seems the harder I try, the worse the friendships end up.

The friendships I have are wonderful. My husband is my best friend. I have a sister I can always count on. I do not need the gratification of a "best" friend to get me through the day. I once heard a saying, "Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Accept each for what it is and take whatever lessons and good memories from each friendship that you can." I have decided that this is a good life motto. I have had friends come into my life for a specific reason: I made those two friends in middle school to help me through that life transition as I integrated into a new school and city. I have had friends come into my life for a season: my friends in college who helped me to enjoy college and make amazing memories. Then, I have friends for a lifetime: my husband; my sister; my best friend I have shown horses with all my life and though we live two hours apart, she is always there for whatever I need;my friend from college who went to a different law school but yet we have become even closer through the shared experience of law school, distance didn't matter; the girls I studied abroad with in London who still keep in touch weekly and we will always share the greatest memories of our time abroad. When you look at it that way, life seems to make a little more sense. I think God knows what he is doing when he places certain people in your life.... for a reason or a season and sometimes for a lifetime. It is much easier to reflect upon friendships when you can think of it like that.

To the friends who came into my life for a reason, thank you for the lessons you taught me and the memories we shared. To the friends who came into my life for a season, thank you for a wonderful period of time in my life. To my friends for a lifetime, thank you for sticking by me through good and through bad and I will always try to value our friendship for what they are and without constantly searching for that elusive "best" friend... I have plenty of those already.

To each and every friend I have had, current or past, thank you for the memories, the lessons and the time we spent together. If you hurt me, time heals all wounds and I forgive you. If I hurt you, I am truly sorry and I hope you have healed and can look back fondly upon our time as friends. If we ever meet again, I hope we can smile and wave as old friends no matter what has happened in the past. Life is too short to waste time being petty or wishing for things that may never happen. The one lesson I have learned is that a perfect friendship does not exist and chasing one is a fruitless effort that will cause you nothing but pain. Appreciate what you have and the people who stick by you no matter what and in time, learn to be happy with that. Theres a song that says don't go chasing waterfalls.... I would say don't go chasing friendships. If you have to chase it, it's not worth your time.


Has anyone else experience this? 







3 comments

  1. I can relate so much to all of that. I love how you ended it!

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  2. I like this post. Can relate to some of it. Friendships are important but they take time to build. Losing friends can be frustrating, for sure. It's true we shouldn't force friendships. They need to happen naturally, and if someone ends a friendship, sure you could try to find out why they ditched you, but you're right, don't chase them. They are gone for a reason.

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  3. I love this post so much! and i can relate too... I am like you. I don't have that one best friend. I tend to get along with a lot of people and I don't have that one person but that is okay!

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