March 23, 2018

Talking About Friendship

I have always been a firm believer that our twenties are some of our biggest years in terms of change, growth, and learning. Talk to any twenty-something and I am certain the majority will say they don't feel like they have it all figured out. At this point we're all just kind of rolling with life. Nothing is really set in stone, there are a lot of uncertainties, and everyone is trying to figure out everything from careers to relationships. It is a time of uncertainty, sure, but it is also a time of great excitement. If you are reading this and feel like this is you, take comfort in knowing you are not alone!

The further I get into my twenties - almost half way through them as I write this - the more I am learning about the evolution of relationships, more specifically of friendships. For the most part, up until this point in life, friends and friendships have been fairly stable and consistent. Of course that is a generalization and there are exceptions, but typically your friends in high school were people you grew up with and were friends with for years. With the start of college, new friendships developed and four years together living with the same people makes for some pretty strong relationships. Personally, some of my best friends are people I met in college.

I don't think it is until after graduating college that those once solid, stable relationships start to shift, transition, and change. Both high school and college friendships. There is no maleficence to blame, but instead just time, distance, and life in general. As mentioned before, our twenties are such a time of transition and change for everyone. Some people move away to new exciting places, some people are settling down and getting married, and for the most part everyone is at a slightly different place in life. It's not a bad thing by any means, but sometimes our relationships suffer.

When you really think about it, it doesn't sound all that unusual for friends to drift after years of living very separate lives or after the end of the common interest that brought friends together to begin with. Sometimes there are unfortunate circumstances that are to blame - a significant other comes into the picture and takes all the attention, or one half of the friendship decides they are done with the relationship. Whatever the reason may be, it's always hard to see friendships drift or end completely. It sucks, it's sad, but it's also part of the growing pains that are our twenties, and honestly probably just life in general.

Since graduating college, this is something I have personally experienced and therefore spent a lot of time reflecting on. What I've come to determine is that sometimes these things are out of our control. It is just unrealistic to think that every single person we become friends with will become a forever friend - although wouldn't that be great! The truth is, there will be people that come and go from our lives. Life is always moving and changing and our relationships will reflect that, but this isn't always a bad thing.

I firmly believe that God puts people in our lives when we need them the most - even if they aren't supposed to be a part of our lives forever. They are there to enhance those wonderful moments and periods of our lives or they are shoulders to lean on and breaths of fresh air in life's more difficult and trying times. Sometimes we don't even realize it until the moment has passed and we are looking back. What is important is to be grateful that God put them in your life when you needed them the most. Be thankful for what they gave you and what they were to you at that moment in time.

As far as those forever friends go, the ones who are in it for the long haul, they are the special ones. Hug them extra tight and hold onto them - there is a reason they are meant to be a part of our lives.  No matter how much time has passed or how much distance stands in the way, they are the ones that you can pick right back up with like nothing has happened at all. 

At the end of the day, thank God for all the people who have been a part of your life. When you take a moment to slow down, think about it, and reflect, I am positive you will find exactly why your paths intertwined in the first place. Each one had something unique to offer us, teach us, or provide. In one way or the other, big or small, we are shaped by all the encounters we make along the way and we wouldn't be the same without them. 

xo. G 

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