Evolving As We Go
Most of us made our first friends when we were very young. Now that so many kids go to preschool, a lot of close friendships start when kids are still in diapers. In Circle Time and on the playground, we decide who is cool and who we think is a doodyhead.
Elementary school is another place we can form friendships. Through games on the even bigger playground, group projects, and lunch tables we start seeing who has similar interests and who we enjoy spending our time with.
As we get older, things start to change. Middle School is typically ground zero when it comes to our first, major “Who am I really?” searches. In come the hormones and with them come lots of experimenting with our appearance and attitudes. We are just finding out if we are confident or shy, popular or not, and sometimes that results in losing some of the friendships that began in Elementary School.
High School can be just as brutal. Once we need to start focusing on if we want to go to college, a trade school, or just get a local job and start making money it makes us question again, who are we? Who do we want to be? (Cue Mark Metcalf in the Twisted Sister videos: “What do you wanna do with your life?!?!”)
There are a lot of friendships that don’t last once the miles come between you. In our present day of social media and text messaging it is a lot easier to keep in touch with our friends than it was when I went off to school. I was 1000 miles away. There were no computers. I wrote letters. I couldn’t even call because long distance cost a lot of money. But I made new friends in college too.
If you are lucky, you have friends from every stage of your life. The ones who knew you when you were still new to adult friends that you may have just met. Sometimes we lose touch with people just to rekindle the friendship later on in life.
As we get older we learn more about ourselves and what is good and important to include in our lives as well as what isn’t. Sometimes people we loved dearly show us they really can’t be trusted. Sometimes nothing at all happened but you and your friend are just on different paths. There’s nothing wrong with either path, they just don’t connect anymore.
Friends make up so much of what makes us happy. Our stories, our events, and the way we deal with the bad times all include the family we’ve picked as well as the family we were born into. When you have that special friendship with someone there is nothing else like it.
If at some point a friendship is no longer a positive, or that friend is really just using you, or it just doesn’t fit in making you the best you can be it may be time to break it off. It’s natural to feel sad about it but don’t feel guilty because you are taking care of yourself. As we evolve we don’t always continue to mesh with everyone we once did. But the ones who are meant to be there will always be there, and you get to meet new people and make new friendships as you go.
I am lucky enough to still be friends with people I’ve known over 30 years. We know way too much about each other! Haha I have friends that I am still learning a lot about, and some in between. Cherish your friendships, nurture them and enjoy them! But if you know you are no longer good for one another, it’s time to let it go.