My college friend, Joanna, recently visited on her vacation. Her act of care and friendship – being she doesn’t get too much vacation time and she stopped in and spent a whole night with us – brought up the topic of real friendship and this make-it or break-it time of our lives we’re in.
Friends have always been incredibly important to me. Being the social butterfly that I am, a group of good friends is something I will always need. Moving around a lot, I’ve had to work hard at sustaining the friendships back home and work even harder at making new ones. However, in the last three years, so many “good” friends fell through the cracks making it clear who my real friends are.
I’ve had the chance to catch up with a few close high school or college friends lately and the questions always come up regarding how so-and-so is or if I’ve heard from this or that person.
It is clear that the mid-twenties brings about a real crucial time in which true friendships will shine and the others will fade. Your group of friends no longer has the same list of priorities revolving around school work, part-time jobs and dance practice. Half of them are married, having children, some are working hard in their careers and a group are still bar hoping and going to school.
But difference in priorities isn’t the only reason why some old friends are disappearing because I have a few great friends that while they have a totally different lifestyle, they still show care, curiosity and an understanding and support of my lifestyle.
I would argue that for many, the mid-twenties also brings about a knowledge of who you are as a person. At age 23 I seemed to have my “aha” moment. I had done the things I thought I wanted to do and out of surprise, didn’t like them. My hopes, morals and standards became clear.
Some I used to call friends stopped calling or caring maybe because of different priorities or maybe because they didn’t like the person I decided to become. Maybe I stopped calling them because of their choices.
While the large group of friends I had a few years ago has now dwindled into a small group of old and new, the relationships are so much deeper and appreciated. I just want to bottle them up and put them on the top shelf for safe keeping.
Distance, families, jobs and all the other things that make our lives crazy can make friendships a challenge to keep going. With all the other things going on in our lives, making an effort to call, send a card or visit really shines through. The ones that seem too busy for you (even though you are just as busy), fall through the crack. A one handed effort is not a “friendship.”
Some of the ones I thought I wouldn’t talk to after high school have now become incredibly special. They call, they care and they make an equal effort. It has been amazing to me who I am still close with and who I don’t talk to anymore. And the new ones I have made, feel just like the really good old ones.
One having close friendships has been scientifically linked to a happier life and a longer life. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.”
Treat your friends like the treasure that they are. Amidst the hectic schedules that we have or the distance in between, make time for those ones that have stayed by your side and the new ones that are blooming.