I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship…particularly, adult friendships. Remember how easy it was when you were kids? You were “best friends forever” with whoever happened to be sitting next to you in class, on the school bus or who lived next door to you. Things began to get dicey when you entered middle school, and there was always the drama of who was your best friend. It was heartbreaking if you found out that your bff had suddenly became bff’s with another. Friends often changed as quickly as the weather did.
Things seemed to calm down a little when the high school/college years came along. There wasn’t quite as much drama and internal arguing in your group of friends, but friends did seem to rotate a lot. Especially during college, when people were constantly changing majors, moving out of the dorm, starting a new job. All of these things affected who you considered your “friends”. To feel cool and accepted, it was always best to have many friends…the more the merrier. It was vital to always be able to have an instant party with a few, well-placed phone calls.
Then comes marriage. And kids. (Or kids, and then marriage, in my instance.) And suddenly–you find out who your real friends are. You find out who is willing to skip a bar night to come hang out with you and your newborn. Who is willing to watch movies in jammies on New Year Eve, and consider it a great time. Maybe even a friend who thinks going to the zoo with toddlers sounds enjoyable. Adult friendships are not only less work, in that you aren’t constantly bickering between yourselves as you did in the younger days, but also more work, because you have to fight for that time together in the chaotic world of being a responsible grown-up.
I’ve been lucky and very, very blessed to have friends from my childhood that have carried over into adulthood. I have a few college friends that I’m still in contact with, and even if we don’t see each other often, we always pick up right where we left off. But most recently, I’ve found that the friendships I made during my twenties have been the ones that have really stuck. I like to think this is because I chose my friends… and they chose me. As an adult, you have the option of whether or not you want to hang out with someone. It’s not like your elementary years, when you’re around the same kids, day in and day out, and almost forced to befriend each other out of necessity. My crew and I click because we love the same things. We love books. We love music. We love concerts. We love theatre. We love our children, nieces and nephews, and spouses (even when they’re being asses). And most importantly, we provide each other with an unwavering, supportive love.
I’m so glad that I purposefully rid my life of the emotional vampires who sucked the life right out of me. I’m happy that I choose to surround myself with such fabulous people. And although I consider myself to be a friendly, outgoing person…. I hope, that if you are in my world in some small way…that you feel at least a little bit special, because I obviously think that you are:)
“Friends we are
Friends we’ll be
Friends forever you and me.
Search the world,
and we shall see,
together- just how happy we can be.”
-Jessica Kenney, age 10