Cast your mind back to your high school friendships and you’ll probably recall weekend sleepovers, three-hour phone calls, Saturdays spent at the mall and boy band crushes. Groups of giggling girls all brought together by a shared timetable, and shared insecurities. Easy friendships formed on the need to be popular, accepted and well liked. They were fraught with drama, fun and ‘firsts’, but most of all they were characterized by the belief that they would never end.
However, over time, reality kicks in. As your twenties tick by, even the friendships that survived college can fade. Life gets in the way, busy schedules, marriages, babies and careers can sideline even the most sturdy of relationships, and soon daily catch ups become weekly, weekly become monthly, and before you know it, 6 months have passed without so much as a call or a text. Slowly you begin to realize that not all friendships last forever.
But they don’t need to. As people, we’re always looking outside ourselves, to connect and be understood, but our twenties are the years where we ‘introvert’. We begin to look inside at who we are as individuals, and steadily we realize that our most important friendship is with ourselves. Essentially, our friends become sidelined because we’re busy discovering who we are and what we have to offer. We’re correcting those insecurities of our teenage years and ditching the co-dependency. We’re learning how to do it on our own and becoming self sufficient in the process. Over time we negotiate breakups, career changes and minor dramas without needing to seek a second opinion from our group of gal pals because we become our own support network.
By and large, you learn to deal with most of what life has to throw at you, and really that’s a great thing. That ‘I can do it myself’ mentality, that feeling of liberation is what really defines being a twenty something. In many ways you no longer NEED friends. Instead you CHOOSE to have friends, and you choose the ones who enrich your life, the ones who really get you and ultimately the ones who will be there to support you when your own support system breaks down.
As you go through your twenties, your friendships don’t become less valuable, they become more real. You lose the bulk of your friendships, yes; you whittle out those relationships that were based on nothing more than the same taste in music, combined circumstances, or a shared insecurity and instead you gain tighter, more genuine relationships. You begin to surround yourself with people who lift you up on the rare occasions that you fall down. The truth is, you may have less time for friendships, reality and hectic schedules will make sure of that but when it really comes down to it, the ones that matter stick. Yes, friends will always come and go out of your life but eventually you’ll find the core few who survive the distances, the voids of time and the goodbyes.