I am not a consistent blogger, really I am not consistent at much. But sometimes things spring up in my heart and I find this great desire to write them out. Then I think about how others might relate to it, and it becomes a blog. Today’s random blog is brought to you by friendships.
Really, it’s one of the trickiest parts of adulting–partly because our skewed view of friendships when we were kids, and partly because of reality. Most of our childhood friendships are comprised over a 12 year period. It seems like a lifetime, but really, it is just a small skip down the road. I will be married for 12 years this year, and I know now just how short 12 years of friendship is.
It is easy to think about our friendships on that childhood scale, but the reality is, time moves much faster and as an adult, change happens way more often. And maybe the changes happened as a kid, but as a kid our recovery time was much quicker. As I was working this morning I was reflecting on a few past friendships. I had this moment of realizing when life moves in different directions, so do friendships and that is okay. From moving, to new jobs, to lifestyle change (getting married, divorced, having kids, etc)–when life changes, often our friendships change. I think I used to struggle with this third-grade mentality of friendship. You know, the kind where all that mattered was nothing. No jobs, no bills, no sick children, no houses to take care of, no people to please. Just being rockstar kids, having friends, and having fun.
Then life happens. And we tend to take it personally. Life is supposed to be fun, right? You talk to your BFF on the phone until 1 am. You play chubby bunny until you want to puke. You stay up WAY past bedtime and laugh for hours on end about who knows what. That is the life. <3 And as we become adults, as life happens, as loss happens, as hardship happens, we change. Friendships take on a completely different purpose, habits and focus. I had this moment of realization today, it is okay. It is okay for things to change.
As we adult, we can’t really expect much from other people, they are in the hard journey of adulting, too. A new job means a whole new learning curve. You have to build new relationships and trust, you have to be able to focus in a different direction to succeed at your new change. Inevitably that means a change in old work relationships. When you move out of your childhood city and into a brand-new neighborhood you have to work hard to meet your neighbors, develop a support system, find people you can trust with your hide-a-key. And inevitably, friendships from your former neighborhood will change as you have to redirect your attention. We recently left our faith community of 8 years. And that was hard. As we changed directions we have had to work at building a new faith community, work at building trust with new friends, work at building friendships for our kids so they aren’t missing that important element of childhood. And inevitably the communication dwindles. It doesn’t mean it goes away completely, but it does change. And that is okay–it has to be.
As there is only so much time in a day. There is only so much time to connect and build relationships. And as your life changes, shifts, grows, and stretches, so will friends along the way. I reminded myself today that it isn’t personal. It isn’t out of an intention of hurting others. It is just how life ebbs and flows. I was reminded this morning that just because those friendships have changed doesn’t mean they didn’t and don’t matter. It doesn’t mean that weren’t incredibly valuable. In fact, they were likely what got me through some of the hardest times in my life. I have immense gratitude for them. And though the coffee dates, texts and hangouts may be few and FAR between, I am grateful for what was and how it has shaped me today.
So if your find yourself here in the same place today, don’t let bitterness, jealousy, or uncertainty creep in. Send a text, send some flowers, send a card, or just say thanks to God for the people He has placed in your path.