…and choosing people who choose you.
Maybe it’s the ‘I choo-choo choose you card that swept me up into this haze of a chat but the above was something I saw on Twitter a while ago now which really got my brain ticking when it came to my thoughts on friendship, especially of that in the last few years- and well, I’ve been planning a post about friendships for a long time now.
It’s such a huge topic that I’ve never really known how to approach it properly- but sometimes tackling things in small chunks is better than never writing anything at all- and with subjects like this, the conversation is always pretty evolving and timeless, so is there ever really a better time than the present, or, ahem, Valentine’s day?
Of course as well I’m by no means an expert- but really, who is? I don’t think anyone will ever truly be well equipped enough to inform you about the connections you share with people in your life- but if there’s one thing we can all relate to, it’s the ebbs and flows of friendship in your twenties. So! I thought I’d put a little post together about some of the things I’ve learnt so far about friendship- all on the day where lurrrve and relationships are taking centre stage…
Sometimes you need to hold up a mirror before you hold up a magnifying glass
I think I read this in a post Lucy wrote a while ago, but it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since- and was also mentioned on the amazing Debrief podcast too. I think there’s a lot to be said about checking your own actions before critiquing someone else’s, especially when it comes to friendships. It’s so easy to complain about people not texting back, or being flaky but if that’s you with other friends- check in with yo’self! I’ve been there and although it’s not fun to recognise it in yourself, it’s so important to treat pals like you’d like to be treated- be it with compassion, understanding and being able to take feedback in order to help make a relationship better.
People’s lives change, and so can relationships
Unfortunately, part and parcel of juggling different friends and friendship groups, will mean that at some point you may drift apart from people. Sometimes that’s someone you haven’t seen for ages, and occasionally it could be someone you were really close to. There’s not always a reason for this- and more often than not it’s not spurred on by a heated conversation (which makes it harder to know why it’s happened)- but with everyone’s lives changing from university, jobs and boyfriends and girlfriends- priorities shift and lives change. It’s challenging and weird when it happens- and often there’s a sense of ‘but this should be easy! FRIENDSHIPS ARE MEANT TO BE EASY’ but it’s totally normal, and doesn’t make you a bad person.
You’ll realise who truly matters
I’m lucky to have a few groups of friends I’m incredibly close to- be it girls I’ve known since primary school, secondary school, the ~internets~ and more recently through blogging. I feel remarkably lucky to have people who have known me across different times and parts of my life and value me for who I am and what I do (and equally for just being me, regardless of what I do too). Sometimes though, be it in a new job or situation, I think we can all be guilty of being a little bit fickle with friendships every now and again. It’s easy to be swept up in the excitement of new friendships, and, much like new relationships- can forget about the people who are the bricks are mortar, backbone and ride or die girls and guys in our lives. It’s so important to remember to sometimes choose people who choose you- and give the people who truly mean the world the kind of time they do for you.
Jealousy isn’t just for primary school…
…and it’s totally normal to feel envious when you see friends hanging out with other people, or even looking in on other friendships too. Naturally, things might be harder when you have more going on but you’ll value things way more than ever- and it’s so important to remember everyone has their own things going on- especially when people could be looking at you and thinking the same. Tunnel vision is totally integral here, and of so much value when it comes to truly appreciating what you have.
Nothing is permanent
Which sounds a lot more deep than it’s intended (and certainly doesn’t mean everything will end up in a break up)- buuuut it’s also code for make the effort! Sustain the bonds you care about! And also- if you’re feeling lonely and like you don’t have a set group of friends- nothing is always forever! You will make new friends, and people do care. It takes a lot of confidence to make new networks and connections, but sometimes it’s only when you look back that you’ll realise how far you’ve come. I promise it’ll all work out.
P.P.S If you want even more friend talk that will be far more articulate than this, I highly recommend you preordering Lily’s new book ‘The F Word’– which talks in great depth about friendships- and I for one can’t wait to get my mitts on it!