The Art of Adult Friendships…

Friendship…… It is such an interesting phenomena isn’t it?

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I mean you meet this person who you know absolutely nothing about and suddenly there is a click. Like this person was meant to be in your life. Like somehow their destinies coincided with your destinies and just like that you have one destiny, and just like that you have made a choice, an unconscious choice that they are the ones you want to spend time with, the ones you want to share all your crazy meltdowns, experience life with, tell all your secrets because you know they will not judge you. These two souls attach to each other and just shut every other soul out.

You know even if they do not understand they will still love and appreciate you even though you are a messed up little weirdo they still stay by your side and embrace the crazy.

But it is not always rainbows and lollipops. Sometimes after you have been friends with the one you thought understood your insanity something happens to tear you apart, the trick is it is easy to make a friendship but hard as balls to maintain it. Some think making the friendship is the end, but really it should be the beginning, because the moment you stop watering and nourishing that friendship it turns stale. Then you find yourselves as strangers, sad strangers who knew each other for years then one day do not know or even like each other anymore. Sad strangers who might then become enemies, sad strangers who grow apart and end up doing things to hurt each other or even just the ignoring each other and pretending they never knew each other. I think that is the most painful of the situations, when you no longer know the person you used to know, the person you used to share everything with, to laugh with, to cry with, because when they disappear from your life all that is left is emptiness where they used to reside. An emptiness and loneliness and painful memories of what once used to be.

But do not despair, because with the emptiness comes the opportunity to make lifelong friends who will never turn to strangers, those who are in it for the long haul, who will ride or die with you, who will understand you so much that you will realize that those previous ones did not know you at all. Because you will realize that with these new ones you can completely be yourself, you can trust that they really do like you just the way you are and know that for as long as both of you will live they will be by your side, advising you when you need it, scolding you when you get out of line and supporting you if the situation allows and showing you how to be more you and them more themselves.

Six years into the notorious 20s, I’ve come to some conclusions about adult friendships,through my readings and my experiences I have realized that there are some things you need to understand and accept about friendships:

  1. Not Everyone Will Love You and Not Everyone Hates You. Some people won’t stick around forever but that doesn’t make you less loveable. The thing with human beings is that we are so damn complex. We can be a glass of fresh water to one person and a bottle of vinegar to another — no matter what our personality is.
  2. Not Everything is About You. In this voyeuristic time of constant social interaction and connection, we’ve become paranoid because everyone is watching. We’ve also become obsessed with ourselves. Think about it, for the past several years most of us have been documenting our lives for all to see. It’s tough not to be somewhat of a narcissist. However, no matter how great you are at deciphering supposed sub-tweets and virtual jabs — not everything is about you
  3. Don’t Fake the Funk. Frenemies are ageless but I aim to keep dodging these sort of relationships in years to come. I used to be so good at smiling and enjoying the company of others who I know just finished roasting me in a private shade session. Life too stressful to be worrying about the loyalty of your friends
  4. See People for Who They Really Are, Not for Who You Want Them to Be. This realization is for the long-timers. One of the most annoying parts of adulthood is that everyone grows up so differently.  Some go at a much faster pace than others. Some go into different directions. You have to see your friend for who they are and love them for it. If you went into a creative field and your friend is climbing the traditional corporate ladder, support their dreams. Don’t chastise them based on your own ideals and goals.
  5. Remember Why You Became Friends. Unfortunately, sometimes we end friendships — voluntarily or involuntarily. No matter the cause of the break-up, never forget your former friend is and will always be the person who you once liked
  6. It’s OK to Have Your Own Life. Sometimes we think in order to be a good friend we have to stifle ourselves. It’s ok to grow up and have your own life. It’s ok to move away
  7. Speak as Much as You Can, Even if It Isn’t Often. I think sometimes we put too much pressure into what makes an ideal friend. Face it, most of us are standing on unfamiliar ground right now, whether the ground be a new city, new job or just a new lifestyle. Again, being self-absorbed youths we expect our friends to be there and ready for us 24/7. We all want the same thing but aren’t always willing or able to give it back — that’s ok. The best we can do is give the most that we can in a friendship and be understanding of what our friends can give in return.
  8. Cherish the Moments Anyway. So you guys only speak a few times a month. Cherish the short moments anyway. Because we are becoming much more layered with our lives of love, career and all things complicated, many of us simply don’t have as much time as we use too. Thats ok. Whatever moments you have with your friends, cherish it anyway.
  9. Let it Go. Some relationships are only for a season. Tyler Perry has a beautiful monologue in his play “Madea Goes to Jail,” which compares friendships to a tree. Some people are leaves who are just there for a season, others are branches who will stay only until the weathers gets too bad, and then you have your roots who are there to support you no matter the storm. Be thankful for your roots and be content with letting go of your leaves and branches.

Getting a handle on this adult thing is already challenging. Facing these challenges with folks who truly love and support you, make you smile, and bring absolute peace to your life can be incredibly easy if you let it be. Do something fun with your friends,find that song that makes you all go crazy and dance like it’s the last night you are going to be there together, go out for a night on the town, get matching tattoos, gossip about your favorite men, go shopping together, go on an amazing road trip together, just have fun and create memories..

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