To find someone that you can laugh with, hang around, be comfortable around, grow with, talk to, and just bond over the things that make you both yourselves…I think is pretty cool. Now to some, that sounds like a relationship, and that’s because that’s what friendships are, they’re relationships, sans-romance.
I’m not using this post to talk about how friendships are unromantic though. I’m here to talk about change. If you’ve read a few of my most recent posts, you’ll notice that I’ve discussed change A LOT. That is because one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned these past four years that has tied into each of my previous entries, has to do with CHANGE.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a minute… because I’m not exactly sure that this lesson has been as clearly indicated to me as the others has… and I think this has to do with the fact that this has been one of the hardest things for me to learn.
And that is simply: People change.
Humans grow attached to things and people and places. Some more than others. I am the type of person that gets attached to people more so than places…and I used to think it was the other way around, but when I truly think about what makes me happy in an environment that I’m in, more times than not it is the people surrounding me.
My friends are a great example of that.
I’d like to think that I’m a friendly person. As such, I’ve been blessed to meet and interact with some pretty phenomenal people. Some on a deeper level than others, but phenomenal people and interactions nonetheless. What I am continuing to learn and forget and re-learn though…is that people change. And it is NOT always our faults or because of something we did. It’s not about us. Life isn’t a circle that surrounds us… we are a part of the grand circle of life… and I don’t mean to ramble here but I think that we tend to believe that once we have a friendship that gets to a certain point, that we’ll not have to work as hard. Not because we don’t want to necessarily but rather because we assume it’ll last it’ll just work out because that’s how great friendships are.
BUT… because friendships are relationships, OF COURSE we have to put effort into them.
It’s one thing to say “hey let’s hang out” and then another to put forth the effort and say that and then actually see that statement through.
Now you might be wondering at this point, okay okay I get it, put effort into this, but where does the people changing part come in?
I think the answer is always. It’s always because if you take a moment to self-reflect and see how far you’ve come in the last month, weeks, days even… you’ll notice that there are things that have changed about you possibly big, probably small, but it’s change. That’s the whole point.
Now take that realization that you’re changing. And apply it to everyone you know. Apply it to your friends.
Since change is always going on within us and around us, we have to be conscious of how it might impact our relationships with our friends. Whether it’s a heartbreak, someone moving away, someone leaving school, someone focusing on something else than being social etc…. there are tons of things that can influence our friendships.
The beauty of it is, that each of these things, cases, or situations are opportunities to be there for one another and strengthen the friendship.
Forgive me if that sounds all lovey-dovey but it’s true. You can’t expect to gain and maintain trust without some work being involved. You can’t expect the comfort and getting along to stay there just naturally. There’s communication involved, a give and take and give give and take take involved.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on friends. I believe that I could be a better friend and strive to be a better friend whenever I can.
Over the last three years I’ve lost friends and gained new friends and grown closer to people for a variety of reasons. And the one thing if anything that was consistent was change.
Think of it in the way that seasons are changing. Don’t assume everything revolves around you. Put effort into your friendships, they’re worth it.
The heartache & heartbreak in all of this is reflecting on friendships lost that might have gone better if more effort was put into cultivating it…and also in the adjustments you make when distance, or time conflict or other situations get in the way of a once comfortable routine… it hurts to change when you try and make your friendships be the one thing that doesn’t change… it hurts because friendships for a lot of folk are part the core of their stability. I know that my friends are very important for my stability. They’re my peeps. And part of what makes me me. So I’m trying to appreciate them and be grateful for our friendships for as long as they exist.
Ultimately true friends new or old will be there, and you should make sure that you will be too.
Friendship, in all its awesomeness, changes. And so do we.