Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Friendship in Your Twenties

How friendships change in your twenties!

A few weeks ago, I planned to spend a Saturday with my mom. Since our day was going to start really early, I decided it was best to spend the night before at my parent's. It worked out that some of my old friends were getting together, and since I'm hardly ever in my hometown, socially, I was excited to get together! 

We had dinner together, and I had this amazing introverted thoughtful moment that I had to suppress. Within the first 5 minutes of being together it was so plain that my friends were exactly the same. The group wasn't any different. It was the same dynamic, same style of humor, same funny stories. But, it was so blatantly obvious (to me at least) that I wasn't the same. We had a great time, but I couldn't stop thinking about how different I was. It was kind of like when you see an older picture of yourself. And, it really shouldn't be surprising because I am almost 10 years older than when I moved away. 

But, then! After my mom and I had an awesome day, I was driving back home. On my way, I got a phone call from another friend I've had since childhood. We talked for an hour and it was like we hadn't missed a beat. She moved to North Dakota this year (!) and we hardly ever get to talk. But when we do it's like we pick up right where we left off. How different these interactions were. Both old friends, but the difference is the personal growth of both parties matched. 

It's really made me think about friendship in general, and how friendship changes as you get older. I vividly remember praying when I was 15 years old that I could find good friends. My prayer was absolutely answered as I got closer to my sister and I made other friends that made my teen years so much fun! (Becoming old enough to drive really helped that along too.) 

Then, I entered my twenties, and things really changed. I think your twenties are a very strange transitional time. I met Blake when I was 18 and we were married right before I turned 20. (Blake was 26.) I had friends who were already married, and some who had never had a boyfriend or girlfriend. Some friends were traveling, some were trying to finish up school and some were already thinking about kids! Everyone is kind of choosing their path at that point. 

Friendship changes from going out to the movies with the biggest group you can assemble, to having people over for dinner so you can use your wedding presents. It's sort of natural that some friendships will fade and others will blossom. When I got married it became important to me to find 'couple friends' and balancing single friends was challenging (read: I was bad at that.). 

Something else that changed for me, was the gender of my friends. When I was a teenager, two of those friends I prayed for were guys. We had SO much fun, and my parents definitely let my sister and I do more things because we had the guys with us. I still love them so much, but things had to evolve. I got married, and so did they. I can't text them as freely, knowing I'd feel so weird if a girl was texting my husband. 

The friends I have now weren't easy to find, and they didn't all show up at once. As I settled into my own life, and got through that transitional early twenties phase, the gate for those friendships opened up. I'm not sure what it is, maybe the fact that you now know who you are (or going to be) and what's important to you is obvious to others. Then those who align with all of that are drawn to you, and vice versa! For me, that meant finding friends who were older than me, instead of looking for people who were my age. 

A conversation about friendship without mentioning my marriage would be incomplete. My friendship with my husband baffles me, and is frankly humbling. We went through that weird transitional time together. I turned 27 this year, and I think I changed more than ever in the last year, and yet we are still best friends. The people you can grow with are just treasures. 

Those true, lifelong friends are precious and rare! Hold on to those people! I've learned that you don't have to be friends with everyone. In fact, I'm really reserved when it comes to calling someone my friend. Those real friends, the kind that you show your true inner person to, are such blessings. I still pray to make friends. But something that also came with getting older, is the fact that I now pray that I can continue to nourish the friendships I already have and always be thankful for them. I pray that I can be a real friend as well and that we can all be each other's #1 fan! 

Leave a comment below if you have had a similar experience! Do you have one of those lifelong friends you can just pick up anytime with? Or are you still searching for your tribe? Does anyone else feel like your twenties are such a huge transitional time?

In case you are curious, the photo above is me and my cousin Anna-who I consider my first friend. I'm the one being buried in the sand. I really hope she doesn't hate me for sharing that picture! =]

7 comments:

  1. You make me smile when I read posts like this. And for what it's worth I don't think anyone is very good at keeping up with single friends once you're married.

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    1. It's so challenging! The ones that stuck with me through that are here to stay.

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  2. I think about friendships all the time. I still live in my small hometown so I see a lot of familiar faces throughout the years. My best friends now were NOT my best friends in high school, although I've known them since then (and before hs). My husband and I have been friends for twelve years and together for 10. It's so weird to think about all the personality changes we've been through.
    The only different experience I've had has been keep up with single friends. I actually have A LOT easier time keeping up with friends that are single. K and I are pretty independent and I love going to spend the weekend or day with a friend. It's actually harder for us to make couples friends because we have different personalities and we don't always jive with the same people. Lol

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    1. It makes a huge difference when you and your spouse do your own things often! And girl's nights are very important. It is hard to find two people you can both get along with!

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  3. My husband is my best friend and for that I am extremely grateful. I can't imagine being with anyone else but him forever.

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  4. I love this post so much!! I can definitely relate. I like how you phrased the 20s as a "transitional time" because it is so true. I just turned 26 last month and I look back and see how much I've grown as a person the last few years. Unfortunately part of that is realizing some of your friends you were once close to are not on the same path as you, as in they have different goals and focuses in life. Which is ok, but its something I had to accept. It just makes me appreciate my really good friends that I have. I also have learned the value of having good friends of different age groups and ethnicities, as well as friends that are couples and singles.
    I really appreciate my friends now, and have realized that having friends is not just about going out and having fun, but about having people who are there for you to support you and have your back. Which is crucial in life.
    Again, love this post. And love the pic of you and Anna!

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