I caught up on the phone yesterday with Lauren, one of my best, oldest friends. We met in 5th grade, played basketball together, were neighbors in Queen Anne for a year in our 20’s, and although we don’t see each other or talk as much as we’d both like, this is a solid friendship. One that has lasted almost 30 years and I can genuinely say that I not only love her, but like her. When we catch up, we inevitably ask for updates about each other’s friends. Over the past 2 years, my friendship landscape has seen some major shifts as I eluded to in the “Thirty-Eight” post. She told me about this article she read recently on the Huffington Post “The 5 Types Of Friends Everyone Should Have“. I read it and it really resonated, you should totally read it as well. The gist of the article is that as we get older and have less time to devote to friendships, some just don’t make sense anymore and the process of “de-friending” is important. It’s “difficult to take a hard look at the relationships I’ve cultivated through the decades and realize, with a heavy heart, that they’re not all going to last.”
As I move forward in life, as I grow and change and have gone through serious transitions, some friendships have not weathered the storm and I have done some de-friending, on Facebook and in real life. My head understands this is the right thing, but it hurts my heart. Relationships that I would have been willing to bet my life would have sustained simply haven’t. The shitty thing is there is no definitive “why”. You can go through the list of transgressions on both sides, there’s usually some drama, but ultimately, the friendship ends because it doesn’t feel good anymore, you don’t fit with a person that used to be a great fit. The story comes down to people growing in different directions and as much as it hurts, I have to believe it is ok.
I grew up in Seattle, went to UW, and other than a 4 year stint in San Francisco, have lived in here my whole life. There are people in my life that have literally been there since I was born. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that some of the friendships that were significant in my teens and 20’s are not the ones I gravitate towards today.
But the article wasn’t just about moving on from the friendships that don’t work, it focused on the really, really good kind of friends. The friends that fall into the category of “Friends Worth Keeping Forever”. On the list in the article about the 5 types, the 2 that stood out were friends who make the effort and friends who are authentic. I can say that the people I allow myself to be close to, vulnerable with, they make the effort and are authentic.
As I get older, life seems to only be getting more complicated, more difficult, dealing with divorce and death and job losses and house losses. When you take a look around you to see who’s by your side, the group may be smaller than it was a decade ago, but for me, it’s solid. I may not have a husband, but I am rich in friends!
To my nearest and dearest, you know who you are. Thank you for making the effort. Thank you for your authenticity. I love you and am so appreciative of you! And I apologize for the pics. Not really. We were so young!!!