As the days get closer to my 25th birthday and as I start thinking more about what I want my life to look like, and what types of energies that I want to be able to maintain with in my life, I’ve started to think about my friendships.
Outside of the relationship with yourself, friendships can be some of the longest lasting relationships within life. Being that they can be around before romantic relationships and last beyond romantic relationships as well.
So that begs the question of what makes a friend? Personally, I am a fan of compartmentalizing my friends into different categories. In my experience all of my friends can’t fulfill all of the aspects that I want within a friendship and in my life. It would be too much for any one person, and that's okay. People play to their strengths!
I have an eat and gossip friend, a party friend, an all purpose friend, therapy friends, and just catch up because we have memories and went through similar experiences friends.(and probably more than that fit into these categories here and most of them blend between the categories as well.) Right now each one fulfills a different aspect of my life. But the question comes into play with how over the last few years I have grown and changed. There is a difference between pre-grad school me and post-grad school me who just moved back to her hometown. All of my friends and all of these friendships just aren’t meaningful in the same ways anymore. They aren’t creating the same sense of joy anymore.
So what happens when the meals which were once full of laughs turn cold and quiet? When the gossip isn’t funny anymore, and judgment on the actions of friends becomes the first thought when thinking about hanging out with them? Or when the friend who is in a relationship, has become so consumed by that relationship and has changed, and our changes aren’t really meshing with each other?
Where does that leave me in my stage of contemplation? With really only two choices, to do the work to maintain these friendships or let them go. And if I choose to let them go, I can go the passive route and let things just fall apart where they may or I can say something. It also leaves me to figure out what kind of friendships that I want to maintain in the future in order to build the best possible life for myself. Friends can either help build us or they can help break us. Negative energy fake friends, can be throwing so much negativity our way that our individual life and goals are being blocked and we don’t even know why, turns out it's a friend being a hater. Knowing the differences between these from what I have now will be a key stage in not only moving on but in going about the year of 25 plan.
The only choice here is evaluation.
And even though evaluation is a scary term that seems to take the emotion out of the friendship and twist it into this cold and scientific thing, it is important. I’d argue that evaluation is a form of reflection and contemplation. When we don’t know our past we don’t have a clear path to the future. The only way to truly know our past is to evaluate it.
Friendship is a sacred thing and shouldn’t be handed out to everyone all willy nilly. Not if we are trying to be intentional and careful evaluation is the only way to be able to do this.
So I am starting the year of 25 by focusing on friendship.