Recently, I spent some time reminiscing about the various friendships of my life while creepily poking around on Facebook. I began to feel joy over the good times spent with some of these people. I recalled the various memorable moments and the feeling during that time that our friendship would last forever. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and while I briefly began to feel uncomfortable over how each of these friendships ended, I reminded myself that this is life. Friendships rarely last forever and have a very hard time surviving through the various phases of our lives.
Remember your childhood friends? Remember the countless hours you would spend together playing with toys or just exploring the world around you together. It was so easy being a friend and making a friend then. Every day would be spent learning everything and anything you could about each other. You always seemed to feel like you had forever together. Then as time would reach on, each of you would grow a little and then the relationship would grow apart, sometimes amicably and at other times not so.
Remember your teenage friends? Much like childhood friends, you would spend a lot of time together simply just wasting time. During this phase of your life, you may have gone through many friends as you tried to find yourself and try to find someone else that can relate to you. While girlfriends and boyfriends got in the way, those friends were always seemingly still there for you when the “love of your life” broke up with you. In the end, becoming an adult was serious business and your friendships during this stage often got left behind as maturities differ and personal goals contrast.
Remember your fun friends? Work or school were your biggest source of these friends. You were on top of the world as you have money now and can do different and more adventurous stuff together. These friends share more mature things in common and each of you begins to appreciate a little more of the time spent together as life has taught some lessons of time management along the way. Spouses and partners are mixed into this phase and everything seems to be floating along without any flaws, this will last forever; right? In the end, careers get more serious, lifestyle differences get in the way and eventually someone has a baby or gets married.
Remember your parenting friends? This is where you become more appreciative of any friends you managed to have kept along the way from the previous phases of your life. If you are not a parent, this is the phase of your life where you hope you can simply hold onto friends who have kids. Time management is key and anytime spent with friends has to be somewhat planned and certainly not spontaneous. Appreciation for whatever friends left hanging on to your hectic lifestyle is in full supply. Desperate for a break, parenting friends try their hardest to cram friend time in whenever they can -if they can stay awake long enough. But in the end, like a plant in need of water; friendships need quality time in order to flourish. Some friendships during this phase of life get set aside and sadly die off as parenting can be a very time-consuming effort.
This is as far as I can go. I am not in the next phase of my life yet so I have no idea how friendships will work in my future. If this current phase of my life has taught me anything it is that I appreciate the friends that I have now much more than I did in my previous phases. I appreciate any time that I get with them and I try my best to be a good friend in return. I know that my current phase of life will not last and many of the people I call friends right now won’t be there in the next phase, but I can’t be sad or angry about that. It is inevitable. Life pulls us in so many directions that our needs and goals in life often change in an instant. So as I slip back through memory lane on Facebook, I remind myself that if we’re not for those friends from my past, I would not have learned to be the friend I am today and hope to be in the future.
Thank YOU for being a friend.