On Friendships New & Old

Last week I went on a weekend trip with some of my best college friends and, even though we hadn’t been together as a group (I had seen them all individually) for six years, we fell back into our usual routines and banter within minutes. Because most of us lived together for a few years in college, we have a comfort level that makes our relationship feel more like siblings or family.

The gals (and Eric, not pictured but love you!) above have been my bridesmaids, roommates, travel companions, shoulders to cry on, party pals, besties, and so much more for 20 years. Yes, 20. Yes, that makes me feel old 🙂

We laughed so hard for three days straight that my abs literally felt like they had a workout. But we also cried talking about difficult life situations, about the state of the world, about human rights. Since we’ve been talking politics for two decades, we know where everyone stands on everything and can have really healthy conversations. And on the other hand can see each other naked without thinking twice.

This time together made me think a lot about friendships in general and how they change over time and how the friendships you make as an adult are so different from those you made as a child or teen.

In the last 10 years, I’ve cultivated a some beautiful friendships with the people I see the most often in my life. Newer friendships are great in their own right because you meet people and can almost reinvent yourself in a way. They don’t know about the stupid things you did in high school or college. They (usually) don’t know your family and family history, and something about all that is really nice.

You’re able to be yourself now without the history. I also find that new/adult friendships are based on current interests and life situations. For example, many of my friends have kids the same ages as my children so we’re able to connect about being a mom to little ones. Or they live nearby so it makes hanging out easy breezy.

Another fun and great thing about the friendships you have with people who live nearby (whether old or new) is that they know your family, partner, pets, and kids if you have them. I can say something like “Amalia did xyz” and I don’t have to give a backstory because they know her.

But those old friendships. There is something about them. About the other side of having that history, about having gone through hard times together, about growing up together, that bonds you in a different way.

Another thing that has been on my mind is that just because a friendship spans many years (and/or decades), you don’t have to hold onto it. History doesn’t always equal healthy and learning that lesson has been really big for me.

And that’s all from me on the topic of friendship today. Just some food for thought and a bit of a ramble about what’s been on my mind.

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