Growing up, did your parents ever tell you that when you’re older you’ll be blessed if you have a handful of people you can call your friends?
I did. On a chilly fall day changing the oil of our car in the garage my dad told me that as you go through life friends will come and go and you’ll be lucky if you have two or three real friends. At the time I remember thinking, no, not me. I’m going to remain close with all of my friends forever. What a silly and hopeful boy I was.
For most people, friends meet and get close during certain periods of their lives because they’re sharing common experiences together. During my most troublesome years, my closest friends were people who were doing the same unlawful activities as I. When I began participating in football, wrestling, and competitive speech my closest friends were in those groups as well. Fast forwarding into my adult life my closest friends are those who participate in powerlifting, weightlifting, or those I’ve meet within that realm.
Most of us have heard the old proverb, “Birds of the same feather flock together”. People who are similar to each other or share similar interests tend to spend time with each other.
But a part of life is evolving as a person. Whether that means discovering new hobbies, a new career, or from a fundamental standpoint, no longer seeing eye to eye with a person on important values. As adults we have the luxury to choose who we want to be friends with.
People grow, and as that happens, friendships are the relationships most likely to take a hit in adulthood. We’re stuck with our family, and we’ll prioritize our significant other. But long gone are the days you could run over to Brandon’s house at a moment’s notice and see if he could come out to play, now you have to ask Brandon if he has a couple hours to get a drink in two weeks.
Certainly the growing responsibilities in each of our lives plays a large role in friendship and it’s because of which I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to see your friends everyday, every week, or even talk to each other everyday. Even if you’re blessed enough to do so because of work, the gym, or another daily activity.
In this day in age where social media platforms make it easy to feel as though we’re connected to everyone we know, it doesn’t make all of us real friends. Obvious to some, not so apparent to others. All of those years ago my dad was just trying to tell me that you’re going to have a lot of friends, but at any point throughout your life it’s essential to know the difference between friendly acquaintances and real friends. Yes, my dad is excellent at keeping it real.
So what does that mean for the significance of our evolving friendships? Simply put, people are busy, and it’s important for us to understand the lives our friends live. The frequency of communication doesn’t always dictate the value of a friendship. But friendships do need nurturing. As busy as everyone is it’s important to put forth the time and energy towards feeding friendships so they can further develop and grow. Because long gone are the days of simply riding your bike to a friends house hoping they can come out and play.
I hope this post help shed a little light on how friendships evolve and that you all have people in your lives you can call true friends