Almost everyone I know has what they consider to be substantial friendships from significant points in their lives. You have friends from your childhood, high school years, and adulthood. As life shifts, the amount of time you put into a relationship shifts as well. Whether this is intentional or not, you start deciding who and what is worth your time, effort, and energy.
Looking back on my life, I’ve always been blessed with many friends. I never felt as though I was lacking in the friendship department. Whenever I had a craving for take-out or wanted to go on some spontaneous adventure, I had someone I could call. I felt blessed that when I called or texted, nine times out of 10 I got a response. I always tried to return the favor and run to people whenever they called, whether it was for a fun day/night out or a family emergency.
I didn’t start recognizing the flaws in my relationships until the end of my college career. Although I had friends I could run to, just as I would run to them whenever they called, I didn’t feel like any of my relationships were staying. We dropped everything and went out to dinner, went to doctor’s appointments together, and held each other while we cried. Although for a time those were pillars of my relationships, as I grew up, I also grew out of these relationships where all that was expected was for one of us to show up.
I am past the point in my life where spontaneous trips and dropping everything is feasible for me. I found myself needing something or someone different in my life. Although my friendships have shrunk considerably over the past few years, I find that I’m no longer surrounded by the “show up” people but I am instead surrounded by the “here to stay” people.
I encourage you to find yourself a friend who stays. Not just someone who drops everything when they’re called. Find and keep those who check-in randomly just to see how you’re doing, not because they need a partner in crime or a breakfast date. Find yourself a friend who says “I’m coming over” because you had a bad day, not because you had to call and tell them you needed them. Find yourself someone who celebrates your accomplishments, and celebrate theirs in return! Be there for each other through the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
And when you find them? (Because you will if you put in the effort.) Do not let go. Take it from someone who knows: they will change your life.