I logged into my personal blog this afternoon for the first time in MONTHS.
Writing comes in seasons for me. What that really means is…sometimes I don’t make time for it, and other times I do.
I opened up a draft of a blog I had written, but never published.
I wrote it 2 days before we sold our first house. I honestly don’t remember writing it at all. Also – I don’t remember having any time during the last week of closing and moving – so the fact that I even knew where my laptop charger was at the time is a miracle.
This was how the never published blog started :
“When thinking about life and big moments, I always have thought about them in my head before they happened. You know what I mean? When something exciting happens, who you are going to call first. When you get bad news, who is the person you want to talk to?
And the weirdest part of life is when during one of those moments – you realize the people you would have once called, are no longer the same people who you would call today.”
I have written countless drafts of blogs all circling around the same theme.
The change of friendships as an adult.
Why does it feel so awkward to talk about?
I posted a “Poll” on Instagram and asked the following question.
“Would You Say Friendships as an Adult are Easier or Harder?”
97% of people who responded chose “Harder.” There were over 100 people who answered.
Reading that felt like a sigh of relief.
Maybe it’s because in my head, everyone else has never had a hard friendship. Everyone else must just walk around with friendship bracelets and enough time each week to spend afternoons catching up over coffee with all of their besties.
Man – I am not there.
I think I’ve held off posting this blog because I wanted to be able to tie it together with a ribbon and have a conclusion at the end. Maybe even a solution.
But, the more I’ve opened up to people in my life & asked them about their experience with friendships, the more I realize that it’s a tricky topic. It’s something that I will continue to work on, learn, and figure out as time goes on. It’s not ever going to be something that I’ve mastered.
And I’m not sure that I ever want to have mastered it.
The reasons friendships are challenging, is because we are ALL different. In the ways we communicate, relate, live, budget, parent, vacation, believe, grow, transition. We all do things differently. Friendship, like marriage – takes two people with different lives and they choose to do life together. Some of my closest friends have completely different personalities than me. Others have different careers. Others are in different seasons of life. And others are substantially older than me. None of my friendships are sustained because we act, think, and live the exact same way.
They are sustained by choice, not by chance.
I try to be intentional. But even on my best weeks when I try and get everything done, I still don’t have enough time to spend face-to-face time with each of my friends. Sometimes weeks go by without text messages or phone calls. Sometimes months go by without seeing each other.
With the rise of social media – there is a part of me that thinks it must be easier than ever to keep up with what my friends are doing. Right? Especially the ones that don’t live near me or who I don’t get to see very often.
While this is partly true – I DO get glimpses into people’s lives on social media that I might not otherwise see. It is not entirely true. Friendships can form and grow online – I have friends now who I met online through my business.
But, the only way that social media will benefit my relationships is if I am creating connection OFFLINE.
There is something missing when everything is typed and can be edited before pressing “post”. When perfect images are chosen from our phones photo albums – we are only seeing slices of real life.
There is something that happens face-to-face. Or even, on a phone call.
Real, honest, words & connection.
It’s like the difference between watching a movie trailer and then going to see the whole movie.
Yes, the trailer gives you an idea. But you can’t know all the dynamics unless you sit for a while and watch it unfold.
Our time is valuable, I know that. Which is why I firmly believe that time & attention are two of the best gifts you can give people in your life. I know it’s not easy to schedule a girls night, or a coffee date, or even a night with a friend. But it is a gift you give to your friend & a gift you give to yourself.
Time with your friends will fill you up and refresh you a million times faster than a night at home scrolling through your phone.
Let me be vulnerable with you and tell you that I am still trying to figure out how to be a good friend as an adult. Things have changed since I graduated high school and even more now with 2 jobs, a husband, a household, and family in different states. As I’ve gotten older there have been more things added to my plate – and with the same number of hours in a day, I am having to learn how to balance, prioritize, and be intentional in all of my relationships.
Kyle challenged me this week to get some coffee dates & girls nights on my calendar. To text my friends, ask them, and actually SCHEDULE them. It seemed like something that I would already know. But the best way for me to spend time with people is to BLOCK TIME OUT to do it. So – I’m gonna do it. Get some face-to-face time planned and do life together UNFILTERED.
Maybe that would be a good idea for all of us. And I’m sure that once we start spending time together, unfiltered, we’ll realize that friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts – even if over the years the dynamics have changed.