So. For the past few years, I have found that the friendships in my world have gone through lots of changes. I wrote down a blog idea a few months ago and then left it for later in my journal. Then, season 4 of Insecure came around and got me to thinking about adult friendships again. If you follow the show, you know that the lead character and her bff have begun having a very strained relationship, due to both of them having major changes in their lives, and it is causing the fans to pick a side. Now, initially, I was all "Ugh, Molly sucks!"...which, I'm still kinda on that train. But, it made me think back to the thoughts I had about my own adult friendships. You see, when I was young(er), I thought I would have the same friends forever. I mean, that's what happens in the movies, right? Everyone grows up and still hangs out like old times. But, the older I got, the more I changed, and the more life changed, the more I realized how untrue that is. It is just like believing in Prince Charming and that fairy tale ending....it's just not that simple because, well, LIFE!
Reality is that we need adult friendships because we need that connection. But, we also have to remember that not every friendship will serve the same purpose. I have friends who I party with and friends who I cry with and friends who I get philosophical with. And they all serve me in a different way. The thing about friendships for me that has been a challenge is that I don't deal well with change. But, just like with any other relationship, I have to be willing to face that discomfort and work through it to sustain that connection. I don't like it when my role in someone's world begins to change. It's uncomfortable and uncertain and I just don't like it. So, my tendency, with friendships, is to just leave it....walk away because who has time to chase another adult, right? Wrong! I may not need to chase anyone, but did I give it my best effort? Does my friend know that I am in a place of offense by something they did or didn't do? Does my friend know that I feel rejected and am pulling away or do they think I am just busy being super mom and Mrs. Career and decided to give me my space? We don't just up and throw our intimate partner relationships away, so why are we so quick to not fight for our friendships?
I have come to realize that those feelings of rejection often times have nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with me. I have never dealt well with rejection and changes in my relationships stir up those feelings. In the most recent episode of Insecure, after several moments of choosing not to communicate or avoiding the topic, things finally exploded. I must say, I was hurt for them, but isn't that what we do. We avoid the hard, painful conversations. We as adults do not know how to sit down with our friends and say we need to talk. We do it all the time with our partners, but with our friends, we feel like we are doing too much or like it's just too much drama. So instead, we fight about it or flat out walk away with little to no real closure. But, sheesh, how much "drama" do we put on the table in other relationships to save them? I have realized that I am not so rich to throw away a friend. Now, don't get me wrong, I do believe there is a reason and a season for everything. Sometimes, relationships do run their course. I have had friendships that simply stopped serving me and, although I wish them well, I do not feel the need to reach out on any platform to continue a connection. I know that it is okay to just let go if it does not serve me anymore. But, then there are those friendships that I look back on and wonder if I would have just stepped outside of it and really looked at it or sat down calmly and had that conversation, would things have been different. Those are the ones where I think communication could have saved us.
As adults, life gets crazy. We take different paths and make different choices. So, naturally, we end up in a space where we have to be mature enough to accept that we are not top priority anymore...and that is okay. Just because we don't talk everyday or have new friends that we do things with does not mean we aren't friends anymore. Also, we have to be okay with making new friendships. I think that saying "no new friends" really messed us up!! If I have taken a different road in life, I want people by my side who are also focused on that same or similar path. I think that is vital for us to ensure we have sufficient support on that new journey. When we do start making those new friendships, it gets easy to get laxed about the old ones. I've learned that we have to make time to invest in them all. Have you ever gotten offended that you hadn't heard from your friend in a while, but you see that they are hanging out with their new friends? Yeah...me too. LOL. How dare they have time for someone else but can't even pick up the phone to check on me! Then, I remember...the phone works two ways. When is the last time I reached out? How many times have they seen me make time for my new friends, but haven't reached out to hang with them in forever? Aha! LOL!
Relationships are hard! Period. Family, friends, coworkers, kids, partners....they are all hard. But, it seems like on that list of relationships, friends are the ones we throw away the quickest. I have challenged myself to do better. When I feel like my friend(s) aren't being good friends to me, I have decided to make my best effort to be the friend to them that I want them to be to me. After all, you reap what you sow. And most of all, I have decided that it is time for me to stop shying away from those conversations that might be painful. At this stage, if we can't have an open conversation, then there are deeper issues than what we are facing. So, maybe we shouldn't be so quick to say "Bye, Molly". Maybe we should say to Molly "Girl, we need to talk" instead and then actually talk.
Light and Love.....