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Friendship, My Forever-Favorite Shoes

 

As an adult, I have learned some lessons the hard way. One of those lessons is that some friendships run their course. A friend may be in your life for a long time, or a little time – you serve a purpose to them, and they serve a purpose to you. Then, at some point, the friendship just…expires. Or does it?

At some points in my life, I would take this supposed-“expiration” pretty hard. I would personalize and think “how could they do that to me?”

I like to think I am never the one that “expires” the relationship. That I always try my best to be the greatest friend ever. But truthfully, I have probably done my share of expiring of friendships (though perhaps accidentally.) The reality is that adulthood is busy (and complex) and it is often hard to keep in touch, even if we may want to.

All in this week, I serendipitously reconnected with three old friends, who were all from different “eras” in my life. One was a friend from 1st grade (see photo above — that is really her!), and although she and I live in the same city, we are both busy and have not kept in touch. The second old friend I reconnected with was my best friend from high school, who moved many cities (and now states) away, and we have also not spent time trying to connect. A three-hour phone call later and we are high school girls again, laughing at old jokes and waxing nostalgic about midnight 7-11 runs (slushies!), and blasting 80’s music in her ’90 Ford Tempo. The third friend was a girlfriend from my early twenties — during our era we drank too much, dated the wrong guys, and really thought we were “adults.” Now, we laugh because we realize how much we had to learn….

When I reconnected with each one of these friends, I realized how easy it felt. How it felt like no time had passed at all. How we settled comfortably into our conversation like an old pair of my favorite dancing shoes! It felt so natural and fun to prance around for a few hours in those great shoes!

So maybe instead of thinking about friendships “expiring” (though I think there are some that do expire – those are usually the toxic ones, like spoiled milk) it is better to think of friendships like fabulous dancing shoes. You may not wear them for a while, but they are always with you in your closet, and when the time is right, and the outfit is right, and the mood is right, you dance your heart out like no time has passed. You spin around and around, and the pain that the shoes may have caused you at some point (darn blisters!) have long since healed, and all you feel is joy and gratitude to have such wonderful shoes!

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8 Responses to “Friendship, My Forever-Favorite Shoes”

Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments

  1. Luke says:

    I’m not sure I’m fully on board with the dancing shoes analogy – I try to keep my fabulou meter just below the “owning dance shoes” point of-no-return for my own sake. However, I totally agree with the sentiment.

    The world is a nicer place if you realize there doesn’t have to be any inherent finality to every relationship. Some of my best memories are from spending times with friends I no longer have the opportunity to connect with.

  2. Jess @ OSOP says:

    What a fantastic idea for a blog!! I just entered REAL adulthood (aka getting a big girl job and getting married) a few years ago and it has been SO MUCH MORE of an adjustment that I thought it would be! Thanks for sharing!

    -Jess

  3. Allen says:

    Great post Mara! It’s all so true. I have a close friend that lives in Arizona. We were inseparable in high school and he went away to school after we graduated. He doesn’t get back to California often and we don’t talk very much. BUT what is great is how easy it is to just get going once we get together again. It’s like getting your arm back or something (the dancing shoes doesn’t resonate with me… not a dancer). But when we get together, it’s like we have everything that has happened to us individually to build on, but still have our relationship that helps bring it all together. We see each other maybe once a year and we don’t try to pretend no time has passed, we almost embrace it and use it keep the good times going.

  4. Kristy says:

    Yes, I agree! Very cute post. Thanks so much for visiting me on my SITS day!

  5. jamie@kreyv says:

    I love this post—so true! I find that the best friends are the ones that you can live thousands of miles away from and rarely talk to, but when you do get a chance, you pick up right where you left off. These friends, too, realize that you are both busy, but that you both still care.

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love this! I am going to share it with a few of my dear friends that I have lost touch with . . .:)

  7. Marie Cole says:

    This definitely rings true with me. I have had my BFF’s through different stages of my life and they are more than friends, they are sisters, though we don’t talk much anymore they are apart of me.

  8. I recently returned to my homeland Holland. For the first time in nearly five years I reconnected with old friends. Living on the other side of the world and leading a busy life has contributed to our friendships dwindling a bit. But when we got together last week, it was as if no time had passed at all. It was awesome!

    Happy SITS Day! Enjoy the comment love today.
    Hanneke

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