By: Katie Verburg
Let’s keep it real: No one likes to get older. With that, no one likes to become busier, but it inevitably happens to us all. Reminiscing on college days when sleeping in meant waking up at 11 a.m., living with your best friends had its awesome benefits, and every weekend was filled with social outings with your closest companions. Fast forward just a few short years and now we’re living in a digital era where we catch up with those close to us via Instagram.
Sadly, the most common excuse for not checking up on an old friend is “lack of time.” We are all guilty of this. Both men and women are “so busy” with work deadlines, home commitments, spouses, and sadly, social media editing and posting.
Everyone experiences personal growth. It happens when we step outside of our comfort zones, when we try something new, challenge ourselves physically and mentally, or go through challenging obstacles. Many stay comfortable in their surroundings, but most people experience some type of personal growth before they hit their 30s. When we grow as individuals, so do our friendships, and sometimes these two don’t grow in the same direction anymore. The more we grow as individuals, the more our values, hobbies and beliefs change as well. Growth is an incredible thing in life, but the downfall? We actually may end up growing apart from those once closest to us.
If you’re someone who is struggling to hold onto friendships, here are some reminders to help move forward in life:
Friendship is a two-way road, and one person shouldn’t be putting in all the effort. After experiencing repeated failed attempts to get in contact with this person, try not to question whether it’s you; it’s not. Avoid blaming yourself if you know you did nothing wrong to push this person away. If someone wants to make time for you, they will.
Everyone struggles with accepting this and moving on with their own lives, regardless of the circumstances. Accept that as we continue to grow up and mature, we may not be on the same wavelength with someone we used to share everything with. The sooner that this can be accepted, the sooner you’ll be at peace.
Holding onto anger and negativity when it comes to friendships is something that is unhealthy. On on hand, you’re allowed to feel what you feel, but on the other hand, these negative feelings can affect us mentally if we dwell on them too much. It’s important to try your best to let it be and learn to let it go with time.
Knowing someone for years with whom you share a bond and memories is such a gift. People are brought into our lives for a reason and we learn to share connections, trust and loyalty over the years through these friendships and relationships. At the end of the day, this person has been there for you through what seems like every large milestone in your life. Thank them. Thank them for what you’ve learned through them – for the laughter and the memories – and then move on. If people aren’t giving you the time, energy or serving in a positive way, let them go. Learn to understand you can’t control other people, and that what is meant to be, will be.