#22: Navigating friendships as an adult and more
I’m going to dive right in - Adult relationships are hard. My friends and I struggle for a noteworthy amount of time trying to come up with plans to meet - and when we do actually spend time together, I feel like it just isn’t enough! A couple of school friends and I met over the past few weekends and I felt transported back in time, to the good old days. I truly think that we take granted the time we spend together growing up in school. Quality time is my love language after all - I don’t take all those random online quizzes you do when you’re bored into consideration, but the above fact rings true. Just being around those close to my heart makes me feel like all is right in the world.
When we were kids, whether we liked it or not, we had to spend most of our day in school amongst our friends. Once you move out of school, the single entity that we were ceases to exist. Everyone ventures off in different tangents and staying in constant touch with the majority proves to be cumbersome. Even with the select few you do correspond with from time to time, it’s hard to constantly talk, and that’s by all means okay. I feel, with the friends you’ve known for quite a while, all you do is update the other on what you’ve been up to. I feel like with those types of relationships, experiencing new things together is significantly lowered. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re off doing your own thing - but once you think of or see or listen to something that reminds you of them, you snap back into place. I can’t tell you how heartwarming it is when a person sends something to you and says that it reminded them of you!
Of late, I’ve been constantly thinking about the many friendships that I’ve lost over time - breaking it down and analysing as to exactly how, when and why it happened. In school, our classes were shuffled each year, and over time I got to know most of the people in my batch to some extent and became close with a lot more of my peers - but this also led to the fizzling out of previous friendships. It’s a bittersweet moment when something triggers their remembrance and you end up thinking of all your moments together, and realize that you no longer speak to them. Friendship breakups are raw, and real. I stumbled upon this article about how to get through one. My parents enquired a few times as to why I don’t talk to a couple of my friends anymore and I honestly could not pinpoint or zero in on one particular reason. Friendships are highly complex and there are a plethora of nuances to take into consideration. Keeping in touch is a two way street needing equal effort from both parties.
You’d think growing up was a big enough challenge for friendships to weather, and then came Covid. Lockdown and quarantine changed the dynamics of every type of relationship there is. We were all collectively going through a traumatic time (I won’t go into the nitty gritty bits of it), and with Zoom fatigue rampant amongst other things, alone time was the need of the hour at one point. At one point I felt that there was nothing to talk about, because nothing new was happening in our lives - everything was at a standstill! On the flip side, I’m happy to say that I got back in touch with a few friends in school during this time.
All those tiny, specific details occupying space in your brain about someone who isn’t fully in your life anymore won’t continue to haunt you - you’ll learn to live with it and perhaps one day, feel happy looking back at all the fleeting memories you made with them.
Links you’ll love
The City of Women podcast - I absolutely loved listening to this on the way to college and back! It talks about all the little struggles women have to go through in order to have a great time in the city - with relatable, fun commentary and narration, I’d definitely recommend this one!
How to write a personal letter, according to a Hallmark Card Writer!
Making a life audit - Going to give this a shot sometime this week, I’ll let you know what came out of it in the next issue!
Benedict Cumberbatch reads the best cover letter ever written.
Have a great rest of the week!
Extending your theme, Adithi, and from the perspective of my three score and ten years, the older you get, the harder it is to find and make genuine friendships. Somewhere in the middle years, new people you meet stay as acquaintances, never moving into the zone of true friendship. The longest lasting are those you make in your early, formative years: teens and twenties. There is a certain freshness in the experience that fades with time -- and a lack of pretence and posing that creeps in as you get older. I am what I am; take it or leave it. In the current era of absurdly easy connectivity, "networking" is pushed as an important skill. "Influencers" have the status of movie stars. I hate the term and the activity. It has a manipulative undertone that can never be the basis of good friendship. One other thing that you can do: connect your friends to each other when you feel that such an introduction could be a good thing. Cheers.