When I was growing up, the more friends you had, the cooler you were.
I remember the need to form that sense of closeness with everyone around me, but as I’ve grown up, I realized that a few good friends are all you need. It’s healthy to have a small close-knit circle. I feel like the older you get, the more you realize the worth of a single friendship.
I understand that not every conversation has to be worth something, and that small talk exists for a reason. And now that I’ve finally come to terms with this, it’s become easier. The friends I choose to call home are always going to be there.
1. You can’t be close to everyone
And that’s a good thing. It takes time to realize that closeness has to be earned. Trust has to hold value and if it’s being handed around aimlessly, it loses its value. Sometimes, you can only be your true weird self with a few people and that’s okay.
A larger group of friends sometimes ends up breaking into a few small groups. When I was in school, I had a group of around 30 friends. It was great. But after university, some people moved back, some didn’t. Today, we’re all still friends and when everyone comes home for break, it feels like school. But it isn’t the same. It never will be, because that sense of closeness faded. Friendships need nurturing and today, out of those 30, I’m close to around eight or nine of them and that’s alright.
There will only be a few people that you have solid memories with. Those are the people that stick with you and the ones that remember both the good and the bad. And those are essentially the people you’d want to keep around.
As you grow older, your time holds more meaning. Everyone works, everyone has commitments and so, the time you do have remaining, you want to spend with people that matter to you. People that make a dark day slightly better.
5. Facebook friends
If I look at the number of people I have on Facebook, it makes me feel uncomfortable. These are social media friendships; consisting of people you want to keep tabs on once in a while or people you forgot you even had on Facebook. Moreover, people that you would never even talk to in person, but they exist in your online world. They’re a part of the lives we present to the people around us, they are our filtered reality. We need more than just online friendships, a good conversation can never be substituted by an online conversation. Thus, social media isn’t helping our increase in friendships. For me, it’s helping me realize who the important people in my life really are.
Have you noticed how much harder it is to make friends after university? You care more about comfort, about closeness and about who will be there for you when your world begins spinning a little too fast.
Once you stop caring about what you said to who on a night out, things just become easier. It’s funny because since I can remember, I’ve always loved meeting new people. And it isn’t just that, I still do. I love that energy that sparks from a first-time interaction, and sometimes, it cannot be unmatched. But everything relies on time, and good friendships take time.
This. Always. Every day. At the end of the day, who do you want to call to bitch? Who do you want to tell about your inspiring day? Who do you want to narrate last night’s dream too? It’s usually just one or two people, right? And that makes all the difference. When work has worn you down after a long week and you just wanna drown your sorrows in a good rom-com and an overdose of brownies. It’s the people you do that with that matter.
Understanding that people are fickle is an essential part of growing up. Some people will come into our lives momentarily, they’ll sprinkle their glitter and make everything bright and shiny. They may stay, or they may even leave. The ones that leave make us understand why we cling so closely to the few good friends we do have.
So it doesn’t matter how many likes your uber filtered Instagram post got, or how many Facebook friends you’ve collected. What really matters is the people that feel like home. When you come together on a day when everything feels like it’s crashing, that moment, it is everything.