This kind of ties into a few things in my mind.
A friend text me last night saying how we seem to have put all our bad behaviour behind us and found things we are good at, she ended the text with ‘Go us!’ that made me smile.
See, friends are kind of important.
But friendships are not always easy.
They’re not always easy because of a little thing called Friendshifts…..I think it’s more of a female phenomenon.
Men connect if they can drink beer together or talk about some form of sport.
Women tend to connect on nearly every level there is. We’re the talking sex right! So it stands to reason we share more and therefore the emotions run deeper.
Yet if a couple uproot for a man’s job – the man seems to slide into acquaintance roles with new people and the women pine for the friends they’ve left behind.
A couple have a baby. The man still goes out with his mates, he carries on with life, but a woman’s whole world is spun on its head. And friendships shift. Some would say suffer.
Some women just get sucked into the whole baby talk business, and if all you are doing is looking after your baby and looking at other babies you can kind of see why.
That’s why it’s so important to not lose yourself. Even if it’s a struggle to start with. That’s what partners and babysitters are for.
I’ve also found recently that going through any big life change really alters your friendships.
As you get older you sadly get more tired. You have more pulls on your finances and you just have more commitments. You generally start to feel more comfortable in your own skin too and don’t feel the need to be out of the house with others 24/7. You don’t always want to be in a club until 4am on a school night. You suddenly want to have a seat when you go out for a drink and dammit you want to actually hear the conversation not just sit like a nodding dog waiting for your turn to speak whilst your friends then take on the role of the nodding dog.
I don’t know how or when these things change. I denied they would ever happen to me but what do you know – they did.
As you all know about the time of this shift in my life I also had a long term illness.
Nothing like that to sort the wheat from the chaff in friendships either.
Some just ran for the hills not able to deal with their brick suddenly crumbling and needing them.
Some just slowly drifted to the outer edges of my vision and that’s just life – shit happens sometimes. Quite often it’s not intentional and nothing is meant by it. It also doesn’t mean you stop caring. But these things do happen.
I realised I had no time for negativity anymore. I had friends that made me feel so drained just being around them and I knew it had to stop. I’d rather sit indoors on my own watching sweet FA than the effort involved in trying to keep smiling when a little part of you is dying inside.
I’d go out – I’ve always loved dressing up – but honestly every girl would give you the eye – either checking you out in a bitchy fashion or being possessive over their boyfriends, either way I didn’t care I was no threat to them. I wasn’t interested in making them feel rotten or stealing their boyfriends.
It was about that time I noticed how many couples or friends fall out after a night of drinking. That was quite sad/funny to watch. I say funny as some of the things people shout at each other is pure comedy.
I also noticed how violent weekends out were starting to feel. It didn’t feel safe travelling home. I couldn’t face those 2 hour night buses with that horrible wait at the bus stop where I obviously have ‘Please if you are weird come and talk to me’ stamped across my forehead.
I also wanted more than hangovers to show for my wages.
I did such a clear out of friends. There are no hard feelings, no bad blood, if I see them I will smile and talk and share a drink and I wish them all well in life.
I am not little miss up for anything anymore.
I realised it was time I had to start respecting my body – I’d sure put it through the mill to the point of collapse. Now I had to show it a little love for all the years it had seen me through my ‘bad behaviour.’
I wanted to give back to this world and just feel peace and calm.
Believe me I still like to see people, I still want to socialise, I’d just much rather do that over dinner or round someone’s house with a nice bottle of wine.
I think they call it growing up but please whisper that one under your breath.
I’ve seen my social group shrink hugely – but also seen how every single one of those people left in that group would be there for me! How nice.
I’ve changed so much and I hope it’s in a good way – and I now feel ready to give back to this life. I know I said all this the other day but it’s such a weird place of transition. I’m excited about the future but there sure are times when I miss my past. I know I will forever be tempted to push my self destruct button and it’s all about being with people and in situations that will stop me from doing that.
Things had to change.
So why do I sit there counting friends? I am sure other people do that. But I know it’s about quality of friends not quantity.
I heard someone at work moaning about a couple of their friends and how they are really selfish and it’s not fun to be around them and I just thought ‘Well why bother then?’ And it’s all about being scared of not being out and about as much but honestly if that’s the quality of your time together – stay in and have a nice bubble bath, crank the radio up and sing along, it’ll be far more fun.
Facebook and things like it have made people count friends, but I am sorry no one has 600 friends. A magazine writer wrote an article about how she had a big cull on facebook and is pleased to see she has 190 close friends. Um no you don’t love – it’s impossible to have 190 close friends. There are not enough hours in the day to be a good friend to that many people.
For years and years its been said most of us can count our true friends on one hand. Those true friends are the ones you should be counting as close friends.
Why do we all pretend and fool each other when really we are just fooling ourselves?
Friendship is so important, and we need friendships of all different shapes and sizes, just don’t go wasting time and energy on the wrong people!