When I was younger, I had this fantasy of having that one friend from childhood becoming my best friend for life. Movies and TV shows have greatly impacted this fantasy. They sold the dream of having best friends, of having a core group you return to when all of your other friends have gone back to theirs. However, I learned quickly as I grew up that this isn’t a common thing. Having a best friend for life isn’t sustainable. Why? Because people change.
Who I was in elementary school, high school, and college were three totally different people. Hell, I’m different today than I was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve changed over the years, my interests have evolved, and life has happened. I think we all have this fantasy of having a core group but only get disappointed when we fail to form one.
[ALSO READ: I Grew Up Without a Best Friend, and It’s Okay]
This year was the most social I’ve been in my whole life. I got an internship at this really cool place, eventually got a new job, started a film blog with a bunch of film-loving strangers (turned friends now, obviously), and overall just absorbed a lot of positive human energy. What I realized is that I’ve formed friend groups in all of these aspects of my life and I appreciate every single person I’ve come across. My friendships are all well balanced now because I’ve discovered that I don’t need to latch onto just one group to feel like I’m a part of something. They’re all my friends, in different forms and different ways, existing all at once in different aspects of my life. Real and mature friendships aren’t about cliques or which table you sit at during lunch.
When people in TV shows or movies accuse others of ‘changing’, I used to agree that change was the culprit in shifting relationships—platonic or otherwise. However, as I grew and matured, I realized that there’s nothing wrong with change. In fact, if a person doesn’t change at all, there must be something wrong with them. Change is important for growth and development, especially in adulthood. We can cling onto past childhood innocence but we must also accept that nothing is permanent. Change is a good thing.
As much as we would like to bring back the strength of our relationships from our past, we are different people now. They’ve moved on and it’s okay if you do, too. Mourning lost friendships is a normal thing. I did it a couple of months ago and went through all of those lost Facebook posts where my friends and I would plan some sort of outing or big events in our lives. The outings never happened and neither did the dream of co-owning a business. I don’t talk to them anymore and I doubt they’d like to talk to me; that’s perfectly fine.
You can mourn your friendships and reminisce on the times when things seemed a lot more simple, but you must also embrace the changes you’ve gone through to better yourself. Besides, when you’re a well-rounded person surrounded by other well-rounded people, the friendships you form become much more sustainable. People often put a premium on childhood friends but it’s the friends you make in adulthood—or at least when you can confidently define yourself—that really last beyond the lifespan of a lunch break.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us!