When I was in secondary school my form tutor told me that I won’t be friends with my friends forever that once we graduated and finished we wouldn’t see each other anymore. I was so disappointed by her pessimism. Like, why are speaking that over my life? But as I’ve grown older I’ve realised… she was right.
It’s funny looking back on it because young Gift really didn’t know.
So I won’t be dissing anyone or anything through this series of early 20’s life lessons I just want to share what I have learnt so that hopefully it can help someone.
So it’s not that my friends sucked it’s more like when you see someone everyday it is very easy to maintain a friendship. You kind of take it for granted and just assume, oh yes this friendship will be forever. But when you finish school you don’t have that constant anymore and you have to put in the effort to see each other. But if you never put in the effort before it’s like, where do I start?
So the friends who stuck were friends who put in the effort even before secondary school finished. So I love the movies and I would save my pocket money so that I could go and I’d invite my whole friendship group and only two girls would show up out of the six or something.
Those two girls became my ride or die and they weren’t even my original best friends. They were consistent and genuine and I had and will always have the best time hanging out with them. Because of those memories I will treasure them forever.
At this present moment I don’t talk to one anymore (because life and I’ll get onto that in a minute) and the other I’m in contact with but not regularly. But I have such a love and appreciation for them that if they ever called me I would go. Or if I got married they would be at my wedding and a bridesmaid ‘cause I know they’re the real ones.
So when it comes to young friendships actions speak louder than words. I had friends who would say such nice things and I’d feel the love in my soul like yass but when it came down to it, when I really needed them they weren’t there. Whereas the ones who I mentioned above were very quiet but they always showed up and always were willing to be there.
Those friends whose actions match their words, those are the ones who will (last according to my experience).
As you get older you chose the path you want to go on and the path you chose determines the kind of adult you will become.
Those two friends I mentioned now have different lives from me and are travelling and busy. So we don’t hang out as much as we did before. It’s not because I hate them or anything like that but just because they are adulting.
I am also broke at the moment and as you get older you need money to hang out with some people. I’ve noticed that when I suggest a money free option or invite them to my house some friends (different ones from above) kind of get turned off and I hear from them less and less. So sometimes the issue in life is money and money can come between friendships.
Personally I think this is a good thing. If someone can’t hang out with me when I have no money then I don’t want to hang out with them when I have money. Most of the best experiences in life are free.
And of course people get families. With some friends I’ve noticed as they get hitched or start dating or get really into being an adult you see less of them. You become less of a priority to them and honestly that’s fine with me. I wish we’d acknowledge this is what is happening though.
And the last point is some people are only in your life for a season. They are only meant to be there to teach you something or give you good memories. I had some good friends growing up and I have great memories from hanging out with them and I will treasure those memories. It’s fine to treasure the memories whilst letting go.
This brings me onto my last point,
It is ok to let go of people. You don’t have to dislike someone to let them go. I mean sometimes friendships end bitterly or friendships are toxic and please let those ones go ASAP!
But there are friendships that were beautiful and enriched your soul but now are no more. I’ve found myself holding on desperately to old friendships because I remembered the past and how beautiful it was and just did not want to let it go. But letting go is a good thing and it sets you free.
If you keep holding on it stops you from growing and meeting more awesome people who you’ll make better memories with. Plus sometimes people know you’re holding on desperately and take advantage because they think, “Oh hey, [insert name here] is always there. I can do what I want”.
If you let go you’re setting yourself free.
It’s not easy and it takes practise but it can be done. And if someone like me who gets overly attached can do it then you can too!
And you don’t need to be dramatic about it. If I feel the need I’ll let the person know because I’m too honest but I only do that once. After that I just float away. It’s not ghosting because if they ask a question I will answer but I don’t actively seek them out.
I like the whole idea of loving from afar. If a friendship has reached the end point sometimes it’s ok to love from afar and if you’re a praying person you can pray for them without being involved in their lives.
So yeah, that is what I’ve learnt so far in my early twenties. In this series I will talk about love, mental health, education/career and language.
And then years from now I can come back and read these posts to see if my mind has changed to reminisce about where I was. I may also do another series when I turn thirty God willing.
I hope you enjoy it!