There are many things in life which bring you joy. When I think of my friends, and all of the life-changing times we have had over the years, I instantly smile. I feel giggly when I think back to all the great times I have had, both in the past and in the present with my tribe. Sadly, in some cases, it was the last time for each of those events. As we grow older we change, and our priorities are different. We may not keep in touch as often; not because we do not want to but, because…LIFE happens.
I have friends in my life, to this day, that I have known since birth and throughout different stages of life. We make friends through school, work and maybe our children’s friendships – each has a unique role in our life.
It’s my opinion that you NEED your friends. I could not imagine going through life without them. I have friends from all walks of life, and I value the individual nature of those relationships.
I have some friends I only see once a year if that. However, it never feels like any time has passed. Yet, I try to foster each of those relationships because they have meaning to me in my life. I do not always do that with success. More recently with my own health and job issues, I have not been such a great friend. I have not always wanted to see people and talking on the phone is just something I have not felt like doing.
I feel I owe a huge apology to everyone who text’s or call’s I have not returned and even those who judged me for being a shitty friend. Although, I realized if you are a true friend you get it, you get that some days are just hard to ADULT and just want to be left alone.
Friendships take work! Some would disagree and say they should just flow. But, being in any relationship takes work. It is not always simple to balance work, family, and friendship.
Over the years, I have found certain relationships that were unhealthy for me and I had to let go. I was always the one reaching out and feeling like I had to make all the effort.
We have to be able to let go of relationships, which cause us more harm than good. I still actually mourn one of those friendships, because we had such a close bond and we did so much together. When I think back to those times it makes me sad to think we do not even speak anymore.
With the advent of social media, friendship has taken on a whole new meaning. I look at my tween daughter and have gauged some of this from her experiences. Everyone worries about FOMO (while writing this article I realized a lot of people I know did not even know what this was). So, just in case FOMO=Fear of Missing Out! We see people having fun, doing awesome things or going to a party. When we were growing up, we may hear about something on a Monday at school but it was not right there, smack dab, in your face. I think as adults we can struggle in friendships because there is so much comparison.
My old friends and I we don’t compare looks, money, education, etc. I think in meeting new people, especially when my kids entered school, it felt like you had to keep up with everyone, and that just is not who I am.
In May 2018, I lost one of my very best friends. He passed away at the age of 43. I remember getting the call that afternoon and thinking this cannot be true. We always think we have time. He and I had been thick as thieves. He was a true friend, one I could tell anything to without judgment and without an “I told you so.” Sadly, because of time and life circumstances, we did not always see each other. We maintained contact via text and phone. He had been having a difficult time and I talked to him a lot the last few weeks before he passed. I encourage you to pick up that phone or take a ride to see someone who has been on your mind but, for whatever reason you have lost touch.
Recipe For A Good Friendship
1 Level Head
1 Big Heart
1 Small Mouth
1 Good Ear
and a Pinch of POOR MEMORY AND NO PHOTOS
STIR IT ALL UP!
Deborah Levine-Powell is a psychotherapist in New York, where she works with teenage girls who are victims of abuse and trafficking. She is a wife and a mom to a tween and teenager. When she is not working, you can find her engaged in PTA activities, a leader at Girl Scouts, having fun with her friends and family, while serving up hot soulful dishes in the kitchen.