Growing up . . .
I played with Kristen from the moment my mother allowed me to sprint out our front screen door until the time I dragged my sweaty, sandy self home. Kristen and I filled our days gathering flowers and holding parades — in which we were the only people in attendance.
When I was twelve . . .
Sarah and I walked her block and talked of boys. We spent hours circling her neighborhood aching for that illusive thing called freedom. We weren’t sure what freedom was, but we were certain it included heavy, blue eye shadow.
In high school . . .
Amy and I drove around in my beat-up Chevy Cavalier and listened to Matthew Sweet. Gas was cheap and time was abundant. In-between songs, we talked of life after high school and tennis and sex and the beach.
In college . . .
Susan and I grabbed a gaggle of girls, individually curled each strand of our hair, proceeded to coat our curls with White Rain hairspray, and then started our nights at 10:00 pm — all while dancing to “Jive Talking.”
In marriage . . .
My husband and I discovered we shared a wall with another newlywed couple, and our relationship with them was very Friends-like (Think of it as if Rachel and Joey got married, and they lived next door to Chandler and Monica). We saw each other before work and after work, and we always, always discussed our outfits for the upcoming day.
But time passed.
I could no longer stick my head out my door and yell, “Who wants to go out?” I didn’t have time to drive around aimlessly belting out lyrics to my favorite songs. I didn’t have the energy to curl each strand of hair, and sadly, my new set of neighbors didn’t care what I wore to work.
My friendships required work. Friends had babies and families and lived in different time zones. Friendships became hard, and recently, I found myself complaining to my mentor.
“I know I have friends, but I don’t feel as if I have friends.” I sighed.
“Don’t expect your friendships to look the same as they did in your early twenties and thirties,” my mentor shared. “As you get older, your friendships change. They look different, but your friends are still there.”
Oh, yeah. I knew that. Of course my friendships would look different. Wait, did I know that?
No, a text message isn’t the same as face-to-face time together, and no, a bouquet of tulips for my birthday isn’t the same as a dinner out together. An annual girls’ trip doesn’t take the place of monthly book club meetings. Handwritten cards in the mail aren’t the same as middle-of-the-night talks, but these girls, the ones I have loved through life, are the same girls I love now. They are my friends.
How have your friendships evolved and changed with age? How do you work to maintain your friendships?
Related: Celebrate the friends God has brought into each season of your life with these four lovely dessert plates: Braver, Beautiful, Stronger, Loved