Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend – Sarah Dessen.
I have talked about friendships before on the blog. It is a topic especially close to my heart, even more so now that I don’t see as much of my friends as I would like to. This particular blog post has been born from a little bit of heart break, the kind that has you crying uncontrollably through a mix of heightened emotions, a sense of loss and the overwhelming realisation that your friends make an awfully huge impact on your life. The fact that they were always at most twenty minutes away made me feel safe and secure and even though I could go for months without seeing them (life, as always, got in the way), there was that blanket of warmth in the knowledge that they were always there. They still are of course, but now it is a little different with roughly one hundred and thirty five miles between us. I miss the little conversations of a morning about the crudest and strangest of things; I miss the weekly prosecco nights where the world was put to rights; the pumps of inspiration and the real talk of what the hell are we gonna do?Simply, I miss my friends.
Moving away from home and my closest friends and family that I have turned to for so long is harder than I thought it would be. I was so excited for the move, for this new time in my life that I could try and mould into exactly how I want it to be. Turns out it isn’t as simple as that. The past three months have been excruciating in some moments and pure bliss in others. It is a reckless rollercoaster that I can’t get off, not that I particularly want to. It would be nice to have a little bit of suspension in the air, just to take a breather from the reality of life.
Making friends in your twenties is much harder than the films make it out to be. First of all, we work constantly and when we aren’t working, we’re trying to hustle the side business or the hobbies, not to mention spend time with partners and families and keeping the house in a kind of tidy state. How we spend our time is this generation’s fault: we’re constantly trying to look busy and in doing so, we forget to have an actual life. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as though I’ve become a hermit and don’t have any friends at all, just that I don’t see them as much as I would like to in the social capacity. I have friends in work who I have a laugh with in between getting work done, one in particular who I turn to in a crisis; I have my pig who I love to pieces, and I am beginning to make new friendships, but sometimes I feel like I’m back in Year 7, too scared and embarrassed of making that first move in case of rejection which is ridiculous really considering I am 27 and we are all adults here. I guess I got comfortable and that is the thing with making friends when you’re older: you know what you like, you’re comfortable in life and, quite frankly, you get complacent. Or, maybe that’s just me.
In my early twenties, making friends was so much simpler. First of all, there was university. If you’re ever going to make friends for life anywhere, it’s that little bubble of three or four years where everything is a constant social activity. Even lectures and seminars are places where you catch up with the friends you haven’t managed to see outside of the classroom. I immersed myself into student life through the uni bar because I wasn’t ever going to be in a society – far too lazy for that, and I went out at least once or twice a week which, of course, makes you meet people, as well as suffer the hangovers after. Now when I get home, all I want to do is curl up in a ball, get under a blanket and eat food, preferably in the thrum of peace and quiet.
Travel is also how I made friends for life during my mid-twenties. Flying solo to the other side of the world forces you to take action and get involved, no matter how much of an introvert you are. I was lucky with my friends in Australia. I met my travel buddy on my second day in Sydney and we just decided to book the East Coast together where we met another friend of ours. We’ve kept in touch ever since and we finally got the chance to meet up after meeting four years ago. I caught up with three other travel buddies of mine late last year which was amazing too. Time passes so quickly now and these friendships are ones I truly cherish, the kind where everything is exactly as it left of when you last said goodbye.
I haven’t been as eloquent as I would have liked in this post; it is a difficult one to write because of contrasting factors. I want to express my true feelings, share the realness of the struggle to make friends later on in life, no matter how confident or how outgoing you may seem, and yet I feel vulnerable in doing so and like I’m ungrateful for those who I truly cherish. I have felt like this for a while, but the ironic thing is that this weekend has actually been one of the best, most friend-oriented, since I’ve lived down here. I went for a late-night walk and catch up with the closest friends I have in The Cotswolds, I danced the night away at a gig with new-found friends on a Saturday night and went for a gorgeous lunch and catch up with the same two best friends, one of which I’ve known for nearly a decade. I feel like I can’t complain about not making friends after a weekend filled with such great platonic love. Like I said earlier, it is a rollercoaster and one that I’ll be riding for a very long time yet!
How do you feel about making friends in your twenties? Do you find it difficult, or are you a social butterfly that finds it easy? What are your tips and tricks?
Love, Faye xo