There are people in your life, which seem to join your path forever. Especially when you know them since early childhood. You experience the majority of your firsts together. The first party, sleepover, hangover, relationship, breakup… the list goes on.
Growing up, I realized how important a strong friendship is. I never took my friends for granted, but I took their „availability“ for granted. Most of my friends lived a couple of minutes away from my house and I also would see them everyday at school.
But the closer I got to the end of school, the more I realized, that it will not be like that forever. At that time, I thought, that all friends of mine would move to another city. Now, two years later, I was the one, who changed location. Also one of my closest friends since elemantary school did, but the others stayed.
Since Covid appeared in the year I moved away, I barely have contacts in my new town. I moved last Octobter. A month later, we found ourselves in lockdown until recently. It is still very strange to me, going out and being able to eat at restaurants again. However, I am not even slightly close to being connected to the new town and I often visit my hometown. Especially since everything is taught in online classes anyway. I had an introduction week, where I got to know one of the two friends , that I have in the new town and I’m beyond grateful for them.
When I moved, my fear of missing out rose through the roofs and I was always scared, that they would eventually forget about me and would lose interest in inviting me.
Ironically, the opposite happened. Since we were allowed to go out again, my friends always ask me, if I am nearby and even when I am not, we plan to meet on another day. Also I try to call them for „life updates“ which do not really happen, but wisdom about baking the perfect brownie is also worthy of sharing, isn’t it?
Of course, it also takes work to stay in contact and sometimes there are times, when we do not hear much from each other. It is also important, that there is effort on both sides. Like it should be the case in every healthy relationship. One alone cannot keep a friendship alive. I also learned more about the types of friends. There is a difference between those, who you can have a milkshake with and those, who attend your mental breakdowns. Effort should be put accordingly. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t appreciate the first type less, but I have different boundaries towards them. Which, I think, is very important to have. As I said earlier, both sides need to be active and it’s a cycle of taking and giving. Also I guess it’s important to be cautious, when somebody always takes but rarely gives, when you’re in need.
All in all, friendship can be very complex and there are all types of friendships and variations. You have to do something, to make it work and sometimes you have to step away, to overthink if this friendship is more draining than fulfilling. What I want you to know is, that you don’t have to stress about losing friends because of changing circumstances, like in my case, moving away. If the friendship is strong, it will still flourish and only those who don’t want to be kept, will be lost. Which is okay, too. Not all friendships last for a lifetime. Try to figure out, which friendships are worth fighting for and always remember to set boundaries.
Most importantly: the friendship, that is always worth fighting for, is the one with yourself, don’t neglect that one. If all fails, just have a milkshake by yourself.