This is a post about friendship. It’s a post about burned bridges and crashed cars and the people that show up when you need someone the most. It’s a post about new friends and old friends and losing friends, and changing friendships from lovers to friends and from friends to lovers. For once, it’s not all about me, but I can say I’ve experienced all of it, ever last mutations of what a friendship could be, I’ve been there. Relationships in your twenties are hard but friendships in your twenties are like an never ending war. You go into it with so many and you come out with only a few and along the way things change.
The easy explanation is, you grow up. Some get married, some have babies, some move and get grown-up jobs with salaries and health insurance and without even trying your friendship dissolves into nothing more than a Facebook “Happy Birthday” and the occasional Instagram like. It’s not personal, it’s life, and while you have every intention of speaking to that person again it all too quickly turns into just some face on your news feed that you barely even recognize. With our generation we easily claim that “we’re still in touch” but we’re not “in touch” we just become silent observationalist.
The hard explanation is something happened. A falling out of roommates over a miscommunication can burn a bridge faster than a match on paper, making it easy to forget how close of friends you were before living in close proximity to one another. One day you’re working together and the next day your exchanging tense text messages and sending that person straight to voicemail. I’ve seen years of built trust destroyed in weeks over simple and not so simple things. That person, the one who helped you wipe away tears, who helped you pick out the perfect pledge outfit, who smoked and drank with you until you were both so stupidly drunk you spilled every last secret … that person can be out of your life as quick as a simple “unfriend” button and you won’t even mourn them. How does that happen?
And then there’s the whole dynamic between having friends of the opposite sex. That best friend that’s been with you for years who knows you better than anyone else, how can you turn that from friendship into relationship without killing the friendship? I mean what if that person doesn’t love you back? How can you have a true friendship with someone who has more feelings for you, than you do them? It’s a fine line and maybe the number one reason people don’t have tons of friends of the opposite sex. But it can be done. I love having my guy friends
who can fix my car help me when I have guy problems and also just want to drink lots of beer and watch football. On the flip side how can you go from having a relationship with someone to just a friendship? If your relationship was built on friendship anyway it shouldn’t be too difficult, right?
You get to a certain age and you realize, you’ve made most of the friends you will you will ever have in your life already. Sure, you’ll have happy hour with co-workers, when you get married you’ll have “married friends” and when you have kids you’ll have other “mommy/daddy friends” but the people who know you better than you even know yourself, they’ve pretty much already come into you life. That’s why they’re important. That’s why ever person you feel connected with you should hold on to and try to get to know because, when you enter your twenties it feels like you’re the most popular person in the world & everyone loves you but how many of those people are at the table at your 30th birthday?!
Real friends, the ones that are sitting there there at you 30th birthday, you wedding, your baby shower, the ones who post that gorgeous picture of you in Cabo instead of just “liking” it, those friends are a 24/7 job to keep. They’re the ones who hold your hand after you total your car and tell you everything is going to be ok. They laugh at your stupidity and keep you humble. They remind you when you’re in the wrong and when you’ve managed to do things right. There bullshit is your bullshit, and vis versa. Sometimes, yes, they get caught up in your web of lies and uninspired shenanigans but damn if they’re not having a blast while doing it. Keep those people close to you, don’t burn bridges when you have so many already being blown up for you. For everyone that reads this post take a minute and tell your best friend that you love them, go back and try to have a conversation with that one person you got into with over nothing, be a better friend period.
One night, I was riding with a friend of mine from work and he was playing The Beatles. He played me one of his favorite songs by them and then asked me what was mine and for so many reasons this is it. It’s a love song but I think it’s fitting for this post.