I sat at the kitchen counter across from my friend Jamie last week.
Jamie and I have been friends since we were three. We met in Mommy and Me. When we were 7, we packed our stuff up in backpacks and ran away from home together.
We made it approximately 150 feet away from my house before we stopped and sat underneath a tree. Now there wasn’t Google maps back then and there wasn’t Uber and Lyft but there were so many reasons to give up on that plan. We were hungry, we were tired, we realized that we couldn’t really run away from third grade because we didn’t even know our Times Tables yet and we feared that math was something we’d need to know in our great big futures.
Now, as we are living in our great big futures, sitting on bar stools at her house, our friendship is no longer fueled on this desire to run away, or to play Barbies, or to have long chats about why the heck we need to know what 9×9 is. Our friendship is about spending Sunday mornings talking about the things we experience now that we’re 30. Our friendship has evolved, it has changed, but it hasn’t ended.
Which makes me think that perhaps the friendships that have ended were friendships that could have evolved if one, maybe even both of the people wanted it to.
Recently I’ve been convincing myself that I’m the main character in this self-created story that I’m a big old loser with no friends. I have a couple of friends but it’s easier in this negative self-talk of mine to just say I don’t have any. In the past year, I’ve had about four people tell me that they just didn’t want to be my pal anymore which has triggered many episodes of me running around in circles trying to figure out what I did and how I’ve become such a bad friend to those around me.
Only to realize, as I am sitting across from Jamie, that’s it not just me. It’s not all about me.
It’s about both people and feeling like you belong in a friendship, which isn’t something you can always control.
PS. This week, I have the founder of Daybreaker and Thinx on the podcast talking about how to feel like you belong, how to make friends when you feel like you’ve lost a bunch of them and you feel down about yourself, and how to become the kind of amazing friend that will help you make those solid friendships. You can listen to her advice right here.