JC Chats: On Friendship + Why it’s so hard as you grow up

October 4, 2016

A photo by Andrew Branch. unsplash.com/photos/npCECWX6-d0I want to start putting some more personal posts up on the blog, about things I feel the need to witter on about. Recently, one of the things I’ve been thinking more and more about, is friendship and how it is SO damn hard. Not only when you’re young but even harder as you grow up.

I’ve always had periods of having no friends throughout my life, it kinda comes as a by product of moving countries. You tend to get to the new country and not know anyone, and all those friends you have made are about 10,000 miles away across the ocean. You then have to go through that period of trying to make the friends and then you know, keeping them. And well, when younger, it was definitely easier. You all get thrown together into a school and forced to spend time with each other and be nice.

But that doesn’t hold so much as you grow up. Suddenly it’s not school, it’s Uni, and everyone wants to go out and drink, and you don’t really like getting drunk and it makes you anxious and then your heart hurts a bit and you just go home and go to bed (summary of my first year of uni in one long sentence there). Then it’s work, and you get thrown into a workplace where you’re again forced to spend time with each other, but this time everyone has their own lives and priorities and families, and no, they do not have time to socialise with other team members outside of the office.

So how do you even make friends these days? It’s still something I’m trying to figure out.┬áThe joy of blogging and hobbies does mean that you meet people, but here, dilemma number 10, how do you then make the people you see at slightly irregular events, your real friends? That transition from someone you see at stuff, to then being someone you text and chat to? That, is something I have not yet mastered and something I’m trying to work more on. Actually putting yourself out there and asking people to hang out is hard, really hard. And although it makes you want to crawl back into my safe, warm flat, the social benefits are worth it (if you know, they actually want to hang out with you..).

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And so, not only is actually finding friends really hard. I seem to then come up against a load of further dilemmas once I possibly have friends. ‘Cause actually, to keep those friends, you really need to make the effort. Especially with all the travel I do, when I’m in London, if I want friends then I have to try and actually do stuff, put myself out there, and not do the whole go to bed and sleep thing. And I think I’ve been a bit useless with this until late, the pull of being tired and a little stress just makes me want to go home. Then you realise that it’s been at least a month until you’ve seen a friend, and do you really have any friends anymore?

Then, dear readers, comes the self doubt. Oh, you have some friends? Are you really sure? Did they become friends with me by accident? Has someone accidentally added me to a group chat and really all the members of the group don’t want you there?! All. of. the. doubt. And this has probably led me to all of this pondering. I’m never going to be one of those people who seems to have 10,000 friends, who is someone who naturally draws people in. But you know, I think I can be a good, loyal friend and it’s important to try and remember that.

So in conclusion:

  1. Friendship is hard, a lot of the time I feel a little friendless and I think (hope) that’s something that’s pretty normal as you grow up.
  2. Friendship takes effort, you aren’t gonna make and keep friends by sitting home alone watching copious amounts of Netflix (though you could invite friends round to do that!).
  3. I’m going to try harder to foster and grow the friendships I have, to fight the little doubting monster and you know, maybe one day, actually convince myself that if I threw any kind of event, people would actually turn up.
  4. Be kind people, it’s hard out there.

What are your friendships like as you grow up? Anyone else feel like this, or is it just me?!

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