I was lucky.
When I went to University, I was blessed with an amazing friend group. We were always kind of together. We had great dynamics. It was three girls, four guys and we always seemed to have each other’s back. Each one of them meant and still mean so much to me. And as the last guy got engaged this past weekend, it made me start to reflect on how much older we’ve gotten. How we’ve watched each other fall in and out of love, how we’ve all questioned our own relationships within our group, how we’ve all managed to continue to just be in each other’s lives, even if it is just a quick Facebook message, until this very day.
Friends are things we can’t take for granted but I think we do on a regular basis. It’s easy to think that nothing’s going to change when you get older. It’s easy to pretend when you’re 21 that we’re going to continuously live in each other’s realms until the end of time. I mean how could we not? We were each other’s backbones, shoulders to cry on and drinking buddies till the end. If you had asked me four years ago where I’d be at this exact moment, I’d probably tell you with them.
But as we get older our lives change. It changes because, well, it has too.
And those friends we spent endless amounts of hours with, the ones we have all of that history together, the ones that we love no matter what…suddenly they’re not the people we’re spending all of the hours with. We’re not planning camping trips together. We’re probably not all going to be in the same room again unless of some sort of momentous event.
And that’s sad. It’s sad because when all of our memories were happening I was busy worry about everything else. I wasn’t living in the moment because I was busy living in the future. We all have big dreams that we need to chase and it sometimes involves leaving behind those amazing friends that we made.
I assumed as we get older, Vitamin C would play, we’d wrap our arms around each other and think about how this was just the start of our lives. We’d all just be like Friends and manage to live in the same apartment complex. We’d go to the same coffee shops. We’d have dinners. We’d eventually meet our significant other’s and our group would expand.
But the things you have in common with people at 18, aren’t often the same people you have things in common with as we get older. That’s just getting older though. We change our plans. We change our minds. We just change. And as we change we start to lose touch with our old friends that we assumed we would just have around forever. But we get married. We move. We lose touch.
And when did we get so old? We’re old enough to have responsibilities like a mortgage or marriage certificates. Because that’s one of the biggest questions we have right? When did we start to sound more and more like our parents and less and less like the people who had zero accountabilities?
Like everything, there’s beauty in getting older. There’s a sense of knowing a bit more who you are and a little less like the kid who left their parents’ house wide eyed and bushy tailed. The kids that relied on each other to get through the growing pains of becoming young adults. And that co-dependency suddenly isn’t as needed as it once was because you have become more mature. As scary as that realization is.
Maybe I don’t stay up till 6 am with those people, talking about our lives and wondering who we’re going to be. Maybe I don’t call them all crying when something’s going wrong. Maybe I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like.
But I know that if something happened and I needed them, they’d show up.
So I sit here thinking about how the last guy friend in my group got engaged on the weekend. I think about how happy I am that all my friends managed to find love with some truly wonderful partners. I think about how much all of us have grown. I think about how even now all of them have shaped into the person I’ve become.
And I feel grateful. Because even though all of the time we spent together feels like a lifetime ago, I will never forget the six people who taught me about unconditional friendship and love. And those six people will always be with me.
Because true friendship never leaves, it merely changes.