& Why it’s Okay to Have Different Friends Through Different Life Phases
Some of you reading this may still have the same best friend that you met in Pre-K. And that’s freaking awesome.
Other’s like me, have had different friends in different phases of life, and only a few have transitioned from phase to phase. And the only ones who have been with me literally my whole life are my 2 bestie cousins (and my fam-bam of course too). But hey, at least we’re lucky that we like our family enough to call them best friends.
I used to think that having the same best friend throughout life was THE THING TO STRIVE FOR. And I never had that. Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.
But just like we have phases of our lives for a reason,
I believe that we also have phases of friends for those phases of our lives for a reason.
It goes with that saying “Everything happens for a reason”.
The way I see it, there are certain friends that I think everyone needs throughout their life. Those friends are as follows:
1. The Lessons
Most of the time, you won’t realize these friends are only serving the purpose of giving you an important life lesson until long after the friendship has ended.
Sometimes, the lessons here will be huge. These friends might hurt you so hard that the only way you can come out of the friendship is to be stronger than you were before. The friends that serve the hardest lessons may present themselves in ways of: backstabbing you, throwing you under the bus (maybe literally if we’re talking about the movie Mean Girls), hooking up with your ex, or worse your current significant other, or just being a downright soul-sucking friend.
On the other hand though, the lessons from these friends might not be as huge. It might be that you simply grow as a person while being friends with these people, and as you grow you realize that you’ve got to leave some baggage behind. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for either one of you, you just grow and realize who you are and what kind of friends you need most.
2. The Dick Heads
Generally, these people will also fall into the category of the “huge lesson learned friend”. But I think these friends deserve a category all on your own.
Have you ever looked back on a friendship an thought “Why was I EVER friends with them?!” All they did was made fun of me, bail on plans, steal by friends or my boyfriend / girlfriend, and made me feel like absolute dirt about myself? Ya, those are the dick head friends. And if you’re reading this and are thinking “hm, that sounds like a friend I currently have” run fast, run far, cut that cord of negativity honey!
3. Your Wannabes
and I’m not talking about people who wanted to be like YOU I’m talking about people who you wanted to be like . Why strive for that?! Let’s be honest though, we all had those ‘friends’, likely in grade school or somewhere around there. I know I did. We’d get so freaking excited when we got invited to their birthday parties, or if they asked us to hang out, or oh heck yeah they talked to us- in school! And don’t even get me started on when they let you borrow their clothes- but wait, was that just a cool thing to me?! These friends, and the fact that I’d be willing to be my bottom dollar that everyone reading this had one of those friends, were necessary. They stemmed, in my opinion, from the bullshit comparison game that society has drilled so far into our head. So while we were comparing our right eyebrow to the left, and comparing those 2 eyebrows to the pair on the model in the magazine you’re trying to mimic, we were also comparing ourselves against other people and basing it off of who we were friends with. Were we cool enough? What was cool anyway? And why did a person measure that?
4. The best friend you lost for, well you’re not sure why
Again, this may just apply to me, but I like to believe i’m not the only one. Let’s circle back to the beginning of this blog, “Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.”
^^^TRUE. Shortly after graduating high school my best friendship I ever had fell apart. And months and then again years later, when we had spoken about what had happened, neither one of us knew why.
I’m not going to lie, or leave this line out for the sake of her possibly reading this, that hurt. My best friends now-a-days I sometimes find myself seeing her, and our friendship in. The friendship is over, but I cherish the memories we had, so much.
5. The one’s who got you through high school, you simply wouldn’t have survived without them
These are the ones who were always there for you even when you were trying to run circles around them to get just one lousy invite to the “wannabes” party. The ones you’d pass notes with in class (Dear God, I just realized that this probably doesn’t happen anymore. God help our younger generations and their attachment to their phones), the one’s you’d pee your pants laughing with at the lunch room table (oh wait, was that just me again?!), the one’s you’d get together with every weekend and still not get bored. The one’s you likely don’t talk to much anymore, you’ve just gone your separate ways. But if your paths crossed again, you’d likely be able to still carry on a conversation better than you can with most of your current coworkers.
6. and then there’s the ones who got you through college (spoiler, this is likely going to be your first college roommate)
Let me first point out that from here on out, I have started to incorporate pictures, because I’m getting to the point (in my life at least) that some of these friends have carried over into the next phase of my life.
And so there’s the first college roommate, eh em, I mean the friend that GOT YOU THROUGH COLLEGE SISTA.
From day 1 you explored your Whole New World together. You figured things out together. You tried new things together. And as you grew into your college years, you each found your niche, but you never lost touch (or maybe never stopped living together). This girl right here, was one of the greatest friends I had in college, because she was the most steady friend I had in college. Even when I failed to realize how freaking awesome she was and lived with other people after our first year together, we NEVER. LOST. TOUCH. Just 8 months ago she stood beside me as I married my best friend. Funny how fate works, because us rooming together was a LITERAL TOUCH OF FATE. Okay, fine I’ll tell you how it was fate (I have typed and erased this part multiple times, but here it REMAINS!)
It was a Saturday night & I was waitressing at the local watering hole in my home town. I was 19, and actually still at home going through my first year of college at community college. But I had decided to venture out the next year finally and go to the University of Northern Iowa. On this night, my parents were eating dinner at the watering hole and in walked a couple from the neighboring town that they knew. They got to talking and realized that like me, THEIR DAUGHTER TOO WAS GOING TO UNI. I knew this family, I actually hung out with their son (Lannon’s brother) frequently, we had the same friend group. Long story short, my parents said that I had a roommate who I didn’t know like anything about, and Lannon did not have a roommate. They called me over in between my tables, and we decided in a few seconds flat that I would reach out to Lannon to be roommates. So I went into the break room, pulled out my phone and Facebook Messaged her to be roommates- and she was at her PROM that night! (insert laughing face emoji here). Obvi it worked out, because this many years later we can still laugh about that night as well as the memories we had after
Universe, thank you for letting that play out like it did.
7. And on the other hand, the ones who got you into trouble in college
I’m not saying much about this one, because some things are just better left unsaid….. 🙂
But there were the friends who literally got you in trouble (lucky for me, in my case, I was watching people get in trouble around me and didn’t actually fall into much of it myself). And there were also a few Dick Head friends in college (spoiler: you’ll run into those your whole life).
when it comes to these college friends and the stupid shit we did, I just have one thing to say: We were still maturing okay..?!
8. Your first adulthood friend
Oh chelsinator. Most people think we were college friends but NOPE.
Your first adulthood friend is kind of…. astronomical. It’s like “hey I can do this thing called adulthood, and when I’m having a hard time figuring it out, I now have this person, MY PERSON to help me figure it out!”
This is one of the most important friends in my opinion, because as you are going forward into the cold, cruel world, it’s important to have someone beside you (even outside of your significant other) to help you navigate.
If you don’t have this friend yet, just wait you will. But let me tell you now- don’t ever let them go. You’ll need them to know you, and your tendencies. You’ll need them to encourage you to go for your dreams, or pull your head out of your ass when you’re having a rough day (or week or year). You’ll need them to grow with you. Someday you’ll become parents (or aunts /uncles or fur-parents) together, and you’ll need them to talk through all of the ups and downs of that phase of your life. You’ll simply need them to relate. Because chances are, you’ve found this first adult friend because you both were either in the same phase of your life, or you were transitioning into the next phase of your life at the same time. Something connected you, you can relate.
Don’t let your first adulthood friend go. They’ll prove to be too important to you. Even as phases of life change, I hope, I sincerely hope, that if you were ever able to carrying one friend over from phase to phase, that this one is it.
9. The friend you made when you needed most
I am not sure this friend knows she came into my life when I needed most. She’s my first adult friend, in my new adult phase. I had moved 1,000 miles away from all previously mentioned friends and family and me, being the social butterfly I am, needed to find friends fast. NOT A PROBLEM HERE! But when my mom got sick (and is now better!) I realized that I had met this friend, because we shared a common ground there. Even if we didn’t talk about it much, I had comfort in knowing that we could.
Maybe you’re struggling, or feeling lost and alone, like you’ve got no one to turn to but want someone so desperately bad. My advice to you, is to not look to hard for someone to help. This person, the friend you need the most, will come when you aren’t looking for it. The universe works to help us out, I believe that to be true.
10. The friends you’ve found along the way who you never saw yourself being with, but you know that you were MEANT to be friends
Like how did we become friends?! And how are we best freaking friends.
You want to know my favorite part about adulthood friends? They never stop coming. Just when you think you’ve got your squad all tied up, no more entries, no more free passes, the universe throws another one your way. Maybe you move, or start a new job, or try out a new gym. There will be a new friend there for you, and you won’t be expecting it.
But I love how these adult friends keep coming, and in my case, they arrive in the strangest and most unique packages I could have ever imagined.
My other favorite thing about these adult friends? Now that we’re older and mature (at least I hope you are!) we’re confident that these friends, these are for life. Regardless of…. well anything.
11. The best friend you found in your significant other
My best friend of over 6 years now, but after 3 weeks of dating I knew I’d be best friends with him for life. I call myself very lucky for that.
If you don’t have a best friend in a significant other, because you don’t have a significant other yet. Let me just remind you of one important word there- yet. Just like I need you to not look too hard for the friend you need the most, don’t look too hard for this best friend either. Just like the phases of your life, these friends will come on their own terms. Let the puzzle fall into place.
12. The best friends you’ve had all along
Like I said at the beginning, some of you are lucky enough to have had the same best friend through it all. Well, me too technically. They’re called family.
We’ve got Lauren. My younger cousin of 1 year on my dad’s side
We’ve got Jordan. My older cousin of 3 years on my mom’s side
We’ve even got my brother. Who I take great pride in being best friends with.
I know all 3 of these friends are a unique situation for me, because I’d bet many of you reading this don’t even like your family! And that’s okay. Even if you don’t have a #12 friend, I hope you don’t dwell on that, because think of all of the other friends you have. And I feel like this is as good of place as any to say it’s not about the quantity of friends you have, it’s about the quality.
13. Your work friends
Because let’s be honest, these are more important than the high school or college friends. You simply would not be surviving another day in your musty smelling, too dull, or entirely too obnoxious office where you’ve likely spilled coffee on yourself, or others, more than once. These friends count when it matters! They keep your too-busy adulthood brain SANE!
And a bonus one for me….
14. The best friends you’ve found in your dogs 🙂
and a double bonus
15. My Parents
As you go forward with your life, and you start to see your friendships changing, and more importantly, you start to see yourself changing. Don’t dwell on the fact that change is happening. Embrace that.
These different phases. These different friends. They are what shape us into the beautiful works of art we were meant to be all along.