I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and he is having a tough go at things. In fact, he’s always had a tough go at things. You know those instances where, whatever you do, something always goes wrong? Well, that happens to him more than most. And it can be disheartening. We chatted about friends and having people that are in your corner, through tears of joy and moments of sorrow (with the “ugly cry, as Oprah would say). And as we get older, that pool of people dwindles and/or changes.
We both admitted that our pool of people has definitely changed in the last 10 years, even more so in the last 5 years and as you get older. Why is that? Here are a few theories: jobs, marriage, children, relocation, selfishness, etc. But the one reason that stuck out was – we’ve simply outgrown each other.
Some friendships will expire their time… instead of pretending to be cool, learn to let go and move on.
You’ve outgrown the late night drinking and partying on the weekends. You’ve outgrown those that never have a positive thing to say anything. You’ve outgrown people that put no effort into bettering themselves spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. You’ve outgrown people that are content living an average life. You’ve outgrown what you didn’t realize was never a friendship, just two people that kept in touch but never really enhanced each other as people. But while navigating all of this, you’ve continued to grow yourself. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is adulting (The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult).
As we get older, good friendships seem to be as hard to find as a good soul food spot in D.C. (and I’ve been searching for four years). But more so, it’s about people that genuinely care about you and your well-being and want to help you achieve your potential. There are friends I have that I don’t talk to often, but when we do connect, it’s like we never stopped talking. We laid a strong foundation and we have an understanding that it’s not personal if we don’t talk every day (or realistic), but it’s important that we both “check on each other” because that’s what friends do. They hold each other accountable. And if they are truly your friend, they want to see you reach your dreams and do what they can within their power to make that happen.
I tease my significant other because, for someone our age, he has the best group of friends that genuinely care for each other and look out for each other. Never in my life have I seen a group of men (men!) that have a bond like him and his friends. It’s extremely fascinating! I have about a handful of people I know, if I called tomorrow and said I need your help, they would drop everything to make sure I was okay. And this includes men and women – which is rare but it works.
The world can be a very tough place to navigate and it is important to stay grounded. Surround yourself with like-minded people so you can continue to learn, grow and progress in life. Find people that you have an authentic connection with, that do NOT bring drama into your life and that lift you up. You also need those that challenge you to be better. I miss that sometimes but those I consider good, close friends always know how to make me smile.
So go and check on your people, because I guarantee, if they don’t need a friend right this moment, they will be happy to hear from you and glad that you’re checking on them. So, do you know who’s your tribe?
Peace & Love,
Song of the Week: “Real Friends” by Kanye West, The Life of Pablo