For Alyssa’s prompt, “one thing about today you wish you knew one year ago,” so many things swam through my mind. The one that really stuck out for me though? The fact that no matter how good your intentions are to keep friendships going, if you don’t continue to cultivate them….you will lose them quickly. Cultivating relationships of any kind is so important for happiness.
It is hard to make friends as an adult, can we all agree on that? There are so many different “life stages” to go through and we all hit them at different times. I am 33 and some of my friends had kids ten years ago and are immersed in football games, cheerleading competitions and hosting sleep overs at their house. Other friends had babies in the last year or two and don’t really get out much because babies are a lot of work! So they really only hang out with other friends that have kids around the same age and understand. Then there is the group of friends that are wild and free and are out partying it up every weekend and that just sounds exhausting. We all have work, family or personal obligations, organizations we belong to and really just our own shit to deal with.
What I have learned is, if you don’t continue to make the effort to hang out….then you never will. Sure, you might get that reminder on Facebook that so-and-so’s birthday is today so you leave a message on their wall telling them that you miss them and you should get together soon. You never do. Or while you are standing in line to check out at a fast-casual restaurant, you run in to an old co-worker you used to hang out with all the time and you mention that you guys should grab lunch soon, but don’t set concrete plans.
This is how we lose our friends. You need to do more than just have good intentions, you need to have follow through. I very much regret not keeping in regular contact with a few people that I was very close to when I lived in Atlanta. I regret very much not making actual plans with a girlfriend that I ran into grabbing lunch one day last year. Because you know what, I haven’t seen or spoken to any of them since. And that makes me sad.
I can sit here and say, well they never reached out to me either. But how does that make it better?
So what I wish I could have told myself one year ago, is to keep cultivating the relationships with those that I enjoy having in my life. Life gets busy, but it isn’t an excuse to not make the time to grab a drink or get the kids together for a play date.
What is something you wish you knew a year ago?