The teenage years are the period in which friendships can suffer the most; those short bitter-sweet years are a litmus test for how your friendships will set out, perhaps for the rest of your life. For me and my oldest friends, we have come through the stormy adolescent years together.
We have managed to stay true friends throughout school and beyond. We all went our separate ways to universities up and down the country. Even at some points, in different countries for months on end. We all forged new friendships and there were times when our lives were moving in completely different directions. Yet, our long standing relationships with each other never seemed to falter. So why is it that we, like many groups also experienced a rut? You know, when you just feel that the people you have grown up with and consider to be almost family, just grate on that very last nerve?
With one of my best friends having recently entered a serious relationship, the other travelling to exciting new places for work, and me focusing on my degree and work; suddenly our familiar, childhood friendship seemed strained. With all of us guilty of cancelling plans at some point over the year and at times forgetting to even reply to each others messages, it seemed like we had come to a stop sign in the middle of a crossroad. There was silence on our daily WhatsApp group chats and our priorities in life were making it harder to arrange even a coffee gossip session. Maybe for many friends it is simply a case of people becoming engrossed in their own lives and not having the time. We all have new focuses, goals and ambitions; so balancing work and a social life is no longer an easy task. There are after all only so many hours in a day.
If it’s not just time, why else do we feel this way? Jealousy? The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head when people are doing well for themselves! That’s not to say you’re not happy for your friends but we all feel slightly envious at some point. Do we resent our friends for being happy and successful? Of course not. Do we sometimes wish that they wouldn’t spend our coffee gossip session boasting about their new friends and/or career? We probably do. Should I be more aware of my own boasting? Maybe I should.
Everyone goes through the friendship rut, it’s probably not entirely a bad thing either. It gives you the chance to distance yourself from people for a little while. It gives you time to breathe, reflect and think about how much they mean to you. We’re all going to have our own lives, be it new boyfriends, amazing career opportunities or a big life-changing event, but that doesn’t mean we should let life get in the way of what has already been a great friendship. It just reinforces the fact that this minor blip is just that, a blip and not the end of the road.