Failing at Friendship

Let’s talk friendship. Friendship is something that’s been on my brain a lot lately, and mostly the feeling that I’m failing at it. I’ve always believed that people come into our lives when we need them, and sometimes friends are just for a season, but lately I’m wondering if I only thought some friends outgrew me, and why I kept some friends around that were just absolute weeds.

Ironically, as it turns out, spamming the internet with life updates and posts about my dad has brought a few people back into my life, whether to tell me they can relate to my twenty-something blues, or to offer to be there for me in my time of need, I didn’t think I needed anyone I didn’t have, but something about hearing from my childhood best friend made me realize, when I picture my wedding day, I still picture her beside me, regardless of having not talked for nearly a decade.

It all started with a card I got in the mail last month, that left me thinking a lot about my past, about past friendships had and lost. It made me realize that there are too many friends I lost touch with over the years, making me think it was me not them. Then came the realization, that the truth is simple, when their lives got exciting, mine stayed the same, and I was embarassed, and I didn’t have exciting college stories to share because I was working full-time and staying up late studying and going to work again, and maybe it sounds silly, it feels a bit now, but honestly I was so jealous. When I went to community college, they went off into the world, as I worked more, their lives became more carefree, and when I graduated and struggled to find a job in anything related to English that might pay more than my retail job, they found their dream jobs, leaving me feeling once again a little embarassed and behind, in life and in everything. So, while I wish I had kept in touch, the truth is: it was me not them, my jealousy, my embarassment, and I still feel those things now when they ask me what I’m up to.

So here’s to the friend that tried to help me sneak a kitten home in my back pack when I was five, and to the friend who sang Taylor Swift with me on the 5 o’clock bus every night, and to the friend who drove the getaway car when I broke up with that guy.

Likewise, this blog has brought new friends into my life, whether prompting exchanges of direct messages and likes on Instagram, or people who feel like friends because they lost, or are dealing with losing a parent too, and their open hearts make me so full of gratitude.

I’ve made a new friend lately that feels a bit like an old one too. Maybe it’s because we went to the same high school and grew up in the same small town, but something about our shared interests and the fact that we strive to build each other up and never tear each other down makes me excited for a friendship fresh start!

As of late, I decided one “friend” I had wasn’t a friend at all and being bold and brave enough to admit that makes me feel like maybe I deserve some friends that make me feel worthwhile.

All I know is that life has a funny way of giving you what you need, whether new friends, or old friends coming back to you, but in friendship and life you need to know what you deserve too and friends that make you feel small, they simply won’t do.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Maude Wilson says:

    Dear Stephanie: I am not sure whether you really want your old Grandmother giving her opinion on these wonderful and sometimes insightful blogs that you write but first you have never had anything to feel embarrassed about…I will tell you I bragged to my friends about my very intelligent and ambitious granddaughter who worked and went on to get a degree and now is working and studying, the goal being her Masters!! As for the friendships….as life goes on you will find while you are young you are all so busy trying to figure what your role/roles are going to be that sometimes , in my day anyway, a Christmas card was the only contact I had with two childhood friends and that continued for all our lives and when we had the opportunity to connect on visits back to see our parents we met up, spent some time together and it was just a wonderful reunion. I am very fortunate in still having one of that two still keeping in contact and we can get on phone and chat for an hour or more. There are two other friends from that period of my life and we have been having contact thanks to the Internet. So, I hope you will enjoy the friendships that have been renewed and realize that life is like that…things have a strange way of working out . Enough from me but just grab any enjoyment that you can in this very stressful time in your life. Thinking of you all every day . Love, Nannyxoxo

    Sent from my iPad >

  2. Meghan says:

    The part about comparing yourself to your friends really hit home with me. Even if I congratulate them, and truly, truly mean it from the deepest part of my heart, it can still be hard watching their successes… while I seem to be standing idle. It’s a work in progress I guess. 😂

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I feel jealous of their success and then guilty for feeling that way – nothing quite like a comparison hangover; we’re all a bit of a work in progress I guess!

  3. From one Stephanie to another, hi! It’s so ironic for me to come across this post because just a few days ago, I captioned a recent post on my writing account about losing touch with my old friends and just feeling like a different person. It’s crazy how similar I think about this post and how I relate so much to it! Friends from our past have definitely shaped us. It’s sad to think if we’ve all outgrown one another in this point in time. Maybe we’ll all find our ways back to one another again in the future?

    A very insightful and thought provoking post! I’m about to wonder about it all again, haha. Hope you have a wonderful day! ♡ Also what’s funny, I have a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing. I completely am with you on the job career stuff. Definitely a tough break!

    1. Us Stephanie’s sure do have a lot in common! I find myself often thinking about friends and how our lives seem to bring people back around when we need them most. Hoping you reconnect with those you miss, and are better off: without the ones that don’t come back to you!

      1. Yeah, it seems like we do! That’s also true too. Friends may reappear in different stages of life! Thanks for commenting back, hope your day is wonderful! 🙂

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