For the most part, adulthood looks a lot different than I expected when I was growing up. I naively thought adulting would mostly include working, traveling to glamorous places, staying up late every night, and eating cereal whenever I want. So, like I said, very different.
Although it's not what I thought there have been some really great things that I didn't see coming as a kid.
Here are a few of my favorites that have come only through time and doing the work. Rather than doing one super long post, I will do a couple of smaller entries about this. Today, let's talk about friendships as an adult.
Be a friend to have a friend
One of the first expressions I remember hearing as a kid this one...I remember growing up asking myself if I was a good friend often. This holds up. It's not perfect, because the only person we can control is our self and even that is questionable most of the time.
Taking personal responsibility is a huge indicator of health and maturing and when we are willing to do that in our relationships that change the tone and tenor of them for the better. We set the bar higher for our friends and for ourselves.
Follow the joy. Chemistry matters, when there is an ease that makes things a lot easier and exciting. It's not everything, but it matters. And this doesn't mean having EVERYTHING in common, but more so having a connection and energy that is noticeable.
Putting the time in
I didn't understand the deep value of having long-lasting relationships until recently. I have a group of friends that I have known for over a decade. We knew each other in our early twenties in the desert of Las Vegas, when we were freshly married and before we had kids. It seems like a lifetime ago in contrast to our lives now. And then we began growing our families around the same time, walking through the parenting journey together. Since having kids we have moved throughout the country, but when we are together we are able to pick things up without missing a beat. We are each other's biggest fans. It is not because we are perfect. It is not that they don't see my shortcomings, but rather they fully see them and they embrace regardless. I am so thankful to feel fully seen, known, and accepted by this group. And that is a gift that I am so thankful for.
No better time than the present. If you are wanting to be a friend, reach out. Start putting that time in.
Putting the work in
One of the best things you can do for your friendships (really any relationships) is to do the work to be the healthiest version of yourself. Your friends will naturally benefit and you will be more able to be a good friend. When we have a realistic look at who we are and how we move in the world, that allows us to love others (and ourselves) well. When we are aware of areas of growth or pain or unhelpful patterns, we can grow and do better. And be better for the people we love.