Monday, August 15, 2016

Will my real friends please stand up?

When we are children, life is simple: We divide our lives into things we like and things we don't like. Candy is wonderful; vegetables are not. Summer fun is the best thing ever; school is a chore that is dealt with. People we know are either friends or not friends.

It turns out that last one is still true in adulthood.

Before I had a child, I considered myself a woman who took her friendships very seriously. I knew my friends' birthdays, likes, dislikes, favorite movies and private moments. After childbirth time moved differently - and because I couldn't devote as much time to my friendships my relationship bar was set a little lower. Now, if someone relates to me when I tell a story around the struggle of motherhood, we are on our way to being buddies.

But I still consider those friendships to be real, just as I consider my work friendships to be a real thing. (I have, after all a best friend at work, who became my BFF because I told him that was what we were and he readily agreed.)

If this all sounds a little crazy, that's OK: Friendships, it turns out, are hard to explain and maintain. The issues stem around the fact that none of us have the same definitions of what makes a friend, so none of us are classifying each other the same way. When we are little a best friend is someone who shares their toys (even the really cool ones), but as we get older the requirements are a little hazier. (Do you consider your bestie to be someone you share life moments with or just a few really important moments...hard to decide.)

So we categorize. And we re-categorize. And we find ourselves in a situation where we have best friends where we didn't realize and friendships that have fallen by the wayside.

I think the point of all this is that you need to talk to someone about life, so pick a few people that you trust and go for it.

Who is your best friend? Tell me in the comments.

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