Now and Then— The Principles of Friendship
On reuniting with old friends, embracing change, and loving them regardless
Last weekend, my boyfriend’s childhood friend came over and spent the weekend with us. They hadn’t seen each other for quite some time. For me, it was the first time I had seen him since we were just starting out college (which is about 10 years ago now), so I was really excited to see how he’s been doing.
My boyfriend had been living in Arizona for four and a half years and his friend has been living in New Jersey. My boyfriend only recently moved to New York in January, so he has been slowly reuniting with all of his friends from the east coast over the past few months — I’ve been present for most of these occasions, so it’s been fun for me to be able to catch up on their lives as well.
When it came to talking to my boyfriend’s friend, it was like I was looking at a familiar face while hearing the narration from a different person. I was so impressed by all that he has accomplished in the near decade since I haven’t seen him — He received his Master’s degree, moved to a different town, got his own place, and even has a dog. And despite his accomplishments, he was still himself.
I’m really big into reunions and catching up with people whom I haven’t seen in a while — specifically people who I am (or once was) close to. I always enjoy hearing about their lives; where they’re living, where they’ve traveled, who they’re dating (or not dating), what they’re doing for work, etc. I’m the kind of person who has no problem staying firmly planted in the same seat at a bar until closing time just because I’m busy catching up with a friend.
I’m fascinated at the way people can change so much over time while simultaneously staying inherently the same.
I always find it so remarkable to stay friends with the same person for years upon years. You’ve shared countless memories together which somehow creates an unbreakable bond.
And you knew them before they became who they are.
You witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly — All of the different phases, the transformations, the successes, and the failures. It’s almost like they are a living example of a “before and after” project. And through it all, you remain friends.
For me, personally, I have a handful of friends who I can go months or even years without seeing. Somehow, I can attempt to make plans with someone and it doesn’t actually come to fruition until 3 months later. Time seems to go by so much quicker nowadays. But no matter the time nor distance, I’m able to see them again with no signs of awkwardness or lulls in conversation.
Friendship is about exactly that — Being able to see someone again, embrace them for who they were, and who they’ve now become
Friendships are really no different from romantic relationships (without the intimate feelings, physical attraction, etc...and well, you know what I mean)
It’s about sticking together through thick and thin, being there for one another, and accepting one another’s flaws and loving them despite the fact. Friendships are kind of like the great romances in our lives — You just know that you are loved.
And like any romance, friendships can also come to an end. So, make sure you hold onto the ones that matter because those are the ones that can last a lifetime.