Why “No New Friends” Will Be the Slogan for My Thirties
Friendship. I’ve always thought it was such a peculiar thing — it’s peculiar how differently people define friendships, how there are such wildly contrasting levels of closeness between friendships, and what the definition of friendship even means to certain people. Some people have many friends, yet those friendships are only surface level, while others only have a few close friends, but they consider those individuals as family. However, no matter the friendship, I’m always so fascinated by the stories of how they began and how they’ve managed to continue on.
I mean, it’s a pretty funny process when you think about. You meet someone, then somehow recognize that you get along with them, and ultimately decide that you want to spend more time with them in a (non)romantic way. From there, friendships can either continue to grow or sort of just stop in their tracks. Either way, the period of time in which a friendship is developing is a very unique time because you can never really know how long it will last. All you know in that moment is that you’re trying to make it work.
For as long as I can remember, becoming friends with anyone and everyone that I met was my mission in life. I couldn’t stand whenever someone didn’t like me and it was my prerogative to try to get people to like me if they didn’t. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I just needed that acceptance. I needed that validation. Throughout my twenties, this notion didn’t really change much…up until just recently.
I turned twenty-nine this past November and as I reflected on the past near-decade of my life, I thought about all of the insane obstacles that I’ve overcome and the defining moments that I’ve had. Then, I instantly recalled all of the people who have been there for me throughout those times. I then realized something pretty shocking — there have been a lot, and I mean a lot, of people who have come and gone over the course of the past nine years.
I couldn’t even believe it when I realized about it. I could only name a select few who have been around throughout my entire twenties and some of those people I’ve known since even before my twenties. And I’m close with maybe only a handful of the “newer” friends that I’ve made in the past few years.
I wondered why I used to try so hard to become friends with so many people who didn’t end up sticking around anyways. I wondered why I would waste my time on people whom I knew I didn’t really mesh with. I suddenly had this epiphany — I realized that a large part of the reason why so many people have come and gone throughout my twenties was because my twenties were pretty much all about figuring out my life (which is still a work in progress).
Now that I’ve somewhat figured myself out, I finally understand that it’s quite difficult to truly be friends with someone when you didn’t even really know who you are to begin with. My twenties have been all about figuring out who I am, who I want to become, and most of all, what makes me happy. During this period of discovery, it’s no surprise that there have been many trial-and-error friendships, so to speak — which is why my slogan for my thirties is, “No new friends”.
As I’m approaching my thirties, I’m realizing that the most important friendships are the ones that have made it this far. The friendships that I need to grow are the ones that I already have. Continuing to nourish those existing friendships and make sure that they are built to last and stay in tact for the years ahead has become a my priority.
As I’m getting older, I’m noticing that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to spend time with not only my friends, but even my family. I’m noticing that life just keeps happening and it keeps happening fast. I’m continuing to encounter more obstacles — harder obstacles — and I know that won’t end anytime soon. But, that’s life I guess. So, with this knowledge, I’ve given up on trying to make new friends.
Now that I have a better sense of who I am, who I want to become, and what makes me happy, I’m able to focus on the people that truly matter. I’m becoming less concerned when people don’t like me and more concerned when I haven’t seen the people I care about in a while. I’m becoming more aware of my time and more careful about who I’m spending my time with.
I’m extremely grateful when I think about the people whom I’m honored to call my friends to because those are the ones that count.