The cooling down period
I feel like I’ve been set adrift. I used to have intense friendships where we would hang out all the time and have intimate knowledge of each other’s lives. But these days? I’m lucky to see my friends once a month.
I don’t feel bad about this, per se, because it’s allowed me the time and space to read more, watch more movies, write more and look after my health a bit better (we used to drink a hell of a lot when we got together).
But I do think it’s appropriate to take stock and continue to invest in the friendships that remain. Like all relationships, some are situational. You’re friends because you work together, live together or are thrown together due to shared interests or circumstances.
As middle age approaches and we become increasingly involved in raising our families, our jobs and the treadmill of seeking financial security, it’s increasingly important that we continue to reach out and connect.
There’s something intrinsically valuable about relationships where the person has known you for a long time; before the grey hairs and toddler puke. The reason? There’s an appreciation of the progress you have made and of the trajectory of your life. There’s also the shared experiences of marriages, births, break-ups and breakdowns.
We still need each other but without the insecure neediness that characterised our twenties.
Ahead of us we have the increased incidence of death and disease in our loved ones, as well as great achievements, adventures and, hopefully, enough affluence to support us through all of this.
There has certainly been a reckoning in my life in terms of which friendships have survived (getting divorced is an efficient way to halve the number of friends you have) but now is the time I want to nurture the ones that remain, while still respecting and nurturing my own needs (something I would never have done previously in my desperation to be liked).
So, to all my friends, please, let’s hang out soon. I miss you.