No one tells you the older you get the harder it is to make new friends. Potentially, its impossible to find real friends in your late 20ies – early 30ies. You might make an acquaintance but would they really last? As I gradually moved countries throughout my life: at 14 from Poland to Ireland; at 19 Ireland to USA (twice) & at 29 Ireland to Canada I’ve diluted my circle of good friends to the bare minimum. It’s sad, but hey that’s life. Things change, people change & move on.
For the first couple of years in Ireland, I was pretty decent at keeping in touch with most of my friends at home. I flew home once or twice a year, also for couple of months during the summer, thus keeping those friendships going. As I turned into an adult, I had a job, college, a boyfriend. Things weren’t so simple, I didn’t have that much time and that contact with this person or that person was lost.
The same could have been said for college, you make friends but then your path is taking you somewhere solo and before you know it, its 8 years later and you talk to only the select few. The only survivors are those with whom you always had this inevitable connection; those who put the time to reach out to you & were there to celebrate the engagements, anniversaries, weddings, new homes & babies as well as the downs in life. Those are the keepers.
You also then have those work friends, people you meet through work (obviously) with whom you are like two peas in a pod. Luckily for me, I’ve met one or two in each of my jobs and I still keep in touch with them (despite the time difference). If I was to bring all these people together in one place, it would be an extremely random party. Like a weird bag of jelly beans. (In the best way possible!) I can still feel the belly aches we had, laughing so much during those office days!
You then meet those random on your travels who somehow end up on your Facebook Friends List and 10 years down the line you wonder How Do You Know this person?
But what’s the most upsetting is the ones who you had an amazing bong with, cared about, trusted and nourished a relationship only to be forgotten about. There’s only so much you can keep reaching out; only to realize that if I don’t neither will this person. Then you have to wonder were we friends in the first place, or was it always because I made the effort first. It’s hard to keep in touch when you’re this far, with an 8 hour difference but I always say that what’s meant to be will be. Walking past this person, number of years down the line, thinking God, at one point in my life he/she knew my deepest secrets and now we are complete strangers still shocks me to this day.
So if you didn’t make the cut, its because I grew tired of being the only one trying. I hardly give up – I have an addictive personality, where once I start something I have to finish it; my OCD will not let me relax, but as you grow older, your time becomes more valuable and you have to make the tough choice (sometimes its actually very simple funnily enough) of who gets to have this time with you.
So, to my old friends & those new ones – I thank You for being in my life, for sharing my stories, for drinking beer on the beach at sunset, for those rooftop bar nights, belly laughs, random trips, crying over boys & dancing until our feet ached. Cheers to all those years, but also cheers to all the years ahead where I’ll be wiser with my time & with whom I spend it going forward.