A question for all of my fellow thirtysomethings – wasn’t being in your twenties fun?! I look back on that decade with love, laughter, and hope that some photos are never shared.
I remember feeling like an adult who was definitely ALL GROWN UP but didn’t nearly have enough responsibility to feel weighed down. No one to answer to but myself. Some decisions were made that maybe weren’t the most sound (but they sure were fun!).
The best part was the people that I had surrounding me as I figured out how to actually be a grown person in a world where I could do (mostly) anything I wanted.
I loved my twenties friends. I loved them so much that some of them are now my thirties friends.
It makes me feel all the warm fuzzies that I have people who have known me for my entire adulthood. They’re my people. One of them even became my business partner. As much as I love them, I’d be lying if I said the relationships look the same as they did when I was 25.
My life is completely different than it was ten years ago.
My priorities and what makes me feel happy and fulfilled have shifted. Not only can I no longer hang on late nights out, but I don’t want to. I’d rather get up and run six miles to train for a race. Sometimes I have work to do and would rather not be a total brainless zombie when I’m doing it. The night before doesn’t feel worth it if I’m feeling like crap the entire next day anymore. If you’re in your thirties or forties, maybe you’re nodding along. It’s just normal that things change as you get older.
And as a result, it makes sense that your relationships change.
When I don’t see friends as often as I used to, sometimes it really is because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in. If someone could get on that whole making the day longer thing, that’d be cool. But until then, there’s just so much you can cram into a 24 hour period. There are other times, though, when I don’t want to go out. I’d rather be at home with my book. I need to decompress because of all of those other things I’m doing all day long. Book reading and Frasier binge watching is a solo activity, at least for me. So do I technically have the time? Yeah, but if I spent that time out in the world wearing pants I wouldn’t enjoy myself. If I’m not enjoying myself, what’s the point?
It’s okay if things are different.
I know I have to remind myself of that sometimes, because we live in a world that is trying to get us to do everything all the time, but it really is okay. People change. Life changes you. The best relationships are those that can evolve with you, rather than keep you stuck. Friendships now look more like quality time less often (with a little less vodka) and that works for me.
I won’t lie and say that change hasn’t caused some relationships to fall apart. It happens, and it’s sad when it does. It definitely hurt, but what would have hurt more (and for longer) would have been holding on to people who are trying to put me into a box I no longer fit into. Given my limited amount of time, I’d much rather spend my energy on people who love and support me for who I am now.
If you’re finding yourself struggling to make relationships into what they “used to be”, let that go.
Ask yourself what would really serve you now. Who makes you feel really good after you spend time with them? Who supports you in other ways than doing fun activities together? Are there people you feel more comfortable reaching out to than others? Focus on those people in the best way you can given whatever else you have going on in your life.
As much as there were parts of being in my twenties that were amazing, I wouldn’t go back even if I could. I’m where I am now because it’s where I’m supposed to be. I hope you are too!
Surround yourself with people who fit who you are now, not who you used to be. Hold on to those people who can evolve with you. They’re the best.
If you’re struggling with the loss of a friendship or need support with making new friends, we can help! Reach out to us to schedule a free phone consult with a therapist.