As a person who has suffered from family related trauma and as a result is emotionally distant from them, my friendships mean everything to me. I love my biological family but what I’ve created with my closest friends, chosen family if you will, is the stuff I trust in and hold solid.
However, it didn’t become like this until I entered my twenties, before then it was hard so much so that I pushed my friends away initially. It felt too good to be true. But years later, here we are, still loving and getting on each other’s nerves. Honestly, I don’t think these relationships could happen until I became an adult, I had to handle my child like fears and emotions, and it worked out better. Here are 5 things I learned finding friends later in life.
This is not a movie
Life is not a disney channel show. Shit is not tied in a neat little bow all the time. You will argue with your friends. It is inevitable. Different personalities come together and fit over a bond, but friends help each other grow so arguments are okay. None of us are Kate Sanders or Lizzie Mcguire (if you don’t understand this reference, you are quite young and that’s cool. Roll with me though!) so 9/10 times, you’re going to make up! Chill and be forgiving. If what you’ve built is true, it’s all good anyway.
You will drift
Shit happens and we all know this. Life happens too and that means you and your friends cannot be attached at the hip all the time. You each are chasing something, careers, families, etc so you might not talk every day or even for a few months. But when you do indeed catch up and things become a little more steady, you pick up right where you left off and keep it moving.
Boundaries are important
This one is hard, especially for me. I’m an empath, I feel everyone’s feelings all the time. And that shit sucks (it’s also harder as a person with depression) I had to learn that I required boundaries because I have to protect my own energies for my own personal ability to function. If you feel so much of others, you can’t get out of bed, that’s not healthy. Of course, if your friends aren’t doing well, be there, obviously but don’t run your head into a wall when things get really bad. You can take your friend to see a therapist, but you can’t stop living to help someone get back their own lives
Different people means different relationships
My best friends are two amazing women and I met them extremely similarly, but my relationships with them are different. They are my sisters, but each person comes with their own expertise. For example, one of my friends is an amazing musician so when I want to talk music, production, songwriting and all things related, she’s my go to. Another friend is someone I worked with who knew very raw things about me. Our friendship didn’t occur til after!
It’s good to have friends who know more than you:
Youtuber Lily Singh has a chapter in her book, How To Be A Bawse called “Be The Dumbest” and in my case that’s exactly what I did, unintentionally. I was sheltered for a good portion of my life and my family wasn’t exactly experts on important life things (I.e: finances) so when I wanted to improve my credit and learn about credit cards, who did I go to? My best friend. When I wanted to learn how to open my myself to more freelance opportunities, who’d I go to? My best friend. Part of growing with each other is learning from another.
If you haven’t found the closeness and love you need (I actually mean need, love occurs in the craving center of the brain—another lesson for another time) in your biological family and haven’t found your chosen family just yet—wait a little bit. They’re coming I promise <3