Greetings from Florida! ☀️
I went for a beach run yesterday, one of my favorite kinds of workouts, and it was SO good. There’s something about those steps, that view and the sound of the crashing waves that nourishes every part of me. Those runs are good for my mind, body and soul. Running gives me the space to think. Most importantly for today, this post is a product of that run time.
Why you should break up with her.
I’ll just get straight to the point: Friendships have their seasons. As I entered early adulthood and found my spouse, I became a new dynamic as ‘I’ was now a ‘we’. Friendships do transform when you bring more people into the equation. Don’t get me wrong, surely you can keep friends after you get married but if you want to be truthful to yourself, the new dynamic may change things a bit. The next season was having children. I have only been a mother for two and a half years now but most certainly a lot has happened and changed within that time period. I’ve been through two challenging pregnancies, two infant phases, countless phases of sleepless nights, one colicky phase, a phase of working full time, phases where Mark traveled quite a bit and so on. Each phase had different demands and varying degrees of availability to nurture friendships.
There was a time in all of those phases where I was spinning my wheels trying to be a “good friend”. I would make plans to meet up and spend time together with friends only to deep down be feeling the repercussions of taking precious time away from my little family, my to-do list and my own individual free time. Sure, it was somewhat enjoyable while I was there, but more-so, it was tiring. There were nights when I would miss putting my baby to bed and miss nursing her after pumping all day at work + skip my workout just to be with a friend. I was left feeling empty. It was tiring to text friends, call friends, make plans with friends, meet up with friends and try to keep meaningful relationships with friends when it seemed like more work than necessary. And then, I realized there are friends that do not make any of this feel like a chore.
I have been blessed with some of the most genuine, sincere, thoughtful and beautiful ones of that kind than I ever could have imagined. I didn’t even see them coming, but they entered my life when I needed them most. Do we see each other all of the time? No. Do we talk every day? Not usually. But, I find a unique beauty in that. Our friendships are no longer the product of high school or college where we have activities together and shared space. It takes more effort and sometimes there are longer gaps between seeing one another than maybe any of us would like. But, these friends are true. We understand one another, respect one another and can graciously accept that “hanging out” isn’t always possible. We each value our own families and our own time and space. We understand that there are easier times than others to nurture this friendship, but regardless of that time, the friendship is there. These are the friends who understand when my child has a fever and I have to cancel plans at the last minute. These are the friends visiting me and bringing meals to my family when I’m on hospital bed rest or scooping up my children when I have my hands full. The ones wanting to see me and my family. These are the friends who don’t skip a beat when there are household, family or personal tasks that take precedence over friendship time. These friends are the ones who don’t mind coming over if I’m doing laundry or if I unload the dishwasher while they sit at the counter. We may even take a day or more to reply to the texts we are piecing together as a conversation, but neither of us ever apologize because, well, we just get it.
Honestly, for a while I didn’t count all of these blessings because there was a little bit of a dark cloud over all of the beautiful friendships I had formed. That dark cloud was the friendships that required all too much energy and were providing nothing in return. I was still looking, hoping, praying for those friends to be there. What I want to tell you now is that I learned, it’s okay to break up with her. That friend that you may have had since childhood or even since college. The one that you just feel should be your friend forever. That one that pulls too much of your energy and doesn’t put any back in. The one who doesn’t ask about your kids or your husband or have any interest in listening to you ramble about your day and life. She does not define friendship for you.
It’s going to be tough – the break up that is. Maybe you need to call her and tell her. Or maybe it’s been so long since you’ve even touched base that letting your friendship drift off from this point is a better option. There will be mourning and if you’re anything like me, there will be tears. You’ll think about memories and wish that friendship was still there. And that is all okay. You could keep her on your Christmas card list if it makes you feel better. I’ve been told there could be a chance that when you journey through life you may find yourself back in a friendship together due to your seasons aligning. I just don’t get my hopes up. I choose to be at peace with moving on and I know that there are greater friendships in store.
An old Irish proverb states, “A good friend is like a four leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.” This is a reminder to me to count those blessings and cherish those good friends I do have. I know they are building me up rather than breaking me down. I know they are supporting me, encouraging me, praying for me and loving me through all of life’s full journey. And those friends of mine make my life so, so sweet.
As adults, surely we have all endured friendship transformation. My wish for you is that you see yourself for what you are worth and find those good friends to match it – or better yet – those friends who make you even better. ?