Change is inevitable. Whether we do want or don’t want change, it forces its way into our lives from time to time and there’s nothing we can do about it. Yes, things can change for the worse but often things change for the better. But it’s not always things that change. Often it can be people that change for better or for worse.
I’ve always been a bit more of a reserved person and although I can be very social at times I definitely identify as an introvert. Luckily I have never struggled to make new friends and I generally get along with just about anybody. Hence especially in high school I’ve had lots of friends. Fast forward a few years later and my group of friends has shrunk quite drastically. Time is very valuable, so I choose to only spend it with people I feel are worthy of my time and effort. I know I know that might sound a bit harsh but is it really?
I can’t count the amount of times I have worried about somebody not liking me, being upset about feeling left out or disappointed about what an alleged friend said or did. So why waste time on people, who you don’t truly love to spend time with? Who you can’t trust? Cause you shouldn’t! Some people simply aren’t worth your time and effort and sometimes it’s better to leave those people in the past and cut them out of your life.
Friendships end. But it’s not always a fight or betrayal that ends a friendship. Sometimes you just grow apart and that is okay because people change. No one is the same person they were ten years ago. Life never stops and we constantly encounter new people and experiences, which cause us to grow and develop and change. It’s natural. But sometimes it’s very hard to admit that you no longer have much in common with a person you once cared so much about. A person you shared so many memories with.
I’m often told I’m quite mature for my age and I think that might be because I moved a lot growing up and I’m quite lucky to have been able to travel to lots of places and live and study in four different countries so far. Even during my junior and senior year in high school I was already different from my friends. Most of them had been born in the same city they’ve lived in for the majority of their lives. It was the typical everybody knows everybody kind of town most people never stray to far away from. I’ve always had big dreams of going foreign places and exploring the world country by country even at age sixteen. I had just moved back to Europe from the US, a country the majority of my new classmates had never been to, so everybody was quite intrigued to hear my stories and I made new friends easily. But things where easy back in high school. There was always something to talk about because as teenagers we all kind of go through the same things and life pretty much solely revolves around friends, partying and school.
I genuinely thought I made some friends for life back then and no matter where I would end up I would always keep in touch with my friends from school. After graduating high school I moved to the Netherlands to attend university there but I still came home every other weekend to see my dog, my family and my old friends of course. Especially during my first year of college I still hung out with them a lot but things started to change. Well, I think it was me that was changing while most of them didn’t. I felt how I was drifting away from my group friends and I didn’t enjoy spending time with them as much anymore because I felt like I barely had anything to talk about with them.
I still had my big dreams of traveling and hopefully being able to work abroad in the future. Yet, most of my friends at the time had no interest in broadening their horizons past the life they already knew. Whenever I met up with them I mostly sat there and listened to their conversations about different people, boring and trashy TV shows and work. I wanted to engage in the conversation so badly but I felt like I had nothing to contribute. Especially compared to new friends I made, who I could talk to about everything from our dreams and plans for the future to politics. But when I hung out with my old friends I just felt so lonely. Have you ever experienced that? You’re in a room full of people but you feel so disconnected from them it makes you feel even more lonely than if you were by yourself. Well, if you haven’t I can assure you it’s not a nice feeling. Especially if you once used to be so close to those people. But suddenly you’re the odd one out. You’re on the outside looking in.
Since spending time with my old friends made me unhappy I started to cancel on them a lot, which maybe wasn’t the most adult thing to do I must admit but it felt like the right thing at the time. Cause why would I want to put myself in a situation I knew would make me miserable?
While I was in Canada I didn’t keep in touch with most of them but I met the most amazing people. People like me that love to travel and are open-minded and always up to experience something new. People who cared. People who I could have intellectual conversations with. People who made me happy when I spend time with them and it made me realize that those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with.
Now I might not have so many friends but the friends I do have are genuinely amazing people that make me happy and that is what counts. If a friendship for whatever reason is making you unhappy it might be time to end it. It might be hard. It definitely was for me because it’s really hurtful to come to the realization that people who once were an important part of your life no longer seem to have a place in it. But I believe that is part of growing up. We all change and sometimes that change leads us into very different directions and that is totally okay.
Friendships shouldn’t be dragging you down. They should be lifting you up, so what’s important to remember is that you’re not alone with your dreams and plans and interests. There’s lots of people out there, who you have so much in common with. It might take some time to find them but in the end it’s going to be so worth it.