I have to remind myself regularly that some friendships are for a season. Some of them last decades, while others are just for a few years. This feels impossible for me to grasp most days. I want them all to last forever and ever. I want all of my friends to evolve with me. I want to start as two peas in a pod and end as two jumping beans. Both of us different, but still the same.
I have to remind myself, regularly, that it's OK if we're changing in different directions. And it's OK if we don't talk as much anymore. I love keeping in touch and knowing everybody is OK and hearing their voices and their laughs. It warms me and fills me.
But, part of growing up is being brave enough to give one another space. I am learning this.
In 2012, I was in the depths of singleness. I lived with my friend, Katie, and Melissa and Sally lived next door. A lot of times, I felt so sad about being single I thought I'd break. I felt like I couldn't go on one more day without meeting a guy. I went to a Toms event hoping to meet Blake Mycoskie so he could become my future boyfriend. I bought King of Pops regularly, hoping I could be the Queen of Pops. Everywhere I went was a chance to meet a guy. If it sounds desperate, you're right. I felt completely desperate.
In retrospect, my desire to be in a relationship completely blinded my ability to see the beauty in the season I was in. We didn't realize how good we had it, with four friends living next door, exploring our 20s and ourselves in a new city. We didn't know how sweet those days were. We had no idea they'd be a teeny, tiny blip on the radar of life, before husbands and babies and home ownership and grad school came along.
Weddings, new cities, grad school, babies and home ownership did come along. It came quickly and left us standing in its wake, wondering how everything changed so quickly.
I learned that life narrows a bit as we get older. There is less time to see people and, when you do, you need a little more space than you used to. I find myself aching to go deeper with people, which requires more time. Quality, not quantity, becomes the latter half of your 20s.
Your parties get smaller in your late 20s. They're get togethers now. And, while you stand there with a glass of wine, you joke about the ragers you used to throw, when the neighbors would complain about the music and you'd worry that the deck might fall through. I wonder how Zoe is doing, someone will say. And then someone else will say they saw she was pregnant on Facebook. That's nice, you'll think as you smile at the thought of her playing flip cup on your porch. Should we go to El Bar later? Someone will say with a laugh. And then, by 10 p.m., everyone will be heading home and you'll laugh at the thought of a post-midnight bar cameo.
You'll take off your makeup and get in bed early, knowing a hangover-free, productive Saturday is ahead. And you'll smile because, even though your life has narrowed, it still feels right.