For most of my life, my biggest source of joy and hope were always my friends. I got quite lucky. I collect my friends for life; they are my most prized possessions. I don’t have too many people I call close, but the ones that have stuck around are family.
I remember in my childhood, "hanging out" meant showing up at your friend’s front door and asking them to come down to play. Your closest friends were the ones who were most accessible to you. As a teenager, you started to develop opinions, and your closest friends became the people who you could relate to the most during that time. Hanging out soon went from going shopping and eating pain puri to trying your first drink and going to your first party.
As I entered my 20s, hanging out meant loading on whiskey, dancing the night away, and going to college or work with a hangover the next morning. It meant two-hour calls decoding screenshots from potential lovers, drunk ‘I miss you’ phone calls, and covering up for each other no matter how close or far away we lived. It was filled with sleepovers where no one slept, heartbreaks, and failures followed by lessons. The friendships were intense, but adulthood didn’t hit us as hard.
Cut to now, late 20s. The thought of parties makes me tired. I don’t drink anymore. Work and life responsibilities have accelerated, as they tend to. My social battery has diminished exponentially, and I don’t think it’s ever coming back. While your friends remain in your life and you convince yourself that nothing will ever change, it inevitably does. It is heartbreaking and uncomfortable; the new dynamics affect you more than you thought they would.
That’s just getting older, though. Our lives change because, well, they have to. There is no growth without change. People move, people grow up, life gets in the way, and friendships and relationships change. Some friends stay regardless; some you drift away from by choice or unintentionally; and some you just outgrow. It’s one of the harsher realities of growing up.
I believe most adult friendships are a choice. Both of you have to continually opt-in to subscribe to each other. You choose to find a way to make time and put in the effort, and it only works if both friends involved are willing. That being said, not every friendship that you had when you were younger is meant to work out when you are older, and that’s okay. All of our journeys are different, and with some people you grow together and with others you grow in separate directions.
As humans, we never stop growing, learning, and evolving. It is natural that our view of the world and priorities change as we grow older, and they may not always align with everyone you met when you were younger. None of this takes away the love you have for each other or your shared memories together. Memories have a funny way of coming back to you; they are forever. It just means your current frequencies in life may vary, and it seems difficult to find that sweet spot to connect.
I often find myself thinking about my friends and how happy I am for their wins. I think about how all of them have grown in their own ways, working towards finding themselves and their own versions of happiness. I think about the memories—the happy, the sad, and everything in between. Most of all, I think about how all of them have shaped me into the person I have become, and I am grateful.
Different people come into your life at different times to serve different purposes. Some stay; others drift away temporarily or permanently. You keep the nostalgia alive and remember them through all the little things. But if you are lucky, if it’s meant to be, maybe someday there is a chance that your frequencies will meet at that sweet spot again. You may laugh over old memories together while accepting these newer versions of each other, and in that moment, it will feel like no time has passed.
That’s the beauty of good friendships; they're unconditional and full of warmth. You can pick up right where you left off, and it will feel like you never left at all.
It's Ini Raaj here, signing out until next time.