We're told our 20s will be the best time of our lives. This is Millennial preaching at its best.
Besides the fact that this is a gross simplification of an entire decade of our lives, we also never get painted a picture of balance. Much like any other point in life, your 20s will be filled with trials and tribulations. You will go through some of the most incredible experiences of your life, but you will also go through devastation.
That's OK. Change is important for growth. You have to grow, and sometimes, you even outgrow.
You outgrow places and people. Some aspects of our past are just meant to stay resting back there. In this way, we better ourselves. This can save our sanity.
OK, maybe that's a bit extreme. But you get me.
A lot of you can relate to having known some people for so long, the memories seem incomparable. I have a close group of girlfriends from middle and high school, and no matter where we have all ended up in the world, each of us is still part of this sisterhood.
I always say that the people who've gone through the awkward struggle of puberty with you know a part of you that no one else ever will. However, I always wonder this: At what point do we know if we've outgrown people? How do we know sheer nostalgia isn't the only thing we're holding on to?
Throughout college – and now grad school – I've met people I just get. There was an instant, deep connection I can't explain. It's more than just our goals and personalities being aligned. We just share the same perspective in general. Often, it feels like they know me more than my childhood friends do.
Thanks to my childhood friends being all over the world and having different experiences, our only conversations are through Skype. Sometimes, I start feeling like an outsider.
Now, I am someone who truly values people's time and energy, and I don't play around with the two. But you'll notice that when certain friendships are coming to an end, they sometimes become increasingly one-sided.
Try to not to begin conversations or reach out to the people you usually do for a while, and see how many approach you first. I tried it, and my results were astonishing. If you're the only one making the effort or if you are only ever contacted when this person wants something from you, then you may have to re-evaluate that situation. Either address it or gain some distance by going radio silent.
Right now, most of us are trying to get our footing right and begin our journeys. We just want to make something of ourselves. Some people may begin that adventure sooner than others.
I was in the group of people who came out of college burnt out and depressed, so I'm with you all trying to make sense of what you have learned. However, whether your friends are at the bottom climbing up or got moving pretty quickly at the top, you should all be supportive of one other.
I'm there for my friends. Maybe it's naive of me to think my friends would do the same for me, but it's not that huge of an expectation, is it? If your people can't celebrate your success without hating it on the inside, and if they can't congratulate you or support you, you don't need them in your life: period.
The more I begin to refine my standards and prioritize what's important in my life, the clearer I begin to see my wants and needs.
I'm putting myself first for the first time in my life, and as much as it goes against every bone in my body, I'm a lot happier. I grew up moving and traveling a lot. So, as a kid, I dreaded having to pack up and leave all my old friends. My mom used to say, "You meet people and you leave people. But the ones who matter never leave you, no matter the distance.”
I would just roll my eyes and go back to my ugly crying and sniffling. But older, wiser me totally gets it now.
Life is fleeting, and it's seldom a smooth road. We grow, and sometimes, our paths diverge from the ones that existed in the beginning.
It's not about ill feelings or bad blood. It's just that our interests aren't aligned. I can be at peace with that. Life happens.
I would never be the person I am today without the places and people I have known. We leave pieces of ourselves with the people we've known. It's uncomfortable to leave them, but it helps us grow.