When I was a kid my Mum would say to me, ‘If you want a friend, be one.’
As I grow older and my life continues to change, some of my friendships grow distant.
And it makes me think, are we actually growing apart or do I just need to be a better friend?
I have this fear as we are all drifting apart that it’s because I might be doing something wrong. Maybe I’m not being a good enough friend, I’m not asking enough about their life, or saying the right thing at the right time, not being supportive enough or calling or texting enough.
But the thing is, I’m not sure everyone is meant to stay in our lives forever, what was the norm when we were 21 isn’t so much the norm at 28.
Life changes and schedules get busier, family time takes priority and workloads are heavier. Ambitions are stronger, and the motivation is relentless. I think its natural, as it is sad, that friendships fade as you get older.
I do think Mum’s advice still stands though, ‘If you want a friend, be a friend.’
So, It’s 9 pm on Friday night, I’m home alone. I’m eating lightly salted popcorn, watching Netflix and writing to you. I think I’m home alone by choice? I mean, I know that if someone invited me to go out right now the answer ‘in my head’ would be a hell no. And I’d unashamedly tell them I’m in bed already #sorrybabe…next time.
But would I even go next time?
It’s that fine line of wanting to be invited out, but also never wanting to leave the house.
That want to be wanted but also pretty content in your own company.
And in turn, making it slightly difficult to make new friendships in your late 20’s.
Have you ever done the Myers-Briggs personality type test? It’s used so frequently by businesses, in work places, on dating sites, and just generally well known for being so on point. I’ve done it quite a few times (for fun) and I spent a moment doing it again this afternoon.
According to the Myers-Briggs test, there are 16 different types of personalities. I fluctuate between INFP and ENFP. I’m assuming it’s because my general emotional state of being fluctuates just the same. The NFP part of it stands for Intuition, Feeling, and Perception. Whilst the I and the E stand for Introversion and Extroversion.
At least I know I’m intuitive and perceiving but what the fuck??!!
Do I like being around people or nah?
This is something I have genuinely struggled with in my mid-late 20’s. I want to be the life of the party. I am the life of the party, but I know what’s good for my soul and it’s not a party. I crave the company but when I get it, I want it out of the door as quickly as it entered.
Do you see my dilemma?
When I was younger I was a lot more extroverted than I am now, pair that with self-confidence, dominance, and a touch of narcissism. I was a fire sign burning out of control. Too much alone time would leave me bored and restless, interacting with other people was my recharge.
And don’t get me wrong, when it’s called for, I still love being the centre of attention.
For example: Group interviews = smash them.
Oral presentations, I’ll go last so you won’t forget me.
Dinner parties? I’ll almost always sit at the head of the table.
I love the sound of my own voice and I’m not shy of the camera, on my good days.
But I need my space.
I recently left my crib for 4 exhausting, very long days and attended a Health and Wellness conference. There were thousands of healthbrandfreak girls there, all decked out in their floral print dresses and heels, chatting not stop, sipping on pomegranate and lime detox tea, high on life. I cried.
No seriously…..I cried.
It was too much to deal with. I needed my down time, I needed to recoup, I needed space to bounce back. I just needed 1 day off to myself, to gain back my thoughts, wash my hair, moisturise, relax my mind and recharge. 4 days is a long time.
Its true that some people draw energy from others, from their outside environment, and some draw from within.
I definitely draw my energy from my Zen 28-year-old inner self that only makes an appearance when I’m alone.
The 4 day Conference was eye opening for me, not only did I discover that I stand out like a sore thumb at a Health and Wellness conference but apparently floral print is still trending like never before. These sorts of movements will only continue to grow as time goes on (and all power to them), but I dont think I see myself ever attending something on such a large scale ever again.
Im content with how I’ve changed over the years, I’ve experienced the wildfire that spreads super quick when my extroversion is at its peak. And for now, I enjoy the introvert life. I learn more, I sleep more and I make choices im proud of on a daily basis.
Making new friendships in your late 20’s is slightly difficult, even more so when you’re turning down invitations for a night out, to stay at home.
‘If you want a friend, be one’
But maybe its not all about that, maybe its about being your own friend first.