Growing up, you are always rushing time to get older. To get to that next season in life that’ll be more fun than the one you’re in now. You couldn’t wait to be in high school and have a driver’s license. You couldn’t wait to go to college, no more curfew! You couldn’t wait to graduate college, have a job, and make actual money! No more over-drafted bank account! (Okay maybe that was just my irresponsible butt).
But no one prepared you for what I liked to call: “post-college depression.” No one really prepares you for what your twenties entail. After my college graduation ceremony, we were literally led out of the stadium through a tunnel, directly outside to the pouring rain. That could not have been a better metaphor for being thrown into the world of “adulting.”
Sure, the working full time, bills, figuring out what you actually want to do with the REST OF YOUR LIFE is tough, but the most unexpected thing was actually the hardest. Keeping relationships with your friends strong while simultaneously trying to build new ones. How does one get through their twenties without someone to relate and complain to?
Below are the 3 friendship roadblocks I’ve run into and how I’m dealing with them (yes, still):
Your college or early twenties contain pivotal moments in your life. For me, that’s when I made my closest friends. I had a tight-knit group. We spent late nights studying together, got over heartbreaks together, survived career fairs together and more. I lost sight of the fact that we won’t have each other forever. Your friends will move away. They will get new jobs and probably not in town. They will go off and start their lives, make new friends, and so will you. You start living these separate lives and instead of seeing each other every day, that turns into once a month, or even just a few times a year.
I am lucky enough to have crazy smart, ambitious friends. All currently killing it at their careers, not all of them nearby. I struggled with not being able to call everyone up to hang out on the weekends anymore, feeling like I lost my friends. But you have to accept that. Celebrate your friends and their successes. Distance makes the heart grow fonder right? Losing touch with people is a part of life, you grow out of relationships, but you also grow deeper in others.
The feeling of starting a new job is oddly familiar to starting at a new school (if you ever had the pleasure like me). If not, it’s a scary feeling. The only person you probably know is the person who hired you. Have you ladies tried making friends as an adult yet? If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you have. It’s not easy! The workplace is just as cliquey as high school, or at least it feels that way. Or maybe you’re not trying to make friends at work, but somewhere else. It’s still hard opening up and being vulnerable with someone new.
I’m going to tell you what your parents probably told you as a kid, be yourself and everything will work out. Honestly, life is too short to waste it on impressing people who don’t matter. Whether it’s at work, a new club, the library, wherever, whoever it is you are talking to, there’s one thing in common you have already. You are both in that one place at the same time. Don’t be afraid to chat it up, take a step out of your comfort zone, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.
Something kind of crazy happens as you get older; people start taking different paths. I have friends who are single, married and starting families. Friends living in big cities and friends living in small towns. Some killing their careers, some barely making ends meet. And honestly, I love all those friends equally. Do I get to see them as often as I would like? I never will. Do I support all their paths no matter what? Yes. We can turn to drama when we start running out of things in common with our friends and start taking separate paths. But when we remember the importance of their relationships in our life, doesn’t it make a whole lot of sense to just put ourselves in their shoes and support them? I think so.
The older we get, the harder relationships become. It’s not just hanging out on the playground any more people. You have to make an effort. You have to have conflict in order for something to work out the way it’s supposed to. It’s not supposed to be easy! But what’s beautiful is we also grow smarter as we get older, we learn to love stronger, making our relationships stronger. Put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to express your feelings and love your tribe. Love them hard and don’t forget to make time for them.
Good luck out there, we are all in this together.
– Written By Jessica Schroeder, Owner of Jessica Rose Photo
One For Women is honored to have Jessica Schroeder, owner of Jessica Rose Photo, share her voice and her important message as part of our One Voice to Hear series.