Let's be real, making friends is hard. Even though our high school selves told us this will be the hardest time of our lives to develop true and meaningful friendships, it seems this sinking feeling reappears in young adulthood. This article inspired me to think more honestly about transitions in life and how that directly effects my relationship with others.
I was very fortunate to have an amazing college experience. Surrounded by some of the most loving and compassionate believers, my friends poured themselves out to others with their whole being, in a way I had never experienced previously. My passion for people, their stories, and intentional community blossomed and became a core foundation to my life. It was a safe environment that naturally pointed to deep conversations, trusting accountability, and abounding grace.
I would not have my college experience any other way however being so blessed by this environment, I went through a significant stage of grief post-graduation. This community that I relied so heavily on for three years was suddenly scattered around the world doing crazy awesome things with their life. I selfishly however wanted and needed them beside me. Facing 60+ hour work weeks in a new career, trying to develop an engagement and marriage, and learning to jump into adulthood full force (aka paying bills and doing dishes) was hard in itself. At the end of the day it was much easier to crawl in bed absolutely fatigued than to go meet the neighbor, take a walk with a new friend, or invite someone over for dinner.
Dare I say I don't think I am alone in this feeling? Life transitions are challenging and making friends in the midst of them seems more overwhelming than relying on our own sometimes. But those core values from college that are engraved on my heart remind me that community is necessary to this life and investing in new and different relationships is meaningful.
Be Open to Change
Relationships will grow and change over different seasons of life and that is okay. Friends you thought would be your besties for life may end up as mere acquaintances down the road. Some relationships will grow and thrive while others were placed in your life only for a certain time. Even the closest relationships will change and this is natural.
Try Not to Compare
My first few weeks of college I was utterly depressed. Nothing was like home, none of my friends knew me like my old ones did, and everything was different. Instead of absorbing and soaking up a new environment and the the different people around me, I decided to get stuck in a rut of comparison. Embrace this new transition and try to create a distinct excitement for it. The past and all it consisted of may be wonderful but enjoy the relationships right in front of you instead of missing out.
Don't Be Afraid to Invest
We often limit ourselves in relationships because of excuses. We do not have enough time, we have other things to do, we cannot share our hearts because of XYZ - the list goes on. Instead of coming up with reasons not to, delve into new relationships. Invest when it is scary and foreign, this may just be where some of the greatest growth and vulnerability comes from.
How do you make friends in life transitions?
What does community mean to you?
Labels: community, friendship, Heart to Heart