Ooo, You Make Me Live. You, You’re My Best Friend*
I realized that as I grew older, the people who I consider to be my best friends–or even who I would consider friends–have evolved. I didn’t realize it in all my trips back home until I had to actually live at home. That’s when I realized just how different this was all going to be from my life in Chicago.
A lot of my friends here in California, I’ve known since high school, or even elementary school. And all of our experiences in college have shaped us. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s great to have friends that are different. But I think it also opened my eyes as to people I’m not quite sure I want in my life anymore.
In college, and life after college, it is definitely easier to find friends that had more similar interests and are more aligned with my values. A lot of this comes from going to a college in a state where I knew absolutely no one else before going there. It’s not like high school where you have only 4,000 kids in the school that you’re interacting with. These are campuses with 40,000 students. Spend four years there, and you can pick and choose exactly the friends that you want to keep in your life.
Coming home though, has been in many ways, a shock. My friends here are fun to hang out with, but they don’t feel like they hold as much substance. I realized that our lives are back from when we left high school and losing those four years in between when we’ve all had time to grow and develop in different ways has left an almost empty space in the friendship. It’s like a relationship that has gone on for far too long and it’s comfortable, and you know they are there for you, but it’s not exciting and just not the same.
In all my trips home, they were never for more than a week or a couple days at time. Therefore, I never really took the time to evaluate some of my friendships. What I found is that there are people in my life that if they did the things they did in college, I would have already dropped them. It’s much harder to drop these friendships, because these aren’t people that I have met for only a year or two–these are friendships that are now six, seven, or even ten+ years long. But I think there comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in, and friendships are sometimes just of the toxic kind and it’s better to “naturally” drift apart.
There are still a lot of friends that I would consider my close friends, just maybe not my best friends anymore. It’s a little sad to think about, but I think it happens; it might have even happened to me in Illinois if I had stayed long enough. And who knows, these are people I would love to be as close with again, and it could happen in the future still.
*Queen – “You’re My Best Friend”