Twenty Something Advice: Circle of Friends

Thursdays are Twenty Something Advice at GenPink. Today’s guest post is written by Lara. Lara blogs at Life: The Ongoing Education.

Like many others of my generation, I spent a great deal of my twenties (thus far) in committed relationships.  One in particular.  This meant I spent the vast majority of my time with one person and not much time with any others.  Of course I had friends, but I didn’t see them often… or talk to them very much… or do anything that would actually indicate a friendship.  They were friends from before “the guy,” and – sad as I am to admit it – I took it for granted that they would always be there.  I took them for granted.

And then I needed them.  Almost exactly one year ago, I entered what would become the darkest of my life so far.  The relationships I had been spending the most time and attention on fell apart, and I felt like I was completely alone.  And when I thought of the friends I could turn to, I realized that I had totally neglected everyone.  The thought of turning to someone I’d ignored and saying, “Hi, I know I haven’t kept in touch for, oh, years, but now that I need something, I was thinking we could get together” – well, that thought was abhorrent to me.

I let my mom and sister talk me into reaching out to my friends, but it wasn’t until after I was hospitalized for my depression (full story here for those interested) that I really accepted the fact that I might need my friends.  I called and asked them to visit me, I asked for advice, I asked for support and unconditional love.  And you know what?  I got it.  The friends I had ignored held me up and carried me through the worst storm I’ve ever survived, and the fact that I did survive it, I owe mostly to them.

Now, looking back, I wish that I had given those friendships the attention and respect that they deserved before I was at rock-bottom of my life.  I’ve learned never to underestimate the power that friendships hold, and the lifelong importance of having friends close at hand and close to heart.

So you want some advice from me?  Some friends are friends forever – hang onto them, appreciate them, value what they bring to your life.  Being a twentysomething means dealing with a lot of changes – professionally, personally, geographically.  Whatever happens, find a way to keep your friendships healthy and strong.  You never know when your friends might save your life.

Previous Twenty Something Advice:

Photo via Pixabay.

18 thoughts on “Twenty Something Advice: Circle of Friends

  1. Hugs for Lara. :) Side note: Despite this song’s more recent appearance in another slideshow, I’ll always remember it as the Testimony slideshow song. It usually brings to tears to my eyes, remembering the good times. :) “This is the room for people who want to cuddle…” ;) (Mysterious out of context, isn’t it?)

  2. That is excellent advice, Lara. You’re so far ahead of me, learning all the things that I only learnt in my thirties in your twenties!

    Only now, in my thirties, have I got “people”. They’ll go the distance with me, they’ll drop their lives for me if I need them to and they’re always cheering me on. I do the same for them of course! And while we may not see one another very regularly, the bonds just get stronger and stronger, irrespective of life partners, distance and commitments.

    Great post, as always!

  3. Good reminder, Lara. Something I’m needing reminded of lately – that some friends will be there for you even if they’ve not been around lately.

  4. It’s something that is so hard to remember in the thick of things – and yet so obvious when you come out on the other side.

    Wonderfully written – and so very true!

  5. been there. and i wish i would have learned the first time because i’m there again. and it sucks.

    take this advice to heart. you’ll only realize it when it’s too late that you haven’t.

  6. This piece of advice really resonates with me. It’s something I struggle with all the time. I try hard to keep friendships strong when there are miles and miles between us, but it’s sometimes hard to get all parties involved to put in as much effort.

    I have never lived in one place for more than a few years, always changing schools, and always losing friends along the way. And now that I am finished with school, and again living in a new place, I find it’s even harder to make new friends.

    I agree with the importance of keeping close friends, but how do you do it when there are more and more factors involved as we get older? I haven’t found the right solutions.

  7. This is great advice. I feel like I kind of neglected a lot of my friends over the past (almost) 6 years…and now that that phase of my life has come to an end, I need my friends more than I have ever needed them.

    I am SO lucky that they have been there for me. Some of them I hadn’t talked to in years…and yet still, they are there.

    I think there’s something about seeing someone go through something difficult is all it takes for a friendship to blossom, or re-blossom in this case.

  8. I just met one of my dear forever friends today for lunch. True friends are for life and make you feel alive. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Yes, I completely agree. So many women become so involved in their boyfriends they let everything fall away. I had to do that several times before learning the better way. Now, I just have to find Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome.. ;)

  10. thanks, everyone, for your comments. i’m glad to give the reminder that we all sometimes need, and i’m glad to hear so many of you already understand the great importance of good friends. thanks to elysa for having me! :)

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