Historically, I have always struggled with finding balance in my life, and the more time goes by, the worst this gets. More advanced college classes, internships, family, old friendships and new friendships. And yes, I understand this is something everyone struggles with, but due to my chronic overthinking and inability to multitask I believe I struggle even more.
Another tradition of mine linked to my overthinking, is to constantly question my friendships. A while back I even wrote an article on this in which I very dramatically describe this mural I have in my bedroom at home, and how its incomplete because I am not sure who I want to put up there.
Coming home for the summer always makes me reflexive on this topic, and I am not sure if its because of the extra time I have to think, the distance from my college friends and consequent perspective, or meeting up with my school friends. Most likely, it's a combination of all of these.
So here I am once again, writing a late article on friendship, whose conclusion is (spoiler alert) that I still don't know who I want to put up in my mural, but I have very methodically devised an efficient way of figuring this out.
Something important that college changed about my school friends, was the filter the distance applied: now I have to make an effort to see and maintain contact with my friends, so only the ones that both I want in my life and want me remain. Recently, a friend told me that I really like few people, and this summer made me realize that is very much true, but whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
But as a very anxious person, I am just not prepared to have to wait until I graduate college for distance to filter good friends - to separate Family Friends from mediocre and casual Having-Fun Friends. Maybe different people separate their friendships in different ways, and the most sane probably don't separate them at all, but for me Having-Fun Friends aren't necessarily bad, they are, as the same suggests, for fun, but not to be relied upon, and can come and go from your life as they please. Family Friends, on the other hand, may be harder to come by but once they are identified, they are for life, to be trusted with everything.
But back to my summer reflections, distance and busy schedules made me realize that relying on group reunions to see my school friends just isn't realistic, and so I began arranging to see my favourite friends one-on-one. And I realised that people who considered me a Family Friend also arranged to see me one-on-one, regardless of our mutual group of friends. Although most of these people I was already very close to, I noticed that seeing them without others around really strengthened our bond, made us more confortable sharing secrets or even simply stirring the conversation towards our mutual interests, something that is much easier to do in small groups just because in these types of settings there are less interests present.
I know groups are fun and loud and exciting, but one-on-one interactions really help me realize who I am willing to make an effort to see and maintain contact, because no matter how much you love someone, finding time to text or call everyday is hard. Of course groups are still a part of my life, and I still love and enjoy them very much, but I think these one-on-one interactions are really helping me weed out Family Friends from Having-Fun Friends.