Did you have the awkward phase between elementary and middle school of transition and finding where you belong? Finding your new friends, your niche and where you're comfortable? I can proudly say that I had no idea what I was doing at that time and am not sure how I made it out.
Going into middle school, I was so excited that I didn't care about being the awkward weirdo; it's because everyone was that awkward weirdo.
I made a ton of friends in these early years of high school. Even throughout high school, I was still making friends since I was taking classes with new faces all of the time and getting stuck in group activities with my neighbors. It wasn't until later that I realized how many of those friends would turn their backs on me in a second and wouldn't defend me in front of others. These same people were the ones who started smoking and drinking during our last few years of high school. That part wasn't so relevant but they were becoming less dependent as time went on.
Photo by Helena Lopes
In the present day, my circle of friends is smaller than it's ever been and I'm okay with that.
The quality of a friendship is much more important to me than the number of friendships that I have. The better quality of friendships that I have, the fewer friendships I need to satisfy myself. If I have more quality over quantity, the quality makes up for the lessened quantity and I don't need as many. This is how I view friendships now.
It also doesn't matter to me how long I've been friends with someone. If I have a good standing friendship with someone and we've been friends only for a short time, that's okay. That doesn't matter to me. I've known some of my friends for years and years, but if they're not going to put in the effort that a lasting friendship needs, then it's virtually irrelevant to me.
I'm not saying that friendships take a lot of work, but friendships do take effort on both parts and it also involves communication. If there are random periods of time when a friend and I get busy, that's understandable. What isn't passable is if I try to contact a friend and they don't make the effort to get into touch with me. A huge tell is if I catch a "friend" posting on social media without answering me back. Please don't be one of those people.
Photo by William Iven
A genuine friendship for me doesn't require much. I don't have an application that a person fills out in order to be considered. If we talk and keep in touch, we get along and don't disagree much, then you're in. I promise I don't take time to think about it or take it into consideration before I decide to give you a warm shoulder.
Friendships shouldn't be a difficult subject, but they are because people seem to think that we're "friends" as long as they send me a text message for my birthday once a year and no time else. News flash: we're not friends anymore. I've personally spaced myself away from so many people and purposefully do not want to be in touch with any old friends who don't care about me any more than they do themselves.
So here I am, with a tight-knit group of friends that don't all know each other. That's how I like it. I wouldn't want my friendships any other way because I'm happier and healthier mentally than I used to be with people, and I don't have to worry about constantly being in contact with all 500 of my Facebook friends. Case closed.
Photo by Sam Manns