It's no secret that I've always been an extrovert and a social butterfly. When I was in high school and even into my early college career, I had a large social circle. It wasn't uncommon for me to have over a dozen friends over at once. Over time, that circle has shrunk, not because I've cut people off or unfriended them, but rather the realities of adult life have caused me to rearrange my priorities.
The last few times I've come home to visit, I've only hung out with about three to five friends total. Most often, I see the same three friends that I've known for years. Occasionally other friends and acquaintances will reach out and I make time for them, but typically I keep my interactions to a minimum. This is not to say that I no longer want to see old friends when I visit, rather my time here is so short that I need to prioritize how I spend it.
While this may not come across as a revelation, it has been for me. If you ask my parents, they can recount countless parties I threw in high school, our kitchen and living room bursting with droves of my friends. That's just not the case anymore, as my inner circle and I can now fit at the kitchen table.
This past weekend, my sister threw a party with her friends. They filled the family room, and I could hear them laughing and having fun all night. I was happy for her, and was hit with the sudden though that I no longer have the desire to do that myself.
I've written before about bad experiences with toxic friends. Throughout those bad experiences and beyond them, the same few friends were always there for me. These are now the people I make it a priority to visit with whenever I come home. While I still consider myself outgoing and friendly, I'm content to sit at home with my friends on a Saturday night and play Yahtzee and watch game shows. That's more than enough for me.