8 Types of Friendships You'll Have Growing Up

8 Types of Friendships You'll Have Growing Up

Everyone in your life plays their own, special role.

Growing up, you will come across many types of friendships that shape who you are. Some of them are forever, some of them are fleeting. All of them made an impact on who you are. Here are eight people you definitely encountered during your childhood.

1. Childhood Best Friend

Everyone has someone, or a small group of people, that they grew up with. Whether they tapped you on the shoulder in line for recess and said "we're best friends now" or you met them playing a rec sport in your community, kids find other kids to cling to and grow with. These people shaped you more than you realize because they were there with you from the very beginning. The parts of them you didn't like you swore you'd never follow, and the parts of them that you did you tried to weave into your own personality.

And if you're lucky enough, sometimes you find your way back. Sometimes you catch yourself on a bus to go visit them at college for the weekend and realize that all these years later, you helped each other become the best versions of yourselves from day one. And you also have some pretty great memories of the great games of pretend you used to play.

2. The Friend You Grow Out Of

No matter how much you promise someone that you will be "Best Friends Forever!" there will always be some people you grow out of. There is no need to feel guilty for this. You are allowed to change and find the version of you that you like the best, and sometimes not everyone wants to learn to love the new version. You need to constantly test your limits and expand and challenge yourself and if your friend doesn't understand why you want to, it just means they are a part of the past you have left behind.

Of course, they will always have a special place in your heart and of course you wish you could've taken him or her with you, but you can't force anyone somewhere they don't want to be. So call them up every once in a while or catch a movie. Appreciate that they were a big part of you, but accept that you grew in two different directions and no one could've stopped it.

3. The Support Group

These are the friends that you found because of a common situation you both endured. Maybe you're looking for someone to lean on for support or you're trying to make it a little easier for people experiencing the same thing you did, a connection forms fast. These are some of the most powerful because they are rooted in emotion.

Some of the biggest fights you will have come from here because you are so similar, but some of the best, most true connected moments come from these people too. Maybe they won't last forever when one person feels they don't need the other anymore. But maybe it will always be there because you've shared so much that there's no going back.

4. Polar Opposite Surprise

When you are least looking for a friendship is when you can get struck by forming a connection with your complete opposite. Someone you never thought you would even engage in small talk with steps into your life and teaches you a lot about the life you're not living. It shows you who you aren't and opens your eyes to how similar everyone is at the core.

Not many people will understand what's even there that keeps the friendship going, and sometimes you won't even understand. But the lack of expectation makes it a comfortable and safe space to challenge who you are.

5. The One You Love

You will one, if not a few people, who transforms from someone you care about to someone you love. It usually happens quietly. You go from laughing and making jokes to having late night what-does-life-look-like-after-death talks and suddenly these people will become the best parts of you. Many of the strongest relationships are secure because there was a grounded friendship underneath it. It will never be a crime to love the people in your life, even if you start loving more than you expected.

6. Friendships of Convenience

Easily, the shakiest friendships. In a new environment, it's easy to take the first person you find and latch onto them for security so you aren't the last one trying to figure your life out. Sometimes, the people you find can turn into lifelong friends, if you're lucky. Other times, they end so quickly that you feel as though you have nothing left. When it was a friendship out of convenience, when someone benefited short-term from being friends with you, they don't care how they leave you. It hurts, but in hindsight, you learn what the warning signs look like, and you learn you deserve so much better.

7. When You Have Nothing Left

There are people that come into your life when you have no one. There are friendships you form when your view of reality has been turned upside down and you feel like you won't find people who care about you again. I have found that these grow into some of the strongest friendships. You pick them carefully after getting burned once. You devote so much energy to them because cultivating it is your main focus. And one day, the friendships you form from level 0 are the most meaningful. They gave your life light again. They saw you at your weakest points. These are special. These are life-changing.

8. Family

In the beginning, family may be nowhere near this list. While you're growing up, your family sees the worst parts of you. They see you being selfish and throwing fits and know everything about you and your past. However, with time and distance, family has a weird way of coming together. It might be a cousin you've always been fond of or your brother you swore you hated with every ounce of your being when you were fighting over the last chicken nugget at dinner twelve years ago.

Either way, if you are lucky enough to find friends in family, they endure the most because they've been there since before day one, and they've already seen it all. Nothing can phase them anymore. You keep a little bit of home in each other until they become home entirely.

As most eloquently put in "For Good" from Wicked, arguably one of the most emotion musical theater songs to grace the stage, "who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good." Everyone in your life teaches you a lesson and helps you grow. Welcome them in with open arms, even if they can't stay awhile.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.

Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."

Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me", but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is; to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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