As children we tend to make friends with our classmates, teammates and if we are lucky, our family members. We find common ground with those who surround us as we are naturally participating in the same activity. Once we have discovered some common ground we evaluate how nice our peers are, if their snacks are good, if they get picked first in dodge ball. We make elementary judgements of our peers and sometimes, out of unknown fear, we remain close because it is better than being left alone in the ball pit.
As we grow up and begin our endeavors on larger playing fields, we lose friends. We outgrow one another, we go to different schools, or our parents tell us we can’t be friends anymore. Life simply happens. However, once we get a little older who we hang out with becomes more of our decision and less a product of circumstance. As we grow and learn we give in to our curiosity and we explore friendships of all types. Some of us move through our schooling with the same friends because it simply works. Some of us never really fit into a clique and find ourselves bouncing around from group to group in search of a place to call home.
Nevertheless, we form attachments to people and even as our lives go in different directions we find ourselves holding onto our childhood pals or crushes as if our life depended on it. Life throws us curve balls and we find comfort in the familiar even if that familiarity is in the form of a toxic or rutted relationship. We enter into adulthood and we change careers, cities and cars. We are forced to let go of our old friends because of distance or at the very least we talk less because it is hard to make small talk in different time zones.
But what if it is not the time zone that has made the real difference? It is us. Our beliefs have evolved, our habits and dreams alongside them. When we go back to our hometowns for holidays and occasions it becomes all too easy to make plans with those old friends and all of a sudden we are drunk at the bar wondering how we ended up here again. Of course at this point we have not had our ah-ha moment and we still believe we are true friends with our old friends because time is our biggest factor. We may have accepted the superficial changes that come with life but we have not come full circle with our own personal evolution.
Keeping our old friends around reminds of our youth and keeps us in a stagnant stage of reminiscing. Our old friends feed our comfortable childlike selves and they demand less of us. It is important to remember that it is better to be alone than in poor company. If you have a group of friends you no longer feel in sync with, it is ok to move on from the relationship, it is healthy to make new friends and be uncomfortable for the time being. Do not allow yourself to be held back by friends who no longer serve your higher purpose. Even if you have not discovered your purpose, trust your intuition to guide you into knowing what is and is not for you.