Hello and welcome back to The Post-It Note! I want to start by wishing you all a very happy Monday and a productive start to your week! I know that Monday’s aren’t easy for anyone, except for those who love Monday’s of course, so I am putting out all the positive energy that I can into today and all of you in hopes that today will be just as great as tomorrow! Today I wanted to talk about friendship, specifically friendships that have developed since childhood and continue into adulthood, I also want to share the 5 biggest takeaways that I’ve learned from my amazing friends.
I believe that friendships, especially ones that have decades of history, are extremely special. They endure decades of highs and lows, awkward stages, uncomfortableness, and development of self. These friendships, just like any other kind of relationship, platonic, romantic or otherwise, take a lot of work to maintain and when nurtured properly can ensure that you have a friend for life that will help get you through moments of pain and celebrate with you in moments of joy.
I met my best friend, J, in the summer between middle school and high school. We were enrolled by our parents and accepted into the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in a youth program called the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas. The program developed business acumen into young adolescents with entrepreneurial mindsets.
I’m not sure how J and I met, but one day we were just inseparable. We would have sleepovers, talk about boys, our dreams, and how annoying our parents were. Her family became my extended family and mine hers. We would also have fights, some were petty and some were more intense.
There were times where the fights were so bad, that I wasn’t sure if I could continue the friendship, but then there are times when I could rely on no one but her in the most desperate of situations. The fights that we had were explosive and hurtful, and they mostly occurred at a time when we were still developing and trying to figure out who we were in the world. Each time we would have a fight and stop speaking it felt like a breakup and a death.
We both struggled with depression and anxiety, we’ve also had our fair share of traumatic events, failed relationships and family blowups. After each fight, we always came back together, stronger, wiser and more open.
Friendships and especially those that have deep roots are built on a foundation of love and respect for one another, there also must be trust. I look at these kinds of friendships as similar to romantic partnerships, they can have many of the same issues a lot of differences, but they are both built on the same foundations.
“The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.”
– Simon Sinek
I personally believe that relationships are transactional, there is always an exchange of something. It could be time and investment, laughter, mentorship, love, and even an unbroken belief that you will always have someone there for you when times are tough. I am very grateful for all of the friendships that I have developed over the years, I am most grateful for the bond that J and I share and I find comfort that there is nothing else like it.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned about friendship:
Friendship is not easy
J and I have had so many arguments that I can’t even keep count. We are both Leos and were born 10 days apart. So there are times when we are the same person and also vastly different. I think that whenever you have a disagreement with someone you have to take the time to figure out how important it is to be right? How flexible can you be? Is this disagreement worth the friendship?
I’ve had to weigh each one of these questions and be very realistic with myself. I’ve learned that being right, is not always the right answer and best friends are people too who make mistakes and as long as we are both willing to work hard at our friendship and learn boundaries, the fight is never worth it.
Friendship is not perfectly balanced
Like Simon Sinek said, “friendship is not about giving andtaking in equal shares”, there will be times when J might need more support, orI might need more and am unable to give back. I believe that true friendship isabout knowing that there will always be someone to lift you up, you can alwayscount on them and they have that same trust in you. What is absolute is thatboth, J and I, need to be able to equally put in the work in our friendship tokeep it successful.
Friendship is a gift
People, especially good people are extremely valuable. Whenyou have a person in your life that you can call a friend, family not bonded byblood, you have something special. You also have something that can be bothstrong and delicate at the same time. Be sure to not abuse the love and trustthat you’ve built with your friends.
You might want to kill each other
Look, we all have ups and downs, highs and lows and sometimes our friends may add more pressure than they relieve. There have been times when I wanted to strangle J and I’m sure she might have wanted to smother me will a pillow in my sleep a few times. This is what happens when you grow up with someone and share everything. You will get on each other’s nerves, plain and simple. You can do three things: rise above it, call it out or let it go.
I think the reasons some of our arguments have gotten so bad in the past is because we didn’t really know how to communicate with one another when one of us did something to really bother the other one. Instead, we let it bottle up and then we just randomly blew up at one another. It’s important to not let this happen so I’ve learned to make a choice, talk about it, or let it go, but I can’t hold on to it.
Time and boundaries are important
Just because you are best friends does not mean that you have to spend every waking moment together or on the phone. You both have lives to get to and sometimes distance is the best kind of support you can give someone. I also want to point out that there are days, weeks and even months when I don’t see or talk to my friends. But I never worry that we are no longer friends. When we do speak it feels like we just spoke yesterday. Take time apart, set boundaries and respect one another.
What are some of the biggest takeaways from your friendships?
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