I’ve found friends in the most unlikely (and likely) places. The first memory I have of a budding friendship was when I met J* on our kindergarten playground’s jungle gym. The encounter went a little something like this:
J: “Hi! Wanna be friends?”
Me: “Hi, sure!”
We’re still friends to this day. Throughout the years of my adolescence, I made friends mainly through school and sports. Usually, you found someone who played the same video game as you, had the same favorite movie, or listened to the same music and voilà – you had a new friend. Even in college, new friends could easily be made in the dorms, at classes, through extra-curricular activities, or at parties. There really was no shortage of people, and friends came and went like your 21st birthday.
I made a few life-long friends from college, but I also discovered that many of the friendships I had retained from childhood and young adulthood were those of convenience and proximity. As an adult, time became a larger constraint than it ever was, and suddenly I began valuing the company of certain people more than others. However, it’s difficult to reconcile the idea of letting go of friendships with society’s expectations to “live it up” in your 20s. Since I’m not much of a social butterfly, choosing to stay in on a Friday night in lieu of a party at an acquaintance’s house felt like an easy decision. Gradually, I committed myself to maintaining strong relationships with close friends and I naturally lost contact with those who were not meant to be a part of my life journey.
I have nothing against any of my former friends from my youth and college years – in fact, they (for the most part) are very nice, fun people. But, I found that they didn’t fill my soul with love, acceptance, and positivity. In fact, I can count the number of people who nourish my soul using less than 10 fingers knowing that I’ll never be lonely in a world of 7 billion people.
*Name redacted for privacy