I can’t explain how I’m feeling right now. It’s a combination of fulfillment, anxiety, freaking out, happiness, sadness, nostalgia all wrapped up in a blanket of anticipation.
2 weeks until I hit the road. Literally. To drive to Seattle with everything that I can fit in a car (That I have yet to acquire).
That is 14 days until I leave the only city I’ve known for the past 17 years and make my way to a brand new coast.
I am ready.
I’ve been ready. Mentally.
Emotionally? Ha. I don’t even know where to begin with that one.
Up until roughly 18 months ago, I felt that I could leave D.C. without worrying about leaving friendships behind. I was feeling lonely, and that’s around the time I started making as many trips as possible to see my friends across the country. A lot happened in my life that left me feeling jaded about this city in general. Maybe it was my industry and the people I hung out with or it was just timing, but I felt alone. I felt no connection to the city except for the fact that it was home and I had so many memories.
Today, however, I am surrounded by amazing friends who are not happy with me moving away. They are making me feel loved, accepted, and like I have ties to this city besides just childhood memories and a lot of mistakes that helped me become the woman I am today. I belong. Unconditionally.
It’s the first time in my life that I feel that in this city, and not just with friends scattered across the country.
Right as I am leaving.
Because that’s how life works, doesn’t it? Because this is how we grow as people. We stop making excuses, and stop getting stuck in our comfort zone if it feels like a rut (Which it does for me). This doesn’t diminish the importance of the friends in my life in this city. I am only leaving them behind physically.
Sure, we won’t be able to grab coffee Saturday mornings or grab a drink after a long day at work or have brunch & movie dates.
But I genuinely believe that the ones I hold the closest to my heart will be there for the long run. They say it’s difficult to make friends once you’re in your late 20s. I didn’t make any new friends AT college, but I made them while I was in college. Yes, it’s harder and sometimes, the way you get hurt sucks incredibly worse than it did when we were teenagers. It is, however, possible.
Oh and those friends you made in high school and college that you carry into your 20s? It’s quite possible that you will be sitting on a porch with them 40 years from now, drinking iced tea and gossiping about the other women in the nursing home. More than likely, however, as you grow up, you will grow apart. It’s a fact of life. It doesn’t diminish your memories – at all. They’ll be bittersweet but they’ll be yours. Your inside jokes will still be there but you’ll miss the only other person who understood why your random reference to “And I heard it, and I came out” is hilarious. The beauty of life and new friendships is that it’s an opportunity to create new memories and inside jokes. Because that’s life.
I can count the number of people I trust to tell me about myself unconditionally and still have my best interest at heart on one hand – those are my soul sisters. The number of great life-long friends I’ve made, however, are in the double-digits.
Don’t close yourself up to the possibility of letting new people enter your life, no matter what your age. The people who are closest to your heart, who know your deepest secrets, will be there. I’m an open book, so sometimes the new people in my life know way more about me than they’d like (Sorry I’m not sorry). This doesn’t mean, however, I trust them unconditionally right off the bat. It’s a hard balance, especially as we grow older and have more at stake. The plus side to making friends when you’re older is that you will have learned to trust your gut. You will have principles that you have built through years of experience and broken relationships.
(Oh, and there will be a couple more blogs about my move to Seattle and leaving the east coast. Probably rambly and full of all the feelings. You’ve been warned.)
3 thoughts on “On Making Friends in Your 20s (In a Round-About Way)”
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It’s so true! I have found out, that as you get older, it becomes more and more difficult to make new friends! You always want to keep the friends you made throughout childhood, because you know each so well already, and you just have to keep each other up-to-date…not, start from the beginning again!
I love how your blog expresses the real feelings and life that is out there 🙂