Thursday, 21 May 2015

I'm a grown up now

I've never felt as grown up as I do now. I've got the job, disposable income, great hair (I'm kidding, I badly need a haircut).

New jobs mean new friends, and I have been so lucky with the fabulous people I've had the pleasure of working alongside over the last year.

But it's not all good news. Growing up is hard.
There are good days and there are bad days. And sometimes you get a whole bad week.
And my first year out of college hasn't always been easy.

For one, you worry about all the little things as an adult.
Second guessing your choices. Contemplating the best way to save your new income. Trying to balance work and relaxation.

You also lose your social life. Last minute plans. Drinks in the Student Bar. Thursdays in Coppers. It just doesn't happen anymore.

But worse than that, there have been days when I've no longer known who my friends are.
Growing up means leaving college, even when a lot of the people you know remain behind. And that's been the hardest part of all.
There's a phrase that has come up a lot over the past month ; When you leave college you find out who your real friends are.
I've lost touch with a lot of people I was close to in college. As a student I'd see them nearly every day. Life was simpler, and friendships were simpler. Now, we no longer seem to have the time to stay in touch.

Sure, there are the few fabulous ones who I can still rely on through thick and thin. But overall the number of friends I can list has decreased dramatically.

It's been really tough and difficult to adjust, and I've lost a lot of sleep and shed a lot of tears over it. When things were tough I didn't know who I could count on. When I had good news, there were less people to share it with.

And I felt like such a failure. I felt that I was useless and unimportant. If I was better, people would still want to be my friend, right? Wrong. I still have other amazing groups of friends.

Almost a year on, I've learned to accept it. I decided to be a grown up. And to handle this in a grown up way - by not letting it hurt me anymore.
When something hurts you, it's because you gave it permission to. I've taken back that power.

Do not ask me how. But it happened. One day I was annoyed at how someone had treated me, when I realised their opinion shouldn't matter anymore. We no longer had anything in common, rarely hung out, so I didn't need to stress about it.

It's unrealistic to expect to keep every friend that you make for the rest of your life.
It makes the ones you do keep all that more special.

There comes a time when you have to let some people go. Friendships, like all relationships, can become unhealthy. It's hard to recognise, but there are circumstances where the best thing is to leave a friend behind. If you're finding yourself at the end of little digs, or always leaving your meet-ups annoyed & angry, then it's time to let go.

Trust me, it is not easy. I've spent the past year trying to patch up friendships that weren't working. Whether it's because I had changed, or they'd changed, or because without the mutual connection of college, it just came to the point where we weren't friends anymore. And that's okay. It's not something to be ashamed of, or feel that you've failed at.

It's just a part of growing up.

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