When You Leave Your Friends And Move On

We’ve all been told that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it’s not something you believe until you experience it yourself.

We assume it applies mostly to romantic relationships, but I’ve learned that’s not even the half of it.

Moving, graduating, starting new life chapters –  all that usually comes with some distance between you and people and places you love. And boy does it make you appreciate all the things you once took for granted.

As you get older, 60 miles is nothing but a short drive, but it also starts to feel like a million miles away. You realize how much you’re missing out on by not being next door or in the same building as your people.

Graduating from college and moving to a new city can be one of the scariest, most liberating events of your life. It can be one of the hardest too.

You have moved away from the comfort of your family as well as your very best friends. Sure, you’ll make new friends, but it won’t be the same as it was in college. You may even meet the best friend you’ve ever had, but the way in which you are friends cannot be the same as it was with your friends in college.

In college, you lived a mile away from or in the same building as your friends. You would stay up for hours talking or doing stupid stuff and not worry about getting up for that 8 a.m. class because you knew you wouldn’t be able to do it forever. (And because you could come home and nap in between classes).

Once you enter the real world, you can’t stay out all night without really feeling it at work the next day. And if you go home and nap, you actually just fall asleep for the rest of the night.

So, it’s harder to make friends outside of work. It’s possible, it’s just not as easy as it once was. In college, you saw your friends almost every single day. You were in class together, at meetings together, and then at home together. You made memories all the time because you were sharing your life with them.

While you’ll always be friends, you won’t always all live in the same city forever. And it’s especially hard when you’re the first one to leave the group and start a new chapter.

1. You miss out on all the new memories.

All your best friends are attending parties and events while you’re working and watching Netflix for the fourth day in a row. It’s hard to hear about all the things they’re doing that you used to do with them. You will feel left out and like they are moving on from your friendship. That’s not the case; you just happen to be in different parts of life, and that doesn’t mean you aren’t friends. You’ll miss out on the times they’re having, but the time you get to spend with them will be even more special.

2. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I’m sure you got in your share of little fights with your friends when you spent every waking moment together. You got on each other’s nerves occasionally and needed time apart. Now that you have all that time apart with your separate lives, you are extra happy when you get to see them. Instead of seeing each other every day, you might get to see each other once or twice a month, and it’s always the best time when you’re together. You realize how wonderful they are and how much you appreciate them. I guess it’s true, distance does make the heart grow fonder.

3. A long distance friendship is better than a long distance relationship.

Long distance relationships are hard to do, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible. All relationships take work, but luckily, friendships are usually pretty easy to pick up where they left off. Romantic relationships aren’t always easy to leave alone and pick back up. However, friendships, really good friendships, don’t have to be watered and tended to every single day. Friendship can be fun from far away sometimes. You can send letters, talk on the phone, or FaceTime and set time aside to do so. It can make your long days of work much brighter when you have those FaceTime dates to look forward to.

4. Your weekends are full of fun.

Luckily, weekends are still a thing. When you and your friends both get free weekends, you get to travel to see each other or plan to meet in the middle. And when it’s been a month or so since your last reunion, you end up having the best time. And even if you see them three weekends in a row, you act like it’s the first time you’ve seen each other in months every single time, complete with screams and lots of pictures. Those reunions have never felt better because you get to be a part of your group once again, even if it’s only for a day or two.

5. Time goes on, but so does the friendship.

Years will pass and you will lose touch with many people, but you won’t lose touch with everyone. You will have those friends you keep up with forever. You’ll plan getaways together, even when you’re married with kids, and you will always call to catch up and see how life is going. The every day swing of things will get in the way at times or make you feel like you’ve lost touch with all your closest friends, but those phone calls and yearly trips will rekindle those connections you had and remind you why you became friends in the first place.

Moving on and moving away from your people doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s not always fun and makes you feel like everyone has forgotten all about you at times, but there will be those people who let you know they’ll never forget you. They become like family to you, and you make time for them and they make time for you. That’s what friendship is all about – making time for the people you want to give a part of your busy life to.

You may never live in the same city or state again, but there will always be those common places you share where you will reconvene. There will always be letters and phone calls and Facebook posts that keep you connected. And you can’t ever really escape the bondage of the best friendships of your life because you wouldn’t be you without them.

You might leave your friends and move on physically, but that doesn’t have to mean you move on for good.

 

 

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Why Everyone Should Be Single For One Year

Why does being single have to suck?

The honest truth is that it doesn’t.

We choose to let it suck because we choose to listen to the ideas that fill our heads that we have to have someone to complete us. That’s actually the opposite of the truth. We need to complete ourselves before we can become a part of something that needs two whole pieces to make one big piece.

Puzzle pieces aren’t broken. If they were, we wouldn’t be able to put them together to make a puzzle.

Relationships are just like that. We have to be a whole piece in order to fit perfectly with another piece.

I’m not saying we won’t have flaws and parts that are a little rough around the edges once we learn who we are, but we will have learned to accept those parts and love those parts.

I’m also not saying this concept applies to everyone in the world. But I am saying that it can help tremendously in the growth and self-acceptance of a person.

Being single for a year is a gift, not a curse.

Some people find the love of their life when they’re in high school. Hey, some people even find them in kindergarten.

But for the majority of us, it doesn’t come that quickly or that easily. And that’s okay.

For those that go through high school and college and enter the real world without that significant other to take to weddings and work parties, we have to realize it’s okay and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us.

It actually doesn’t hurt to take that single lifestyle and make it a great lifestyle for a lengthy period of time – like a year.

A year. 365 days. 525,600 minutes.

It can pass in the blink of an eye. It can measure a time of growth, a time of depression, a time of joy, a time of loss, a time of love. It can measure a lot. Why not let one of those years of however many  years you are given on earth be spent with the coolest person in your life? Yes, I’m talking about yourself.

You should spend at least a year getting to know yourself. Chances are, you’ll really learn to love you.

1. A year is a solid length of time for a commitment.

A year is an amount of time we tend to select for any type of commitment. A gym membership, a job, a daily routine, an engagement, a relationship, etc. So, why not select it as a commitment to yourself? That doesn’t mean you have to go off to another country to “find yourself” Eat, Pray, Love style (although that would be nice). It just means to commit to learning more about the person you are and who you’d like to become without the distraction of another person to confuse you. If you give yourself 365 days to do that, I promise you won’t regret it.

2. You have the rest of forever to be with the one you choose to spend forever with.

Once you meet that special person, it will begin forever for the two of you. Forever is a long time. So, why not spend that time before your forever focusing on you and your family and friends. Spend time with people you may not have as much time for in a few years. That includes yourself. My philosophy on relationships is that if you have found your forever person, then you should spend time with other significant people in your life now because you’ll have forever with that person later. If the person you’re dating isn’t the one, then it won’t matter that you didn’t spend every waking moment with them. You can avoid the dilemma of having to split your time between people by devoting a year to spending time with whoever you want, even if it’s just you.

3. Relationships can take a toll on you, so take a break and refresh your life.

Whether you’ve been in one or seven serious relationships, chances are your heart has been hurt,  your emotions have been tossed around, and you’ve been left feeling lost and loveless. Not all relationships do that to you, but some do. And when they do, you can’t continue to throw yourself into more and more destructive relationships. You desperately need a break. You need time to give your heart a rest and let your emotions stabilize themselves. It would be like running a race and continuing to run even after you’ve had a severe injury. You would be ordered by the doctor to rest until you heal. A year of being single is an order from the love to doctor to let yourself heal so you’ll be in great condition for the next race you run.

4. You have to do you before you can do anyone else.

Get your mind out of the gutter because that is not a sexual statement. You have to learn who you are before you learn who anyone else in the world is. That’s an actual fact. Learning more about someone else before you learn about yourself is seriously so confusing and actually really harmful. It can really mess the self-realization process up. When you devote more time to learning another person’s quirks and habits than you do to figuring out your own, you’re just asking for a disaster. Spend some time learning what makes you tick, what makes you so you, and then you’ll know exactly what weird quirks and habits another person who’s perfect for you will have. It’s pretty logical if you think about it. A year of discovering what makes you beautiful and what would make you want to date you if you weren’t you seems like a pretty wise idea. Because once you realize that the way you play with your hair when you’re nervous or the specific way you drink your coffee makes you unique and beautiful, you will be confident in the fact that the right person will think it’s beautiful too.

5. You will probably never be this alone again.

That’s not a bad thing. I repeat, being alone is not a bad thing. How many times have you heard your mom say she needed just a day to be alone to get her thoughts in order and the housework done? Once you’re married, and then once you’re married with kids, you will not have as much time alone as you once did. So, take advantage of that now. A husband/wife and kids are wonderful gifts. But, if you aren’t ready for that, if you haven’t mentally and emotionally prepared for that, you’ll go crazy. You’ll crave that alone time that you once thought was so terrible. So, take it now. Take it for what it’s worth. Spend time doing things that make you happy and relaxing when you want to. Get things done around the house or don’t. Just be alone and appreciate it. Because one day, you won’t be alone, and if you spent all the time you needed being happily alone, you will appreciate not being alone a little bit more. It’s not always fun to be alone, but when you make it fun, you’ll look back and realize how much it made you love the person that made you not so alone.

Use singleness to your advantage. Use it to grow, to think, to wonder, to experience, to change. Make the year (or two or five) that you spend without a significant other one to remember. One that you will remember forever. Don’t slip into the idea that being alone is the absolute worst thing on the planet. Happiness is much better when you can share it with loved ones, but you need to learn what true happiness is for you before you can make everyone around you happy. Teach yourself about you and teach yourself how to love that you that you are.

A year is a pretty long time to be in a relationship. It can be 365 days worth of love, joy, and self-realization or it can be 365 days worth of depression, sadness, and self-pity. You get to choose. You even get to choose if you even want a year to yourself. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I can assure you, everyone who takes it and runs with it, learns to love it and use it for the rest of their lives. It can be the year that changes your life if you let it.

So, don’t feel bad for turning down dates or not even getting asked on dates. Maybe you’re meant to spend the next year with someone you thought you’d never spend it with and maybe that person is you.

Why It’s Ok To Be Lame In Your 20’s

The year after college graduation is arguably one of the hardest years of a young person’s life.

We have to leave the comfort of our families and friends and go out into the real world. And it hits us. Hard.

They try to warn you in college. “Stay here as long as you can.” “Don’t leave the party.” “The real word is tough.” But we don’t really listen.

We’re so ready to use that degree and get started on the rest of our lives. But boy is it different than we expected.

You really do have to go to work every single day. It’s harder to meet people and make friends because you’re usually at work. And once you get off work, you’re so tired you just want to crawl in bed and binge watch episodes of “New Girl” on Netflix.

But who said you have to get your first job and conquer the world all within the first year or so of college graduation?

It really is okay to work at that entry level job and take it easy for a little while while you try to figure out this whole life thing. So, go to work and go home and lay in bed whenever you feel like doing so. As long as you eventually get it together and reach for your dreams, it’s okay, and here’s why:

1. You’ve been volunteering, studying, or partying for four straight years.

While college is the most fun possible, it’s also a very exhausting part of life. It’s fast-paced and non-stop. You’re either in class, at the library, at an organization meeting, or out with friends almost always. There’s really not a lot of downtime when you’re trying to live up the “best years of your life.” So, take a break. Be lazy after work during that first year at your new job. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a loser or a failure.

2. Being 20-something means you’re still young and you still have time.

It’s great to have goals – short and long-term – but that doesn’t mean you have to accomplish them all right now or even before next year. While you should be working toward those goals a little at a time, don’t stress out and try to accomplish them all before you’re 25. It’s okay to put off extra work on that Monday and go indulge in Chinese takeout and a bubble bath instead.

3. You don’t have to always be doing something.

With social media playing such a huge part in our lives, we feel like we always have to be doing something and then showing everyone what we did, especially when we’re in college. We went to this sorority function or this fraternity party or hung out on this random Tuesday night because “we’re so much fun and we can have a good time and have good grades.” In the “real world” though, you don’t have to do something “fun” every night. It’s okay to just go home, watch TV, and go to bed. No one will think any less of you, and it doesn’t mean you don’t know how to have fun.

4. One day, you might not be able to be so lame.

Eventually, you will probably get married and have kids. As I’ve learned from watching my parents, you don’t get much time to come home and relax and ignore all responsibilities when you have mouths to feed and bills to pay. So, enjoy it now! Kick off your shoes and leave them right where you kick them. You can clean your house tomorrow. Because guess what – you’ll have to clean up a lot more once you have those kids. Your house or apartment doesn’t have to be spotless and grocery shopping isn’t vital when it’s just you. Just accept the clutter for the day and go through the drive-thru for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) tomorrow.

5. Life is way too short to focus solely on success and not sit back and enjoy the ride.

Although it would be nice to be successful and make a large amount of money, it’s really not the most important thing in the world. Those who are successful have probably worked very hard to get there, but don’t you think they’ve given themselves a break every once in a while too? If not, then chances are, they aren’t as happy and fulfilled as they should or could be. It doesn’t hurt to just relax and not have an agenda sometimes. Just hang out with people. Visit your family. Go sit at a coffee shop after work and read for an hour or three. Don’t stress about deadlines or your next job or making sure you’re on the “right track.” Taking a year for yourself is not a crime. Enjoy it while you can before you can’t. You never know what could happen. Life is unpredictable. So, chill. Be lame. Have fun all by yourself. Don’t do anything at all. Do whatever you want!

The point is – do whatever makes you happy and don’t worry about getting to the end goal yet. If working all day every day makes you happy then seriously do it. But if you want to go home and sit in the bathtub with Chinese food, Taylor Swift blaring, 5 candles lit, and the lights off without feeling guilty, then do that.

Whatever it is, lame or not, do it without feeling like you’re missing out on what everyone else is doing. Chances are, there are plenty of other 20-somethings out there sitting in their bathtubs too.

You’re not falling behind or failing or screwing up your life by just “being” for a while. There is nothing wrong with figuring it all out rather than going full force all the time.  That’s when we really screw up. When we go so fast that we don’t slow down to breathe and learn and love who we are where we are, we will eventually run out of fuel and just crash.

So, take 6 months, take a year, take 2 years and be lame and love doing it. You’ll get it together one day soon and you’ll be glad you spent a few nights a week on the couch when you’re making money, taking care of a family, and having a pretty set schedule.

Some of your friends probably do have families and busy schedules, and while they of course love their families, I’m sure they would tell you to take advantage of this downtime and lame it up because you can’t be lame forever.

This doesn’t mean to let yourself go, give up on your dreams, struggle through your job, and turn down any and all plans. It just means that you don’t have to avoid “being lame” just because you think everyone else your age is “being cool.” The coolest people in their twenties are probably like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and Arianna Grande, so everyone else you know is “lame” compared to superstars anyway.

And when you feel like everyone else is being cool because they just posted a picture on Instagram about their recent trip to India, you turn your phone off, sink into that tub, and give yourself a lame pass. You can go to India some other time.