As I was minding my own business, scrolling through my news feed, I came across an article a former co-worker had posted, tagging her close friends. It was called, I Suck At Being a Friend Right Now. Feeling like a total Katie (Cady) Herring of a gf lately (Kålteen Bar, anyone?), I clicked the link, hoping to justify my actions or lack thereof. The article centers around the struggles of mothers with young children balancing their children’s daily needs and trying (but failing) to maintain close contact with girlfriends.
On my lunch break, I click through old photos albums from college. I see my close gals and I celebrating birthdays, having lunch dates, running in charity races, and bar hopping after an O-Chem exam. No children. None of us have children.
Is post-graduate life equivocal to the struggles of “mom life” outlined in the article?
If you ask me, I’d say so.
In college, you have lots of free time. Although, it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Since graduation, there are forty hour work weeks to complete, long distance commutes, significant others to spend time with, weekend work to supplement entry level pay, student loan repayments, resumes to update, professional organizations to attend, workout classes to make time for, and family to see. It’s a mountain to manage.
In college, we were geographically connected. We walked to each other’s apartment or rental home, the library, sorority house or bar. Now, we live hours, states, and entire countries away!
We only talk about once a week and it’s usually in the form of a group chat. I miss the days where I knew, on a day-to-day basis your lives. The highs and lows of your day or even week. Now, in this perpetual state of you-don’t-have-enough-experience-for-an-entry-level-position, I feel like a crummy friend, who’s frustrated that we have to drive and schedule dates. And on the off chance that we do get together, we’re all exhausted. No longer are we able to stay up all night stalking our ex-boyfriend’s lives while simultaneously finishing a bottle of wine as White Chicks plays in the background for the third time that week. I miss the days where we watched marathons of Army Wives with our mattresses in the middle of the living room. Or when we instinctively gathered in the kitchen while we all cooked separate meals, usually teasing that one roommate over her disgusting food combinations or lack of cooking skills.
But this is real adulthood, full of responsibilities and dream chasing.
I promise this is just a season of life. When weekends become available again, and budgets aren’t so tight, and commutes aren’t so long, this season will pass too.
I think of ya’ll often. Unanswered texts or unreturned gestures are just that… unanswered, not ill intended.
I still value our friendship. I still value you.
**Let me know in the comments below your tips for maintaining friendships! I’d love to hear them!