Growing older, one of the most difficult things for me has been trying to stay in touch with my friends. Some friends move away and you never see them again, despite spending many hours together growing up. Some people stay in the place you grew up and don’t leave. But as I’ve travelled, taken gap years and moved away to university, the number of people I have met has grown. This is a beautiful thing.
However, the reality is that people do change and even with the connection social media provides, we cannot maintain the friendships we once had with everyone. Friends come and go in our lives and with that must come acceptance – not clinging on to people if life has moved on. I have struggled with this a lot.
Instead, the value of a very small group of lifelong friends is immense. I have read that it can help prolong your life if you have a number of friends with whom you can truly open up to and share your joys, struggles and life.
Nevertheless, one thing I try and do is invest positive energy and time with my friends when I have the chance to spend time with them. It may only be fleeting moments, but if we can walk away from an encounter having invested in people, then that will increase the circle of influence we have with people in our lives. The circle of influence is not to be seen as a power relationship of “how or what can I gain from this friendship?”. Rather it is an opportunity to connect with people who matter in our lives. Then, if there is genuine friendship there, the times when we do actually need to “call on a friend” we will know many good, generous people to go to for help.
Who will you invest in today?