Over the past 8 years, our friendship has weathered a few storms, some more significant than others. And today, we’re not as close as we used to be. And while it takes two people to make or break a friendship, I take a lot of responsibility for the lowercase d demise of our bff-ness.
You see, I’ve only recently really gotten how important friends are. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always loved my friends, but I think I took a lot of them for granted. I cancelled plans or I wouldn’t made plans. I stopped calling. I lost touch.
The funny thing is that I would always make new friends. My life would change and so would my friends. And in doing that, I would forget, and essentially leave behind, my old friends. While it wasn’t malicious, it was mean. It was hurtful and it was thoughtless.
I used to think that as you evolved, your friendships were supposed to change too. And I think there’s truth to that to some degree. We do grow out of some friendships. I remember once reading in an Oprah magazine that there are two kinds of friends – friends of history and friends of like mind. What I was doing was dismissing history and focusing all of my attention on like mind.
What I realized in the interim is that there are certain things that only old friends can give you. There’s a unique coziness and unspoken familiarity with them. There’s this “I know you” comfort that new friends just don’t have with you. Old friendships are like those worn in yummy sweaters that you could just live in everyday if you had your way.
When you become an entrepreneur, your life can really change. Your schedule changes. Your income changes. Your priorities may change. And you may feel like your old friends just don’t get you – that they don’t get this new side of you. And you know what? They may not. But this new part of you is just that – a part of you. They still get many other parts of you. And those other parts are still important parts, even if they are older parts.
Too many times in my life, I felt like because I changed, my friendships should too. And as a result, I let go of lots of friendships. And I’ll be real with you – a part of me is really sad about that. I miss those friends of history. I miss reminiscing about that crazy night in college, or the time I crammed for the AP English final in high school. When I let go of these friendships, what I didn’t realize is that I was letting go of a piece of myself too.
Old friends give you the gift of holding on to your memories with you. They help you stay connected to your past, no matter where your future may take you.
So here’s my PSA for this week. Hold tight to your friends of way back when. Or if you haven’t been in touch in a while, reach out to them and schedule some time to catch up. There’s a certain comfort and cozy familiarity that only these friends can offer you. And we all need that kind of comfort and coziness in our lives.
Jordana Jaffe, founder of Embarkability, teaches entrepreneurs how to get clients without spending a lot of (or any!) money. She’s currently leading a free 21-Day Challenge, How to Get Clients on a Close-to-Zero Budget that you can sign up for here. You can also receive Jordana’s free weekly newsletter here.