Do you think friendships change as you get older? That the simple friendships of childhood are replaced by the more complicated friendships of adolescence, then the freer friendships of early adulthood are replaced by stronger friendships as a parent?
I've always felt a little socially awkward. I have often felt like the odd one out. But often that didn't matter, as I had a twin sister who was and still is my best friend. But when she moved to another state it pushed me to make new friends. The most convenient friends were other school mums, until I started homeschooling. While three of those friendships remain strong, the rest have fallen away. And yet, my current friendships offer more than ever before. I've been trying to put my finger on whether it is a result of homeschooling and finding likeminded people? A sign of maturity - that one outgrows toxic relationships and learns how to be a good friend? A sign of contentment - that I am not aiming to prove anything and am happy to have people take me or leave me as I am - that has resulted in me finding a circle of friends that share my values and support me, love me and enjoy spending time with me? Or perhaps a little of all of these?
I have found that the truer I am able to be to myself, the more I am able to just 'be Christina', the more likely I am to find friends who appreciate me for me. 'Of course!' you might be thinking. But as a child, it felt natural to believe that if I changed then people would like me. When in fact, the more I allow myself to follow my passions, the more people seem to relate.
Which is all to say. I am so grateful for the beautiful friends I have. Some I have had for fifteen years, and some for a year, but all of them are beautiful people whom I adore and love to spend time with.