Thoughts On Friendship

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

Friendship.

It’s a tricky topic and we all have feelings about it.

I mentioned last week that friendship has been at the forefront of my mind recently because I spent 5 solid days with two women I’m so close with that we could easily be sisters. We had zero fights and so much fun together that I was hugging them a little too tightly when they left (not sorry!) and wishing we had another 5 days together.

My backstory is that I grew up with a brother (we’re so close that we own a house together) and all boy cousins until I was about 10 so I rarely played with makeup or did so-called girly things. My summers were spent watching WWF wresting and building forts and my childhood idol was Mr. T just to give you an idea of what a tomboy I was. While that made me tough and good with putting up with boy antics (haha), I now realize that having relationships with other women is so important.

As an adult, having that component of female friendship in my life and experiencing firsthand what a difference it has personally made with everything from staying positive to achieving goals to feeling support during difficult times made me wonder how you guys feel about friendship.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

Friendship is something most of us long to have in our lives but even if you’re lucky enough to be overflowing with close friends, there tends to be some complications:

• Maybe you’ve had a tight-knit group of friends since childhood but due to growing and evolving, your common interests have changed and you’ve grown apart.

• Maybe your best friends live in a different city, state or country (my biggest issue).

• Maybe you had a falling out with the friend you were closest with and have issues with trust.

• Or, maybe you’re a bit of a lone wolf and choose to go it alone…but secretly wish you had someone who gets you and accepts you exactly for who you are.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

I have a handful of close friends in Portland (what’s up, Pam, Joey and Erik?!) but the rest of my friends are scattered far and wide. Gala and Bianca live in New York while Star lives in San Francisco and Mary Bee lives in LA. All of these friends are amazing — and we always pick back up right where we left off, even if we haven’t spoken for 6 months. Life gets busy but we don’t miss a beat. One coffee date and a few hours later and it’s like we were never apart.

I also have a wonderful husband, pets and family members to keep me occupied but occasionally, those lonely feelings do hit. A text message or phone call isn’t quite the same and I sometimes wish all my friends lived in the same city as I do. Now, that would be fun!

Let’s be honest, though — finding friends who “get” you and your eccentricities as an adult can be hard. The truth is that I was only able to find my core tribe (and meet all of you!) through blogging and that’s easily been the most rewarding thing that’s come out of sharing in this space.

What about you?

Is friendship something you’re struggling with?

Or, on the other hand, are you doing amazingly well with it?

Spill the beans and let me know in the comments!


Photos: Made U Look Photography.

20 Responses to Thoughts On Friendship

  1. Jamie says:

    I have disconnected from a lot of friends who have had kids, while I have remained childless, they really do just disappear.

    I am always looking to strengthen my connections with the friends who are still around, but how do you go to someone and say “hey I really feel like we need to be more BFFy then we are right now. Let’s make it happen?” It is awkward AF, even with someone I’ve known for 20 years. When I manage to get together with these friends, we have the best time and it is amazing, but we live thousands of miles apart.

    <3

    • Shauna says:

      Jamie, I don’t have kids (and don’t plan to!) and when friends do, that becomes their main focus which I support but it definitely changes the friendship dynamic permanently because we don’t have that common ground. When I want to see a friend that’s not nearby and strengthen things, I literally message them, tell them that I miss them and that we need to make some plans. I just get to the point. Worst thing they can say is that they can’t….but if you’re willing to make the effort and travel to them, they should be game!

  2. Braeden says:

    I’m struggling :(. Ever since I graduated grad school (2 years ago) my friendships have been rather difficult to sustain. I’ve had a falling out with my former best friend of 15+ years. And my current best friend lives 5 hours away. Adding significant others into the mix doesn’t help either. *sighs*. I feel the loneliness too.

    • Shauna says:

      That’s tough! I think everyone goes through a similar transition to some extent when they graduate from whatever level they’re at because you go from having that built-in network of people you see all the time to having everyone drift off and do their own thing. Is there a group / class / gym / anything you can join locally that gives you a sense of structure and helps you meet like-minded people?

  3. Maria says:

    I definitely struggled after high school to trust girls. My previous group of friends (I was at an all girls school) completely turned on me over night. I really struggled to fit in with any other groups at school and ended up moving to a different school to finish off my exams. Moving was the greatest decision in my life and I have met some wonderful people since who I believe will be my BFFs but I still struggle now at university to make friends, especially with other girls :/ it’s tough to shake that feeling that they wont/don’t like you even at 23.

    • Shauna says:

      Ugh, that’s terrible! I thought that only happened in the movies (because really, who actually does this?!) — and I’m so sorry it happened to you. I can’t imagine thinking a group of girls were your friends and have them turn on you like that but you sound incredibly strong and if anything, this experience will make you more sensitive to being there for people you meet who feel like they don’t fit in. Trust is a hard thing to rebuild once it’s been broken but you have to remember that your past doesn’t have to affect your future. You can shape your future into whatever you want it to be and most people are honestly not that vengeful as the group of girls you encountered. Good luck!

      • Maria says:

        Thank you! I definitely have met some lovely new friends and, as awful as my friendships were, I wouldn’t have met my new friends there’s a silver lining to everything.

  4. Lindsey says:

    I’m sure this will be too much info, but this has been weighing on my mind for a few months now. I’ve always had a difficult time making friends since I’m so cripplingly shy. It’s a challenge since I want friends (ones I can call and talk about anything with), but I’m so guarded it’s hard for me to be myself.

    Which is the hardest part. I guess I haven’t really found that soulmate of a friend (or friends) that I feel like I can tell them anything. I understand it’s mostly my issue, but I also feel like if the right person comes into your life, it won’t be a challenge to be completely yourself with them.

    My best friend and I have slowly been drifting apart over the last year. We’ve been friends for 13 years, but we both are in different places in our lives, and that effecting our friendship. It seems like we aren’t growing together and adapting like I thought we would.

    I know you met Gala and Kat online and you’re the ultimate girl squad! Any suggestions on where to find like minding ladies? I’m finding it hard to make any real friends online since everyone fears strangers. It seems like people are afraid to get to know you or they think you want something from them. When in actuality, all you want to do is get to know them. Which may be asking a lot. Haha

    Alright, I’ve shared way too much with a stranger online! Thanks for such a wonderful blog post. Much love and respect.

    • Shauna says:

      Lindsey, I was always super shy, too but one way I’ve gotten over it is that whenever I meet someone new, I let the conversation focus on them. I ask them their name, what they’re into, what area they live in, etc. and it takes some of the pressure off of having to “perform” or be outgoing. Also, it helps to dress up! I find that the more I dress up (and the cooler the shoes I wear) allows the other person to have an “in” — if they complement me on something I’m wearing, we have a starting point instead of starting out cold.

      And it’s totally normal for friends to drift apart, especially ones that you’ve had for that long! That is *such* a long time. I’ve had plenty of friendships dry up but in their place, I have so many great ones that are even stronger. By giving yourself that space, you’re making room for new friendships and it doesn’t mean that you and your BFF will be apart forever.

      My number one suggestion with making friends online is to be genuine, be yourself and share your quirks. I think so many people try to be guarded and not share their full personalities but that’s what allows the right people in who have the same eccentricities! Part of the reason I still blog is that it allows me to go deeper and share more of who I am vs. just a surface view and that’s helped me make really great friends along the way. Show up everyday as yourself, no matter what platform you use and never be afraid to reach out to someone you want to be friends with — maybe they’re feeling a little lonely and you just don’t know it! The worst thing that could happen is that they don’t respond….and you haven’t lost anything but a few minutes of your time.

      Good luck!

      • Lindsey says:

        Thank you for such great insight! I tend to ask new people multiple questions to keep them engaged and I’ve noticed people love talking about themselves. Which works out in my favor. Your suggestion about dressing up is so clever. I’ll definitely keep that up my sleeve for future events.

        I’m understanding friends come and go. It’s terrible to say, but I’m excited to let some go, to welcome new ones in. However, it’s like losing a piece of yourself too. I guess its a matter of mourning the lose, but look to the future. A few years ago I let go of another long time friend, and it was painful, but I felt so much better. Like getting a new start and letting go of a weight.

        You are also completely right about being yourself online. I can be very guarded, and that keeps people from getting to know me. In this manner, I’m the one keeping others at arms length. Granted, I feel everyone needs to be a bit guarded online since you don’t always know who you are talking too, but that doesn’t mean I need to come off as a robot. Thanks for chatting and sharing your wisdom. Much love!

  5. Angel Y. says:

    I have learned more about valuing friendship in my twenties than I ever did growing up. I switched schools often and never set down roots. Now that I am an adult, I’ve found some lifelong friendships that really have helped me and my friends blossom. I also love, much like yourself, a lot of my friends are in so many different circles in different cities so it forces travel to become an essential part of my life as compared to my own mother. I’m enjoying seeing how the normal landscape has been changed in terms of what to expect from different types of relationships.

    • Shauna says:

      Exactly! You hit upon a positive part of having friends that don’t live near you — an excuse to travel! It definitely makes the experience more fun because when you leave your daily life, even if it’s for a few days, it rally allows you to focus on those fiends without the usual interruptions and really strengthen them.

  6. Misaki Shimizu says:

    Ah friendship. We had a quick comment in the other blogpost, haha.

    Well, on one side it seems that I am doing really well, the friends and people I work with seem to like me and I can leave them with an uplifting positive feeling.

    But while this is wonderful and I really enjoying it and am happy that I have these gals, I still feel a tad alone.
    The problem is just, that I have ‘lost’ both my best friend and my soul mate due to circumstances and since then, I didn’t meet anyone who felt like this.
    (I am very easy to handle on the outside, but a bit complicated on the inside and I found that I rarely have the kind of deep conversations, I used to have. Opening up to someone is hard.)

    To get to the point, I do well with friends, but am still in search of a soul mate :)

    It’s amazing, that your friendships are still going strong and I hope you can stay with them until the end hahaha!

    • Shauna says:

      For friends ARE great but I know what you mean — even if you get along really well, it’s not the same.

      And dealing with having someone so close leave your life is HARD. I went through a similiar situation 10 years ago and it took forever for things to get easier. Hang in there! And I always say that when one door closes, another opens. While I’ve lost some fiends over the years, the ones I’ve made since are by far the strongest. The more you put yourself out there and stay true to who you are, the easier it will be for your “tribe” to find you. :)

      • Misaki Shimizu says:

        Thank you for your encouraging words!

        The true to yourself part is especially tricky sometimes. When I was younger I was more rigorous, I didn’t spend time with people I wouldn’t like.
        But the last years more often I had the urge to just give in and try to become friends with people who wouldn’t go well with my mindset.
        On the bright side, this year I feel I get a much better hang of myself again and start to become strong willed heh!

        Even though I only know so much about you, I get the feeling you are a great person, so I really want to hang out with you in Palm Springs this year X3

  7. Anna says:

    Facebook messenger is my friendship saviour. I have amazing friends but spread throughout the world, including my BFF of 25 years in a different city. We have a never ending conversation on messenger which keeps us connected and helps keeps us accountable for whatever we are trying to achieve since we are so open with each other. In the past year almost all of my female friends have left my city so I do have a gap there, which was particularly difficult when I was single. But I have an army of wonderful gay boys who are just as fun – but it’s not quite the same.

    • Shauna says:

      That’s so funny you mention Facebook Messenger! As much as I’m not a fan of Facebook (I still have pages on there, just rarely use them anymore), Messenger is helping me keep in touch wth friends that are overseas. Since I can’t really text them, having this open helps us stay current. And I think that’s one of the other difficulties with making friends as an adult — friends move away for jobs, relationships and family and it definitely makes it harder to keep in touch.

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi Shauna, reading this post came at exactly the right time for me. I’ve struggled with the ‘friends’ issue for such a long time, in every school I’ve been in and now I’m 28 it’s even more difficult.

    I was bullied at school, but out on a good front that I didn’t mind being left out – I did my own thing and almost made myself believe I didn’t want to be part of a ‘group’. Really I did, and I hoped it would change as I left for secondary school in a new town and would meet so many new people. Unfortunately, some had come with ready made friendships from primary school, and then my dad passed away. I was out of school for a while and missed out on all the bonding. I made friends, but it was never the same – some of the shared experience just wasn’t there and I had grown up fast for an 11 year old.
    Uni was the same – in my first four weeks I was hit by an ambulance – I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I was in and out of hospital and couldn’t do the drunken nights out partying that everyone else did. I worked had to get my body back to ‘normal’ and I am, to look at me know apart from some scars you couldn’t tell the trains I’d been through. Back to the point – yet again I missed out on the social aspects of first year. I did have and make friends but the bulk of them haven’t lasted (not through my lack of trying either).

    In my case I think the ‘friends’ thing is a mix of circumstance, personality and other people being rubbish too. After getting married last year I realised how few friends I have that are mine – not inherited through someone else. I’m trying to fix it, fingers and toes crossed I find my people! X

    • Shauna says:

      Sarah, you’ve been through so much! What I can sense through what you’ve written is an immense amount of resilience — you’re stronger because of everything that’s happened, even though it’s been difficult and as long as you stay open and keep putting yourself out there, you will find your people. Keep on keeping on!

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