The One About Friends
At the suggestion of my bloggy sister Charlotte, I just finished a fantastic book on friendship, called Best Friends Forever. It’s an in depth look at female friendships and relationships and how many of them don’t truly last forever. The book really touches on how to cope when you go through a friend breakup. It helps you identify the kinds of relationships in your life and what kind of friend you are and also how to be a better friend and to navigate the waters of friendship as you go through life. It’s truly a fantastic read and one that I’ve been needing in my life for quite some time to be perfectly honest.
I touched a bit on friendship in an earlier blog post this summer. I talked about the reason, season and lifetime relationships that we have and that I’m thankful to have lifetime relationships in my life, but that I still occasionally wonder what went wrong in some of the other ones. Here’s a little history I haven’t really talked about much before. About four years ago I went through a pretty nasty friend breakup and it left me reeling for a really long time. I found myself pretty closed off to the idea of letting someone in my inner circle like that again. Eventually though I did. I connected with someone on a deeper level and it was wonderful and amazing until it suddenly wasn’t. Earlier this year I went through the same thing with this new person that I went through four years ago. And I found myself wondering how could this have happened to me again?
Well, the book really helps explain why these things happen. The author talks about how in reality, friendships are not the way they are portrayed on TV and in the movies. Life is not The Babysitters Club, the Friends women, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or Sex in the City. Friendships will come and go and ebb and flow. Some of us are lucky enough to have friendships that do stick and last through the years and the changes we go through and as I’ve said before, I do have a couple of those special people in my life and I am beyond thankful that I do. But the majority of our friendships are going to eventually end. It’s part of growing. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with any of us. In many cases, it is sometimes for the best when some of these friendships end. It doesn’t mean it might not still hurt when it happens, but you might see in the end you’re better off.
Another awesome thing about the book is that the author interviewed tons of different women who took a survey on friendship that she had put together and she used many of their real life examples so it was easier to relate to in many situations. I also appreciated that she talked to women of a variety of ages, some even as old as 70. Friendship can be difficult at any age. I know I have struggled at many different points in my life from my childhood to my 30s, so it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in that.
I will say if you read this book it is a little dated as it is about ten years old, so when the author talks about social media and friendships, social media wasn’t anything like it is now. I think social media has actually complicated friendship a bit more than it’s helped. It is definitely helpful for maintaining long distance relationships, but I think it can also do a lot of harm, but that would take a whole separate post for another day
All that aside, I really found this book valuable. The insights the author provides, the examples, and just overall feeling validated in my struggles with friendship really made this one of the best books I’ve read this year. I strongly recommend it, even if you have amazing friendships, I think anyone can get something out of it.
It’s also helped me take a good look at myself and the type of person I want to be and the type of people I want to have around me. I’m not anti-friends. I’m definitely still guarded having gone through friend breakups so close together, but I’m still open to meeting new people and forming new relationships. I’m also inspired to go to some friends I’ve lost touch with and reaching out to reconnect. I haven’t been perfect either. I’m not without fault as well in some relationships. I can try to be a better friend too. After all isn’t that what part of my shine for 2019 is all about? Being a light to others?
To those who have stood by me through thick and thin, I appreciate and love you more than words. And to those I’ve lost for one reason or another, I still love you. I still thank you for your place in my life and you will always have a place in my heart. A friend shared this on Facebook the other day and I thought it would be a good place to end this post. I’m grateful for any and all who have been in my life journey.