Have you ever heard of the 7 year friend cycle?? I remember once when I was in my 20's an "older" co-worker told me about the 7 year friend cycle. I thought she was crazy. I still was enjoying life, having a great time. I was in contact with my besties from High School. I was surrounded by my sorority sisters and meeting new friends at work. Life was so good. I thought this "older" 35 year old was nuts. Her theory was that every 7 years you will have an upheaval of your friends. You will learn that the friends you thought were the best friends ever quickly change and you pull apart. She told me the ones you thought you would grow old with will be the first to go. And while you might remain acquantances they are not your go to person. I really thought maybe her friends just aren't that solid or maybe since she had 2 kids she just didn't make time for her friends. She did say that there will be your core friends who will last an eternity but they are often the ones who you don't talk to everyday. So I guess that left me with hope but I really did think she was crazy.
All I can say is lady you are so right. I definitely have gone through this a few times and I am watching my girls go through it too. I think what stinks is how hurtful, sad and dreadful the change is. The worst part is that you really have no clue why things changed. 2015 was a shitty year in the friends spectrum. Well really 2014/2015. First off, I definitely have found that with 3 kids, 2 working parents, multiple schedules to manage, activities, birthday parties, well the list goes on and the bottom line is life leaves you minimal time to just hang with friends. All those high school friends / college friends are just as busy. They are running their busy families and honestly if it weren't for facebook I am not sure if I would ever get to talk to them. Now your friends are really the people you work with and parents of your kids friends. And this is all good. They are the people who you have things in common with at this point in your life!
The one thing that has really hit me, and I guess I am really seeing it more and more as I get older and the girls get older, is that your friends now just aren't the same. I don't feel that super tight connection nearly with anyone anymore. My guard is always up thinking when will this person who is great and I like hanging out with leave my circle of friends. In the last couple of years, being a friend was so testing for me. I am one of those people that believes in everyone. I go above and beyond and honestly as I am told continually by my husband and a couple of friends I just let people walk all over me. It is just who I am. I try to make everyone happy even if it is at the expense of my own being. I have always been that way. I try to make sure I help out even when it doesn't work for me or puts a strain on my life, and even though I know that that friend would never do the same for me. I honestly do know that they are using me to their advantage continually. The last 7 years my scope of friends have been this way. I have often questioned if they were my friends or I was a friend of convenience for them. Well the true colors continue to show. Friends that you have bent oven backwards just disappeared and why, who knows. My tight knit group of friends has dismantled. The people who you have bent over backwards for in the last 7 years have stomped on you and or just walked out with no departing words. Some you know why they left your circle, they were never really your friends to begin with, you were convenient to them, you were their puppet and when you tried to be their friend and say what they needed to hear, poof gone. And honestly it was all good. Who wants to be a puppet. It is the ones afterwards that disappear that you don't get. They run away and you are stuck just wondering why.
I can ramble on and on for hours on my 7 year upheaval but what I have really come to terms with is that I have to be the friend that I am and while people come in an out of your lives, the memories of the times that are good should be good. I may not trust like I used to. I may keep a wall up at all times but it shouldn't prevent me from moving forward. I have to let people in, I have to get my spunk back. And while the door opens, maybe this new chapter will only last another 7 years, but I have to make it count. And I am reminded that deep down in the nooks of our being there are friends out there you have had your whole life that maybe you talk to every 2 years but when you do you are reminded what a real friend is. So I do thank one of my oldest besties, Mandy, who I never see and very rarely talk to but she helped remind me why I was always known as Nice Nancy. She helped remind me that the simplest, purest friendships are not the ones that take all the effort. They are the ones in your heart that you don't have to actively pursue, maintain and bend over backwards for. We had maybe a 5 minute facebook chat and it was not work. It was like good ole days. It reminded me of driving around in our cars, laughing and singing, spying on sweet cheeks (her boyfriend in high school). It reminded me that friendships should be easy. It reminded me that there are people who are genuine. And one day when Mandy and I, and a few others, don't have kids to run around, and jobs to keep us busy, we will get to go to dinner and we will have a girls trip and we will do all the things we dreamed of. There are good friends out there and sometimes a small reminder is all you need to open up your mind again.