Been thinking about this post for some time now.
I have a great group of girlfriends. We do a lot together, just us girls, and also with our families. Some of them I've known since high school, others I met through one of those friends. One's even my cousin. We've all managed to do something many other women only dream of- we've stayed close for many many years.
Which is not to say there are never problems, but things get worked out. I try my best to work things out because I don't want to lose the friendships. I want to be 80 and linked arm in arm with my girlfriends, still doing the things we do now, still laughing our asses off, still being there for one another through bad times.
But I truly believe friendships change and evolve over the years. People change and evolve. None of the relationships I have with any of them are the same as what they were 10 years ago.
The older I get the more I understand that everyone needs to do what's best for them no matter what others think or say. People will judge no matter what you do, so you can only make yourself happy. I try not to be judgmental and always give the benefit of the doubt, though I am human and, therefore, not perfect. But I try and I think I am far better than I was even a few years ago.
I've been thinking a lot lately about friends who change. It may be for the better for them, and they are happy, but their changes sometimes change the bond you had. Common ground is gone. Opinions and feelings are different. It's sometimes hard to connect with someone who has changed their thoughts and beliefs. I don't look down on them for the changes they've made, especially if they are happy, but it does leave me feeling as if the friendship is not the same as it was. There is distance. It leaves me in a weird position. But I think it's completely natural to be closer to some people for a length of time, and then migrate toward others as our lives change.
Another thing I've learned over these years is the better you get to know others, the better a friend you can be to them. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs and it's great when you agree with people. But learning about people and how they deal with life, which is different than how other people, and you, deal with the same situation, allows you to be a better friend.
Just like marriage, friendships take work. Nothing worth having comes effortlessly. And bailing when things get tough is not the way to hold on to the things that matter.