The topic of female friendship has gotten a lot of air time in the blogging world. Lily wrote a book about it, Lizzy has talked about it a lot on her blog, and Liv and Charlotte did a podcast episode dedicated to the topic. I think female friendship has always been an extremely important part of my life, but as I've gotten older my relationships with my female friends have changed, and it's mostly been for the better. I've always been the kind of person that has a very small group of girlfriends, but the ones I surround myself with are extremely close. I've also been lucky enough to know some of my closest friends for a very long time, in fact my best friend and I have been friends since we were six months old. Because I've always kept a small group close, I've sometimes had a hard time letting people in. On the flip side, because I am very close to the majority of my girlfriends growing apart can feel devastating. Especially as I get further and further into "adult" life I've had to realize that friendship is not black and white, it's not necessarily either on or off, it ebbs and flows and that's ok.
During my years in school (i.e. the majority of my life) managing female friendships were incredibly easy, which is mostly due to the fact that most of my friends went to school with me so it didn't require much effort to make plans and see friends. However, after college it became more and more apparent just how hard it is to constantly be seeing friends as much as you want whilst juggling a busy work schedule, family, and a relationship. I'm incredibly lucky that a lot of my friends decided to move back to the Bay Area and I get to see them on a regular basis, but it's so easy to take proximity for granted and not reach out as much as you should. Even if when I don't have time to see a friend in person, I've been trying more and more to either pick up the phone and call someone (what a novel idea) or send them a quick text asking how they're doing. I think one of the things I'm most grateful for about my group of girlfriends is that we all have a baseline understanding that even though we might not be seeing each other all the time once we do get together it will feel like no time has past. There are never any hard feelings if we haven't been hanging out every week, because at the end of the day we all work and we all understand that sometimes we won't have the time to see each other as much as we would in an ideal world.
In all the madness of figuring out adult life and the transition from college to the "real world" (a term I really hate to use), I feel like I have a renewed appreciation for my friends and I've been so incredibly lucky to meet some incredible girls at work who have fast become some of my closest confidants. Spending time with my girl friends has been crucial in my staying grounded the past year, but especially in the past couple months when my stress levels have been off the charts. I also have a tendency to want to spend a lot of time with my boyfriend, but ever since graduating I’ve tried to make a concerted effort to spend time just with my girlfriends. I’ve never had the issue of neglecting my friends when I’m in a relationship, but especially since my boyfriend and I are moving in together in a couple months time, I’ve wanted to make sure that once we do move in we aren’t already in the habit of spending every waking hour together. If you’ve taken anything out of this long ramble of a blog post it’s that I underestimated how much female friendship plays an integral role in my life, and that coming into adulthood has made me realize how much time and care those relationships deserve.