Paying bills is not the only struggle that comes with your mid twenties. One of the culprits that relentlessly haunt you is friendships. Currently i am facing what i like to call, “life as a 3 rd decade friend dilemma”. Have l lost you? Let me explain.
You see in our first decade of existence we make our childhood friends, mostly with kids from the block, from the pre school and from primary school.
In our second decade, these are quickly replaced or moved to lower ranks by the high school friends. Many at times, when teenage hood kicks in, we find ourselves too cool, and even wonder how we were friends with those 1st decade friends. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to retain the high school bestie and the bestie from primary but only because one was the weekend friend and the other the school week friend.
The coin flipped very quickly though during my A levels and both were replaced by my squad from the elite school. This squad still exists, though we are in 3 different continents, technology has allowed us to keep in touch. Funny enough the topic of the day is always on how we are all struggling in our new friendships, and never quite able to cement the perfect balance we have. Nevertheless back to the topic at hand.
The twenties offer a turning point in life. You approach adulthood either from the direction of a career, marriage or university one. All of which come with their own disctint friendship hurdles. The techicalities even increase, if like me you find yourself migrating to a foreign land.
Funny enough the hard reality never crossed my mind as i sat in that Aupair prep class. See i found myself seated on da wild side table, with the party lovers. I did fit it in though, seeing i am born and raised in a slaughter-house. Not for cows ofcourse. See i grew up staying with my brother. While our mother slaved her back in Southafrica to support us, we turned her habitual abode to a paridise for young couples, escaping the strict scrutiny of their parents. Am bubbling again.
Fast forward to Germany.
The first year was not as harsh regarding my friendships. See one of the girls from my prep was in the same city as me, and l was still in touch with most of the girls from the prep group. These still remain among the solid few friends l can count on, even if we go for months without talking.
The next year though, my first year at Uni was to begin unraveling the friendship can of worms. Equipped with my backpack and high dreams in one hand, l was determined to avoid friendship drama, l would have one and one friend only. Turned out to be the best recipe for doom as 2 semesters later i found myself roaming campus as the lone wolf, not even able to squeeze myself among the other classmates, seeing my ex bestie was now one of the pack, and i could not stand her. Childish really, but those were some of the most anguishing years of my life. The situation was just draining.
At that moment 3rd decade friendships was about to give me another hot slap. I threw in the towel on the Uni thing and resorted to spend the rest of my days as the friendly lone wolf. I graduated last month pretty much with the same title.
When the perfect Uni plan broke down, my next option was to focus on my social circle outside of Uni. I had met many strong beautiful intelligent interesting young ladies, and somehow l found myself drawn more to my current circle of friends. How? Fate i guess. But it was in this circle that l would learn the true meaning of starting to make friends anew in your third decade of existence.
See when in a foreign land, any prior common factors make up for a great chemistry between friends. Having been unplucked from our comfort zone, anything, anything at all offering even a straw of familiarity is highly welcome.
If you went to the same school, lived in the same neighborhood, have a common relative etc, it is a great recipe to make friends abroad. Even if back home you never spoke to each other, reminiscing about the old loud lady from your hood creates magic when in a foreign land. I had none of the above. Just what I needed in dealing with my 3 rd decade friendship dynamics.
Being the last to join the squad didn’t help my cause either. See you find yourself in the same boat with people who have known each other for years. The torture of the hidden jokes known to them only, particular words which send them to spasms of laughter , the code words, you name it. My one friend whom i had shared these bonds with, had chose to go back to Africa, wrong choice again, so here i was starting to search to belong , to support and be supported back, to love and be loved back and to share all over again.
See there is an order of importance of friends in each and every one of us. Sometimes the order just exists in our subconsious and we are not even aware of it. Every one has their personal person, and moreso in groups,though you are part of the circle, you have to know your place in the hierarchy.
The hierarchy is very easy to figure out, see for example if something is being planned for someone, the first personal person is always ablaze with passion, putting in 100% in all arrangements. It’s very easy to observe how they simply fade to the background when it’s someone else’s name on the Agenda. There are numerous examples am sure you can think of some yourself.
So basically, life as a 3 rd decade friend, means you are mostly left out in most of the jokes.
Means you will run around more before someone decides to look out for you.
Means you must always know your place, you are only that good untill the personal person appears.
Means your 200% effort will hardly be noticed, but the personal persons 5% will be showered with praise for days.
Means you can never assign the title best friend so easily as you once did in primary school. It might even mean you cancel this word out of your vocabulary.
That is the harsh reality of life and friendships in our 3 rd decade of existence.