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Make A Friend, Make Yourself

Speaking of making a family, why does your thirties mean losing so many friends?

It’s a subject that keeps popping up and trending and trending and trending and Vox has done a great mini-dive into the phenomena of your support network thinning in young adulthood. What it gets at? Being and having and making and keeping friends is hard. It’s not easy – but rising to the challenge does a lot for us.

People grow on you, but you have to put in the time. That’s something we struggle to do as we get older and busier. I kept thinking about how different these women were from me, in almost every way — until one day those thoughts stopped, and we were just friends. It took more than a year.

It’s crucial that we keep at it. Making new friends keeps us engaged in our own identity. We understand ourselves in relation to others: I befriend, therefore I am. Without getting to know other people, it’s harder for us to know ourselves. “Old friendships can limit who you can be based on who you’ve always been, but with new friendships, you can focus on who you are now and who you want to become,” Poole said.

This is something I really love and am trying to hold to the breast: “making new friends keeps us engaged in our own identity.” To be a friend, to make a friend, is to make yourself. We don’t exist in a void but in relationship to each other.

I haven’t been having this problem but I know it’s real and know that I have faced it before – and it sucks. You have to do and do and do, really, and constantly put yourself out there. Not at events, not when face-to-face but at all times. Like life, like a job, friendship is a lot of work. These things don’t just fall on your lap looking like a beautiful, perfect, happy little puppy: you have to work with it to get to this point.

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