Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Advice, Friendship, Gender, Quick Read

After spending the weekend with some old friends, it got me thinking about the fluctuation of friendships.  I grew up singing this folk song at Girl Scout camp and it has always stuck with me.

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old
One is Silver and the Other is Gold

With my quarter life crisis in full swing, my friendships old and new carry a lot of weight these days because we lean on each other for support.  Having just moved to the city, I’ve been spending time with lots of new people and old friends I didn’t see as often when I lived across the water.  It got me thinking how friendships, bonds and connections with people are constantly changing throughout a lifetime.  When we’re young we think friendship is a concrete, forever thing.

I love the portrayal of female friendship on the HBO show Girls.  My friends and I are most definitely their target audience, and they hit the nail on the head with the weird quirks that come with female friendships in their 20’s.  The BBC article below reflects on the importance of female friendships and how they’ve been portrayed in TV and movies of the recent century.

Girls - 2014
(click on picture to read article)

For women, being social is part of our make up.  We feed off of the people around us and are changed and affected by those relationships.

My point being, people come and go, cherish them all the same for what they contribute to your life!

-S

Seattle To Do List

Friendship, Travel

With Lauren’s time in Seattle coming to an end in April, we decided to make a to-do list of Seattle activities.  Some to do before she leaves and some for future visits I’m sure.  As sad as I am that she’s moving to California, I’m so excited to have a friend in a new place for me to visit!  It’ll add some spice to our blog as well, having her blog from California and Jenna and myself in Seattle.

Our Seattle bucket list is great if you are visiting Seattle for the first (or second or third) time, if you’re playing tour guide for out-of-town visitors, or if you’re simply looking for new activities in your city.

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Ride a water taxi

Take a dance class

Eat at Paseo

Find and go to secret bars

Ride a seaplane

Go for a hike

Go to the Ballard farmers market & Fremont Sunday market

Ride the Great Wheel

Pike Place Market Ghost Tour

Seattle underground history tour

Kayak or paddleboard on Lake Union

~

What are your favorite Seattle activities?

-S, L & J

A Special Valentine’s Day

Dating, Friendship

I had a wonderful Valentine’s day with an old friend,  an older friend, a new friend, and a even newer friend! We went to brunch, shopped at boutiques in Ballard, enjoyed the sunshine, and spent a lovely evening drinking wine and baking cupcakes. However, something even more wonderful happened: My best friend got engaged! I received the call as we were walking back from dinner and my momentary freak out to the news caused enough alarm a security guard came running to make sure everything was okay.

He proposed on the beach in San Diego at sunset with rose petals– so romantic! So crazy to think that my boy-crazy friend since we were five is now engaged. What a great reminder on Valentine’s Day about how beautiful love can be! Congrats to my favorite couple,  Victoria and Michael, on their engagement– can’t wait to celebrate with you both!

So All of Your Friends Have Moved Away, Now What?

Friendship

One of my darkest fears is being realized: everyone is leaving me. Instead of a grand exodus of people from Seattle after college, it has been a slow trickle of people that have followed a new job opportunity, followed a loved one, or even followed the urge for something new. When the last of them leaves in the Spring, I will find myself twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what to do. I’ve had some time to think about it and here are some ideas and recommendations I’ve come up with:

Visit Them

If you are close enough friends and they have enough room in their new place, you may have a free place to stay! Let them be the tour guide and join them in discovering their new city. Bonus: be a great friend and help them make new friends in their new city. Last night I was out in Seattle and this guy started talking to a group of us. He was very transparent that the reason he started talking to us was because he came to Seattle to help his friend, who just moved here, meet some new friends. There was even a hashtag for this endeavor.

Meet New Friends

This is a “No shit, Sherlock” idea, but after college, it becomes increasingly harder to meet new people. One way is to meet these people at work but if you are like me, this really isn’t an option. Instead, I’ve come up with some alternative ways ways to meet new friends:

1. Going to workshops or classes in my field for young professionals in my city.  Most of these events involve team work and I would have something in common with these people right off the bat.

2. Trying a new activity or sport that is group based. I know a lot of people are trying programs like CrossFit and meet a group of work out buddies. My roommate started rock climbing again and has met some new friends with great connections!

3. Going out on the town with only one friend. It makes it easier for people to approach you and for you to go with the flow of the evening.

I’ve even heard of people just using tinder to meet friends and it works for them. If you are honest that you are looking to build new relationships, it makes it easier for people to approach a new friendship.

Move 

Take this chance to think about what dreams you haven’t fully realized and which ones you might want to pursue. Are there any places that you have wanted to live or explore, but you’ve been stuck in one place? Are there any crazy jobs or careers that you’ve thought about but never mustered up the courage to try? My sister’s friend out of the blue moved to Madrid to teach English in Spanish schools. I was so perplexed by this decision but, it was actually simple: she didn’t have many ties left in Seattle. For her, the decision was easy.

Just Do You

This is my current phrase that I keep telling everyone. Maybe when all your friends are gone, you should just be yourself. Maybe nothing has to change or you let all the change be organic. Instead focus on yourself and things you want to improve. You could work on your relationship with your family, work on improving your health, or even work towards excelling in your career.

I will check back in when all is said and done– and I have been deserted. Maybe these ideas won’t prove fruitful or maybe I will have some new friends! If you are in the same shoes as me, I would first like to extend my deepest condolences to your loss. Second, I would like to ask if you want to be my friend. Now that I have been clear with my intentions, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. — J

On Friendship

Essay, Friendship

I have a friend visiting from across the country. We’ve been friends since preschool. That’s 23 years.

IMG_3096

Already a solid 5 years into our friendship

23 years ago, on my first day at a wonderfully messy, dirt-filled playground they called a preschool, this freckle-faced kid walks right up to me and asks if I’d like to be her best friend. (I said yes.) Today she is still that way: confident, no nonsense, and fiercely loyal. On top of that, she is successful, beautiful, and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

I’ve been thinking about friendship lately. How do friendships start? How long do they last? What’s important? How do you know when to let go and when to hold on?

If I break down my very closest friends and how long I’ve known them, it looks something like this:

23+ years: 1 friend
8-12 years: 4 friends
2+ years: 4 friends

This is both heartening and a little discouraging. On one hand, I have some really solid friendships that I’ve carried with me through a good part of my life. On the other, I haven’t added any new ones to the mix since college.

There are some amazing things about those friendships you’ve had since high school, middle school, or even earlier. You can always count on those friends to make you laugh until you cry, or to let you vent about anything and everything. They know you. They know where you’ve been, who you’ve been, and how you got to where you are now.

And then there are the not-so-amazing things that can grow on old friendships like barnacles on a boat that hasn’t moved in a while. Old friends aren’t afraid to be bitter, to take each other for granted, to be brutally honest even when it’s uncalled for. Old friends aren’t always committed to helping you grow, because what if that means growing apart?

What’s important is being able to see which friends will cheer you on, which friends will help you expand your horizons, and who will join you on crazy escapades you’ll laugh about for years to come.

Getting older means watching friendships grow older too, and paying attention to which ones stand the test of time and which ones belong in the past, where they shone the brightest.

~

Life keeps moving, and I’m looking to the future. With a move to a new city coming up, I’m thinking about how to actively seek out new friendships in my post-college life.

Here are some of my ideas:

  • Seek out groups of like-minded people on Facebook and make an effort to meet up with them
  • Use other online resources for meetups (such as meetup.com)
  • Join a book club
  • Join a gym or yoga studio

~

How have your friendships changed over time? How do you meet new friends? Do you have any tips?

Thanks for reading!
-L