Friendships in your 30s are so much different than friendships in your 20s, and thank goodness for that. I hope my 40s are even better.
Kathy and I met 13 years ago when were pretty fresh out of college, working a random office job we’d found ourselves in together. We weren’t happy about it. Our entire early friendship was based on being unhappy. We were snarky, wanting to get on with being who we were going to be. We were restless.
Eventually we both left that office for other things that made us happier, and for the rest of our 20s we were working on becoming those people we dreamed of being. Sometimes the restlessness of our early friendship worked for us, and sometimes it didn’t. But we always find our way back to each other, even if all we do is text for a year before finally getting some IRL time.
Like today. We met up for coffee in North Jersey because Hannah and I were up there running errands. This is the other hurdle with old friends…you don’t always live in the same part of the state all those years later, and sometimes you live on opposite ends of the country.
So sometimes getting together means grabbing time when you can, and that might mean one of you is in between meetings and the other has a hyper three-year-old who wants cake. But however few and far between those visits might be, eventually they happen. And then you feel recharged.
Friendships in your 3os are so much more supportive than in your 20s. If they aren’t, you’re doing them wrong. Everyone’s competitive in those post-college years, and we all think we know what life is. Competing for the career, the partner, the lifestyle. None of us know what we’re doing, and while we may be cheering each other on we’re still trying to settle into our own adult skins.
But then 30 comes, and then mid-30s comes. And by then that skin is settled, even if you don’t have your whole life figured out yet. So the support and cheerleading that comes then is just a whole new level. We’ve shed most of the friends who were too much drama, or couldn’t be supportive, or only cared about themselves. Or the friends who just naturally drifted apart. My friends now are so much more generous and gracious than my friends 10 years ago. And some of them are the exact same people, we’ve all just evolved. We have more faith in each other, and we tell each other all the time what amazing women we are.
We also help each other. We share resources, we make connections, we don’t hoard opportunities or information. I feel like there was a lot of that going on when I was in my 20s with the women I knew, and I don’t see that around me now. Like Kathy? She is a huge source of support, especially professionally. She’s built a great career, and she shares what she knows.
I don’t get enough face time with my friends, but when I do I leave inspired and centered. I should write about those amazing women more often. I hope these relationships just keep getting better.