I can always hear my dad’s distant voice in my head when I think about friendship.
“Kayla, if you get to the end of your life with as many friends as you have fingers, then you’ve had a truly great life.”
It wasn’t a totally understandable thought for a fourth grader, but I still let those words sink in deep. As my days through high school, college and career life trickled by, the sound advice became even more true.
Pure friendships with value and purpose are hard to come by – and those in play five to ten years ago may not necessarily be the same circle of comrades still present today.
Spending my teenage years as part of a lively youth group and involved in several school activities, I never seemed to lack in the friend department. I never had available time to even find myself alone or without being in the midst of others.
Yet, this dynamic changed in college. Study time, internships, work schedules and the general daily grind took my attention elsewhere, and an unhealthy balance of leaning on my boyfriend (now husband) for all my relationship/friendship needs was put into play.
Somewhere along the lines I convinced myself that this was normal. I convinced myself that it shouldn’t take work to be friends with someone – and that if it did, it wasn’t meant to be.
It’s taken years of developed self-awareness and intentional habits to swing back into balance.
I’m grateful to finally be at a point in life where I can say that I have healthy friendships. In fact, I see most of them consistently during small groups throughout the week, which is the perfect outlet for us to catch up, vent, laugh and cry together and share the week’s funniest moments about work or home.