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When friendships change

I do not know where my childhood best friend is. Her name is Nicole, and she and I were best friends from first through fifth grade. We were Girl Scouts together, we would play games in her basement, and we had countless sleepovers at each other’s houses. When I moved to South Carolina, we wrote each other letters, but eventually that tapered off and we lost touch.

My best friend from sixth through eighth grade eventually became my roommate for freshman year of college, but we also eventually drifted apart.

I did actually spend a day with my old roommate a few years ago. We took our children to the zoo and fell into an easy conversation.

The point of all this is that friendships are fluid. They are the only non-obligatory social alliances we make in our lives: We enter them when we need them, we stay in them as long as we need to, and we can pick them up again as needed.

From playmates as children to close connections created in young adulthood – friendships are the cornerstone of control-centered relationships. And that foundation becomes important as we become adults – a time when marriage, jobs and families place a larger demand on our limited time. Our friends are still there – but there is a built in understanding that you can catch up with them when you need to.

This piece by the Atlantic is a wonderful compilation of the importance of friendships and how they develop over time. My favorite part is reading that after the responsibilities of adulthood fall away – with children in college or retirement looming – adults look forward to reconnecting with a few good friends.

I still have a while before my time frees up to track down everyone I loved in my childhood, but I did take a few minutes and think I’ve pieced together Nicole’s timeline. I sent her a note – because you can’t have too many friends in this world.

What was your childhood friend’s name? Are you still in touch? Tell me in the comments.

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