What I Learned About Finding My People In My 20's

Humans are social and have been created to crave relationships. When we are younger, it seemed easy to have a lot of friends. We collected them and deemed them our "best friend" over something as small as having the same favorite color. We let them go just as easily. I remember my mom telling me it was okay to have friends for a season when I was little and that some times people are in your life only for a short time.

After I graduated college, this all changed for me. No longer was I surrounded my big groups of people my age with something in common. We get thrusted into a workplace filled with people close to our parent’s age, we have friends move to different states (or we move away) and friends start to get married. We begin to grow our own lives.

It becomes harder to stay close with such a large number of people.

But it is important.

I was reading a verse from the Bible at a wedding yesterday and realized just how important it was to have someone by your side (be it a significant other or a friend).

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Just as this verse says, it is hard to do this thing called life by ourselves. We can't do it alone, so finding those people that really care about you and keeping them close is critical. It's those people who make the effort to spend time with you, remember to call on your birthday, celebrate your successes and cry with you in the hard times. It's those people who love you for you and fully accept you. It's the ones who you don’t have to censor your weekend stories with, but who love you for you regardless of what you do or don’t do. Those are the people I know I want in my life - the people who will love me and care for me no matter what.

Surprisingly, these people might not be who you think they will be, and that’s okay! I have learned since graduating college that some of the people I considered the closest when graduating are no longer in my life and new friends I have met along the way have taken their place. If this starts to happen to you – let it.

If you were like me (and most women our age), we seem to define our friends by who we would ask to be a bridesmaid in our wedding if we got engaged tomorrow. My advice is not to define your friends this way. Let the people that truly care about you show you that rather than categorizing and labeling your friends based on history, shared experiences or past associations.

Surrounding ourselves with those that truly care about us through demonstrating love and BEING loving every day, that's where the gold is.

Who are your people and what have you learned along the way to grow those relationships?