I will always remember in high school, at orientation, my number one goal and life mission was to meet as many people as possible. To go around shaking hands, getting numbers, and feeling like I had friends, and people that cared about me. My first year of high school was so much fun, but as cliques formed and people became closer, I saw how the effects of this left me without time to build lasting, quality relationships, and how I didn’t feel truly connected with anyone. I was so busy running around doing all these things with a myriad of people, that the deeper relationships I so desired, just weren’t there; I hadn’t fostered them. This has been a theme throughout my entire life- until now.
In the last year so much has changed, and I’ve really had to re-evaluate my lifestyle and approach to friendship. I have transferred to a University in another state and my parents have moved across the country, so when your life shifts that much, you’re left realizing who and what is the most important. I have learned that yes, meeting people around you is important to your happiness (or at least mine). Seeing people around campus or work or at your church is a nice thing, and a way we feel in community with others. However, it’s important to re-evaluate and ask yourself, “do I REALLY know these people”, or do we just say hi, and talk about the weather? I’ve found it more fulfilling focusing on a couple people I adore and want to get to know on a deeper level, than trying to be-friend everyone around me.
Unfortunately, life is too short to have time to build relationships with everyone, but we are blessed with enough time to really invest in a core group of souls, and to surround ourselves with those people on a regular basis. I have chosen to invest in less people, and I have been significantly happier. I still talk to people in class, at the grocery store, at coffee shops, and in lines, but having a strong group that knows me and supports me so well- nothing can make up for that.
So as life gets crazier, busier, and we start to become adults, I think we should all think about who are the main people we want to invest in? Who do you want to make time for, and need in your life? Who needs you? Coming from someone who knows how it is on both sides, it is a lot healthier, easier, and more fulfilling to have less people who know your heart and the details of your life, than it is to maintain surface level relationships with about 150 people.
You will have less people to see, but more time to share, more time to invest, more time to hear about them, and to support them. This is what friendship is all about, and I worry that our society could lose that by being too busy and preoccupied.
So slow down friends, slow down and re-evaluate who you’re investing in, and how these people influence you. Are you investing in the right people? This might be a good question to ask yourself. Are you happy and fulfilled in your relationships? Maybe yes, maybe no. Only you can answer that. The one thing you should know is that having quality over quantity is a scary step, but in my experience, totally worth it. So don’t be like my high school self, trying to win everyone over, but foster friendships that are important and deep and intimate; friendships that will last a lifetime. This is how we are called to live- in communion with others, investing, loving, caring, and living out the definition of true friendship.