I’ve had a unique time with friendships. As I’m sure most women could share the same sentiment. It’s fascinating to see the common thread among women and friendships. As one of my favorites books, Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge so eloquently puts it

“like every other relationship, our friendships with women can be hard. I know we need women in our lives, but sometimes, like you, I can be intimidated by their strength, their beauty, their way. Sometimes I retreat from them; from their overwhelming presence or their overwhelming need. Sometimes I am overwhelming myself. I am a woman, after all.” 

… So yeah, she hit it the nail right on the head. Friendships are hard and to provide complete transparency, I’m in a completely foreign place with friendships. Yes – I am blessed to have an amazing best friend of 12 years (my future husband will have to go through my family AND her), an amazing group of girlfriends, including my sisters and new budding friendships but even with all of that, I’ve recently come to grips with how much intentional work friendships require.

Uprooting my life to a completely new city and an environment that challenges me daily slapped me in my face with this reality. Navigating both established and new friendships is tough. It takes a dedicated effort as an adult, as all of us are living our individual and busy lives. Nowadays, we trick ourselves into believe that checking someone’s Instagram stories is the same as checking in on your friend. It takes dedicated effort and time to ensure that your friendships remain fruitful, truthful and strong. One thing I didn’t anticipate when moving to New York was the work it would require maintaining healthy friendships and exploring new ones.

If you want friends, present yourself friendly… 

One of my mom’s infamous pieces of wisdom. Though I understood what she meant on the surface, I now view these words from a completely different vantage point as an adult. I mean, who doesn’t want friends? Of course, we all do, but the question is, are you the type of friend someone wants in return? This is a question that I’ve asked myself a lot within the last year. Am I kind, empathetic, honest, supportive… the list goes on and on. As I’m trying my hand at building new networks and friendships in this massive city, I’ve made the decision to remain true to myself and this thought process. It can be a little exhausting as everyone doesn’t enter these situations with the same mindset, but I’m reminded of my mom’s wise words. Continue to present yourself friendly. It’s a continual effort, but like anything else, an effort that can prove to be promising.

Friendship is a gift that we should all have the benefit of enjoying. But like any other relationship in our lives, we must understand that they are just as hard and require dedication. As I navigate this new place in my life, I’m working to be the friend that I would desire, both new and old.