The closest I’ve ever come to a girl gang was going on a boozy, end of college holiday to Malia with 12 girls…out of those 12 I was only really friends with half. To this day I only speak to 2.
During some Sunday down time- watching Sex in the City, with a bowl of snacks and scrolling through my Missguided app – I realised that all my favourite films, programmes, bands etc.. all illustrate strong ‘girl power’ groups. From the Pink Ladies, to The Spice Girls. Destiny’s Child to Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. So for someone who has loved the idea of girl gangs since her first Bratz doll, I must admit, I suck at being a part of one myself.
The notion of friendship groups has been playing on my mind recently. Next year I will be 21, which is (I suppose) a really big birthday, in which you obviously have the best birthday celebrations imaginable; completed with a classic ’21’ helium balloon which I will pose alongside for the cliche Instagram pic… Such outrageous birthday celebrations inevitably demand a big group of friends, which quite honestly I haven’t had for a while. I’m only 2o years old but I think I hit the ‘ditches a large friendship group for a smaller list of individuals’ stage in a person’s social life prematurely. Whenever I go out for cocktails it’ll be with one girlfriend, maybe two at a push! I don’t have that school-like huge friendship group where we all love each other and catch up as a group every week over a Wetherspoons chicken burger. I don’t have a large group to call on for crazy Saturday night antics with jagerbombs, trying to sneak a free taxi ride to a nightclub and more jagerbombs. And because I don’t have this notion of ‘friendship’ which Instagram makes me feel everyone else has- I think I have no friends. But that just isn’t true, and I finally realise that.
Am I envious? In one sense I am; its more expensive having to go out three times a week to see friends individually as opposed to one night with them all. But then again, as someone who hates sitting in the house and always wants an excuse to buy a new outfit or try the new restaurant that just opened, having lots of plans with people I love doesn’t really get me down.
What does get me down is the idea of childhood friends. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge believer in a friend who’s known you for 1 month can be a better friend than someone who has known you for 10 years. But who doesn’t love the idea of having someone at your wedding that knew you when you watched Bob the Builder, or came round your house to have a fashion show with your Polly Pockets? The idea of a life-long friend in my opinion is precious. The oldest friend I have is probably my cousin…but to be pedantic and disqualify family members from the rack; I met my oldest friend when I was in secondary school when I was 12 years old. But our conversations are few and we both live in completely different cities for university. I know it’s not a social law to drift apart from friends when you move away and, you know, start adulting…but it seems to happen quite. a. lot.
Coming to terms with drifting apart from a friend is settled like the end of a chapter. No bitchiness. No arguments. Just the way the story runs out- no more pages just a brief footnote from the contributing authors. In reality that just means you say ‘hey’ as you pass in the local pub every year or two.
The real stab in the back is falling out with people you once cared about, people you once imagined being at your baby shower, or even as one of your bridesmaids. (To put it bluntly…isn’t it sh*t when your childhood best mate turns out to be a right two faced b*tch). I am always one to preach that wasting time bitching, ranting and even typing about people who have let you down is a waste of energy, and I won’t ever give someone who would hurt me that satisfaction. But the one thing I will say is that there is a point of clarity when it comes to bitchy friends that in my opinion is the epitome of growing up. When you discover a friend has been lying and (well) stirring the pot; if all you feel is absolutely nothing…welcome to my definition of adulthood. People define adulthood by a number of things: having children, learning to drive, buying a house etc. In my little world, adulthood is taking control of emotional responses. With this in mind, understanding you are above and worth more than those who would intentionally hurt or betray you, to the point where you don’t even care…that’s what I would call being a grown up. (Plus it’s also a very mature way of giving someone the middle finger).
At the end of the day, friendships is such a vast, and more importantly complicated, concept. From different jobs, to clubs, to cocktail bars; meeting new people comes with the flip outcome of them either contributing or taking away from our lives. From someone who has experienced both the best and worst type of friends, there is 1000% a vast range of type of friends out there- like a giant pic ‘n’ mix. As much as we love our favourite sweet, for me it’s definitely the fizzy dummies, there is always a random pick which doesn’t quite taste right…jelly beans (a big NO from me).
What my awful analogy is attempting to illustrate is that we meet so many new people in life we are bound to meet some friends that don’t quite fit, yet the friends who we love, treasure and adore make it all worth while.
So here’s to finding the fizzy dummies of friends in this big pic ‘n’ mix world!