Confidently Ourselves: Friendship in Your 30’s

While having lunch with friends, the topic turned to our lives. While we aren’t in the exact same spot, we are all hovering around some specific things:

Staring 30 in the face. And maybe some gray hair or new wrinkles. Some of us has already reached this milestone, some of us are about to, and some of us will never publicly admit to being a day over 29. And that’s fine. We have put in our time, and good friends will never tell your true age anyway.

Our friends are getting divorced. This makes us all sad. The last thing we want is to see our friends and family hurting. Our only hope is that they all ultimately find true happiness. I wish I could find a poetic way to wrap this up, but I’ll just have to leave it at this.

College was a long time ago. What do you mean it was a decade ago? That’s not right! 1997 was a decade ago. 2007 was yesterday. Right??? I was teeny tiny and super tan, in college, and could stay up past 9:30 just yesterday, right?

Our families are complete. . . or they aren’t. We have a pretty decent idea about how many little faces we see at our dinner table in our dreams. Some of us have that number, some of us aren’t even close. Basically, give or take a few surprises, we have a good idea of what our family dynamic is going to look like.

Our friendships are different. We aren’t forced together for recesses, lunches, or even all night study sessions. In fact, we have less time than ever for friendships, new or old. In other words, if we take the time to make time for you, meet you for lunch or coffee, answer text messages within a couple of days, or the Ultimate Mom Gift – have an actual phone conversation, consider it the epitome of friendship. We love you and we have to carefully cram every important thing into an already jam-packed day, so if you make it, you’re in.

Food isn’t the same. Oh the days when brownies and wine were acceptable for dinner. Nowadays, if I tried that, I would wake up bloated, with a headache, and the worst case of dry mouth imaginable. Gone are the days of eating pizza for breakfast, a burger for lunch, and Mexican food plus a giant beer for dinner while still having room in your XS swimsuit. I’m traveling to Mexico in three weeks and I found myself googling “cute Mom swimsuits.” So there’s that.

We’re a different kind of cool. We may not know what all of the new lingo means, or exactly why Snapchat is so alluring, but we have navigated those awkward waters of trying to fit in (hello middle school) and can now gracefully say “no thank you” and move on. Also, these 90s trends that are back in style? Well, we are well-versed in them, and we just might happen to already have a drawer full of scrunchies ready to take these young’ins by storm.

We know where we stand. Politics, religion, how to fold towels, kale, whether the toilet paper goes over or under (over, CLEARLY,) we know how our opinions on innumerable things. And if we are really lucky, we have friendships with people who have different viewpoints than us, and challenge us to reconsider and reevaluate our own thoughts from time to time.

We finally forced ourselves to leave after a two-hour lunch and with one million untouched topics. One of us was taking kids to a family event, the other had to actually accomplish errands before Mother’s Day Out pickup, and the other desperately needed to get back to work. But we paused, as we have learned to do as we venture further into adulthood, and check in with those around us. Thinking back on these topics, I realized these things define us, keep us awake at night, drive us (sometimes insane,) but also bond us.  To paraphrase Jen Hatmaker, there is a beautiful moxie found within all of this mess, and we are embracing it wholeheartedly.

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