When I first started Uni I had so many ‘friends’. Thirty or forty of us used to hang out all the time. And those were not only people I’d have drinks with – they were ‘actual friends’. We’d have coffee, talk about tons of stuff and I really felt close to them. When we had parties at the flat I used to live in – there’d easily be fifty people. I even had a little notebook to write down when I’m having coffee with whom.
Then I left my home country to do a Masters abroad. I remember having a farewell party before leaving and saying goodbye to people I’ve truly cared about. After a couple of months of living abroad I came back home to visit. I had to squeeze in meetings with all these ‘friends’ in such a short period of time that I almost lost my mind. And then I suddenly noticed that we no longer have much to talk about. I suddenly noticed that these conversations don’t interest me. I suddenly noticed that after a drink with an old ‘friend’ I have less energy than I had before the drink. But hey, keeping ‘friendships’ is important! So to be perfectly honest sometimes I’d made myself go, even though I did not want to. After another six months of living abroad I came back home to visit again – this time I decided I wouldn’t squeeze in so many ‘friends’ during my short stay. And each time I’d come back home I’d see fewer people, each time I’d have fewer ‘friends’.
I couldn’t help but wonder why I don’t want to interact with all of them anymore. I couldn’t help but wonder why spending time alone felt way better than having hours-long conversations about nothing with my ‘friends’. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had changed so much. I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m a hypocrite – how could I suddenly find all these conversations empty and unfulfilling. I couldn’t help but wonder if living abroad has made me become some kind of a social snob!
And then I had an epiphany – the only thing that’s constant in life is change. I’ve changed, other people have changed, our lives, roles and environments have changed… And somehow along this path of change we grew into people with different interests. Somehow we grew into people with different goals. Somehow we grew into people with different perspectives. And that’s perfectly fine! So even if it made me a social snob I’ve accepted the fact that just because someone was in my life before does not mean they still have to be. You don’t have to have coffee with someone just because you used to. You don’t have to interact with someone just because you know each other. You don’t have to have unnecessary conversations with people that suck the energy out of you. You can simply say: “screw that” and spend time with someone you actually like spending time with, even if it’s just yourself.
Whether it’s growing up and giving time more value, or evolving into a person with different life perspectives I’ve decided to surround myself exclusively with people who give me the energy one should feel when interacting with a friend. I’ve decided to filter out the unnecessary and superficial relationships that drain me. And I’ve realized that having a few great people in your life can get you through way more than having tons of ‘friends’. Now I select only the people who add value to my life and cast aside the ones that don’t. I’m a social snob and I feel good about it.