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Personal, Thoughts

Friendships

September 23, 2019

Well, my loves, today I chose to write about a topic so very dear to me.

I know a handful of women who will disagree with me, but I perceive friendships to be of greater value than any other relationship. When one bad date ensues after another, when romantic relationships tarnish your every emotion, leaving you shrivelled up in a series of tumultuous happenings – it is your friends who stitch the remains back together, bring life back to its original form. In most of my early teenage years, I grew to realise that those related to me had let me down the most, and that I found a family in my friendships. And in all those times I was tempted to pity myself for the lack of a stable family, I instead learned to be grateful for the friend group I was blessed with.

I’ve always been the kind of person surrounded by a smaller, but more meaningful friend group. And the older I grow, the more I emphasise this. I don’t care much for acquaintances who are just fun on a night out, but not close enough to share your deepest thoughts with. I want to surround myself with genuine, kind, hard-working and inspiring individuals who bring out the best in me – and I in them.

All my past and present friends have taught me so much and sculpted a chunk of my years, and each relationship is one I still value greatly. But over the years, I’ve watched meaningful friendships dissolve overtime. The reality is that just like with everything else in life, friendships are things you can and likely will grow out of. It really is only the strongest of relationships that grow with you; when the two of you share an understanding and appreciation for each other’s lifestyles. I’ve seen this happen now, more than ever before – most of us change to an extent barely imaginable in our teenage years and twenties. These years are so formative, so telling. I know I’ve changed from the person I used to be, two or three years ago – my career aspirations have shifted, my idea of enjoyment has completely transformed, my values are different. I see no fun in heading to the club on a Friday night, because I would much rather engage in a thought-provoking conversation at a bar or restaurant. I do not drink nearly as much as I used to, having skipped the vodka shots and opted for a glass of wine in recent years. I don’t make the same messy mistakes or gravitate towards toxic people as I did in my mid-teens. I, the person who has traditionally been known to be a night owl, fit in as many early nights as I can to ensure the next day will be the most productive. I work more, and as a result, I have less time to catch up with numerous friends. And just like that – all these minor but significant changes, they’ve caused a friend or two to drift apart.

In many ways, I acknowledge that a lot of these changes happened at a faster pace than they have for many. I’m twenty years old, and quite a bit of an old soul. My social life is not as eventful as that of other twenty-year olds, but it is exactly what I would want it to be. I skipped university and jumped into the working world at a pretty young age. As a result, the majority of my friends are approximately five or more years older, while lifestyle changes have contributed significantly to younger friend groups melting away. 

I’ve grieved old friends just as one would a romantic partner. Letting go of powerful relationships is one of the most mentally draining, difficult and emotional choices we make – but ultimately, also one of the most rewarding. 

These photos were taken a month or so ago and detail the last night myself, Jack and Alina have enjoyed altogether before Jack left Malta for London. I treasure these memories; the moving conversations and incessant laughter shared over a bottle of red. What you once considered a typical Friday night can quickly become a fragment of the past, a distant memory you’ll wish for. 

My friend group today is one I am so incredibly proud of. The friends I have today are friends I’ve mainly met through creative collaborations, work, social media, fashion school and fashion week – just a myriad of common interests and passions. They are all unique individuals with strong characters and kind hearts. They’ve been there for me at my highest and lowest, supporting the things that matter to me – in the same way I hope to, for them. They all inspire me with their art, their work ethic, their individual style and their pure intentions. I thought I’d urge you too to sit back and think of your friends and what makes them as fantastic as they are – and then, voice those very thoughts to them. Because these people in our lives? They’re not to be taken for granted.

Natalya Vukovic