I find the older one gets, the harder it is to find and make true friends. Some time ago I had many real life friends, some with whom I had kept relationships going since junior school, people that I shared and did everything with - even until long after high school. And then one day, about ten years ago - I lost every single one of them, every single one - including a best friend I had known 14 years.
The event that precipitated this? My coming out as transgender. It seems that suddenly people didn't know me anymore (or want to know me) and were suddenly far too busy to call, talk, or socialize. Suddenly, everybody was a workaholic. Suddenly, people weren't talking to me as much as at or about me. Even my best friend at the time - a guy I had known since starting high school, who was as a brother to me, and who had been quite comfortable with the thought of me being bisexual (as long as it was closeted) - was suddenly afraid to be around me in case people started doubting his manhood.
It seems that when you keep your nature a secret, and when you lie about who you are, people love you - and when you reveal yourself and live honestly, they despise you and even fear you for it.
But life goes on, you make friends, you lose them, you make new friends, they move on, you move on, friendships become less close as this process continues. It is rare these days to find friends who will really stick with you through your whole life - and who prove it.
The thing I've learned is to give abundantly of myself to my friends, and to accept what they are willing to offer in return, without expecting anything. That way I don't get disappointed. That way, they don't get too close. It saves me a lot of hurt in the long run.
So my advice to you is, when or wherever you find friends - appreciate them, love them. Enjoy life, enjoy them - they won't be there forever. Neither will you.
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.