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Ok, friends. How’s the Friends and Family chapter going for you? Do you see value in the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. concept regarding your parents? This is a toughy for me but I work on it every day. So important…
Can’t wait for you to meet my friend Jenny B. Jones. Jenny is one of those super cool chicks that you just say, “I really want to be her friend!” Take a look at Jenny’s thoughts regarding friendships as you navigate your 20s.
~What did your friendships look like when you were a 20-something compared to now? Is there a difference in dynamic or depth of friendship?
I LOVED my 20s. My friendships in my twenties were a mix of college+remaining high school friends in the early years, then co-worker friendships I made with my college job, then my first “real” job. The upper twenties were mostly work and church friends. I think my friendships in my 20s taught me that friends can go in seasons–the work friends, the young professional’s group at church friends, etc. And when that season is over (if you move on to a new job, for example), then those friendships fizzle out UNLESS you work at it. One of my closest friends is someone I used to work with when I was a 20-something, but haven’t for over 8 years. We’re still friends because we make an effort to hang out and stay in touch.
~Do you have any advice on developing meaningful friendships even through the tough, transitional stage that we call our 20s?
I probably just hit on that–you have to work at it. Friendships in high school and college were easier because you were all just there together or tied by geography or similar interests. It’s a little harder as you get older and requires some effort. If it hasn’t already, life is about to get very busy and very complex. It’s easy to let friendships (and even family) take a back seat to other new commitments or challenges. Don’t let that happen. You need these people.
One of the things that’s stood out to me is the reminder that I’m not the only one afraid to approach someone and talk to a new person. That new person is probably hesitant to approach me or others as well. Is there a new face at work? Talk to them, introduce yourself. Another one of my good friends was once the new gal on the block at work. I remember being kind of embarrassed to go sit by her and talk, assuming she’d just as soon I didn’t. That was a dumb assumption. We struck up a conversation and seven years later, we’re great friends.
As a final thought to this question, I was friends with my grandmother, and she was still alive in my 20s. I wish I would’ve talked to her more about her life (instead of mine). I wish I would’ve asked her a million questions and written down some of her history and thoughts.
~Just because you are so cool, Jenny, and I have to ask. What is ONE thing you loved most about being a 20something?
Oh, gosh. I’m soooo cool. Ha.
I adored just about everything about my 20s. I was aware the whole time how fun the age was, how I was in this perfect decade of youthful adulthood. Twenty-somethings, people want to be you. Trust me. So use these years you’ve been entrusted with to the fullest. I think there’s an energy or aura about you in your 20s, that most likely won’t follow you to 30. The world and all it’s possibilities are fairly new and wide open, you’re confident in some ways, scared in others, you’re starting to check things off the goal list, and there’s so much ahead of you. Enjoy it. Enjoy every minute of it, whether you’re married, single, employed, or struggling with college. There’s not one day of your 20s that’s just a step to greater things. Use that day like you expect those greater things right then. And don’t wait. Don’t wait to travel or do grad school or to live abroad or take that internship or try a new job because of any excuse. Life won’t wait for you. Do it now.
More about my super cool friend Jenny:
Award-winning author Jenny B. Jones writes both contemporary romance and YA with equal parts wit, sass, and untamed hilarity. She is the author of books such as Save the Date and the Women of Faith selection Just Between You and Me. You can visit her at jennybjones.com.
So…what do you think? What stuck out to you most about Jenny’s advice? Leave a comment!