What 5 Decades Taught Me About The Season Of Friendship

TAKING OFF THE ARMOR
5 min readMay 22, 2023
Sunset with the silouette of 6 friends standing with arms outstretched in various ways.
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

I had all intentions of a completely different topic for this week’s blog until I sat with my daughter last night.

She was pretty quiet all weekend. I chalked it up to the end-of-the-school-year chaos and that she just needed a little downtime. When we sat down to watch a movie, I noticed she was pretty sad and wanted a lot of snuggles. When I asked Bianca what was wrong, she said she had a friend that told her, since Christmas break, she seems to be different. She wasn’t as carefree as she used to be and seems to worry more about what others thought.

It is bothering Bianca right now, and in a way, that is not a bad thing. Her friend did not say it in malice, more as a bit of concern that the group of friends will not survive all the changes they are going through. I appreciate her mature insight at such a young age. She’s probably right…some of those friendships may not survive.

Bianca said it made her feel sad to think she has changed in a not-so-awesome way. I hugged her and told her to consider taking it as constructive criticism and reflect on it.

And then I started reflecting.

When I sat down to write the blog, I started thinking about all the changes I have been through over the last 5 decades…with some of my biggest changes occurring after I left the military.

Some of those changes have resulted in both losing, gaining, and strengthening friendships.

My bestie from high school is still my bestie. However, we’re not the same besties we were back then. We lost touch for many years, reconnected at a rough patch in her life, and watched each other struggle, grow, have setbacks, and rally yet again.

Ever connect with a person you didn’t care for in high school? Hard to say re-connect when they were never more than an acquaintance. Yet, years later, the universe decided paths needed to cross, and we find that previously annoying person interesting, fascinating, even inspiring…and a friendship blossoms.

Mmhmm…8 years ago, that happened to me.

Some friendships are severed when roles change. When I unexpectedly became a nurse manager, I quickly found my friendship strained. The person was utilizing the…

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TAKING OFF THE ARMOR

Hi! I am a Veteran, Mom, nurse, writer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. Here to share issues impacting military transition. (Which impacts civilians too.)