The Fashion Magpie Outgrowing Friendships Musings

Outgrowing Friendships.

On my way to meet up with a friend a few weeks ago, I found myself involved in a curious kind of internal pep talk.

“Just be yourself,” I said. “Don’t fill the void with the vapid. If there’s a lull, let it hang. Stick to your guns; be yourself. You don’t need to be agreeable to be agreeable.”

As I raced off, I realized that maybe — just maybe — I had outgrown the friendship a little bit. Or that we were a mismatch for one another at this stage in our life. Or that she had changed and I had not, or vice versa, and there was a bizarre kind of gap forming in which our friendship had gone from easy-to-navigate to a bit tempestuous.

You see, I have found our conversations strained lately. Perhaps (hopefully?) not perceptibly to her, I find myself hopscotching to avoid certain topics that we do not see eye to eye on and that frankly drain me. And I’m not referring to meaty topics in which critical debate is educative; this is not a case where I only want to hear what I want to hear. Rather, I find her interests and observations so thoroughly different from my own that I find myself repeating small meaningless affirmatives in the absence of returning anything substantive: “Oh wow, that’s great. Great. Oh interesting. Hm. Oh. Interesting. Oh wow.” Vapid volley that leaves me yearning for stimulation elsewhere.

I’m not talking about a bad friendship, by the way — one that needs to be broken up or abandoned because it is too damaging. (And I have thoughts on that, too.) I’m talking about a friendship where I catch myself performing its intimacies and find myself more depleted than fulfilled.

But then I second-guessed myself. Relationships are not always breezy little jaunts. You wear your heart on your sleeve and so it is bound to get bruised and prodded and strained from time to time. You grow and change and she grows and changes and so too does your relationship, and sometimes you need to afford it the space to let it become what it becomes. Maybe we are in the midst of an evolution into a different kind of relationship, one whose meetings are fewer and further between and only of a certain sort. And that’s fine, too.

What’s more: when you care about someone, you hang in.

What do you think, magpies? Have you ever found yourself engaging in personal pep talks before meeting up with a friend? Is this healthy or non-healthy? What’s the prognosis for this friendship?

Post-Scripts: Things I Love from Amazon.

Below, thought I’d share some of my favorite recent Amazon finds, many of which I’ve featured in the past. These are RLY good finds.

+These pillows have improved sleep in our home. I used to find myself waking up to flip and fluff my pillow 2-3 times a night. These hold their shape well and do not get hot (?!?!?!?)

+Mini loves her broom/mop set, and I love that it’s not a plastic eyesore and that it’s modeling the art of cleaning up! (Also, it stores upright and therefore takes up virtually no space in our apartment. #manhattanproblems)

+I was like 23 years late to the micellar water game, but now I’m a lifelong convert. I like Bioderma’s — it’s gentle, affordable, and effective.

+An affordable, machine-washable kitchen rug. I toss it in the laundry along with dish towels every few days. (Around the same time I put my sponge through the dishwasher.)

+This was a must-have solution for the tangle of cords at my bedside: one for the monitor, one for the Kindle charger, one for the lamp, one for the iPhone charger, and — recently — one for the humidifier. (People are very polarized by humidifiers, I have come to learn, but I love mine and think it has helped in these dry winter months, and especially as I’ve gotten over the hump of a nasty cold.) I like the cube power strip because it has such a tiny footprint, is easy to access, and is a little less unsightly than a traditional strip, but I will say I wish it had a little more heft to it, as it will tip over unless I have positioned it carefully, which irks me.

+These are the best forks for mini right now. Super cheap and super durable and they actually enable her to spear her food. A lot of the other brands I’ve tried (Skip Hop, etc) just act like spoons.

+Super soft, super cheap, super cute gingham crib sheets.

+This is how I keep mini’s hair tidy.

+I have a stash of different Scout bags in different shapes and sizes and find they come in endless handy — whether tossed into a suitcase to serve as a makeshift tote for carrying things to the pool or stowing laundry or toys, as a slightly nicer way of toting snacks/food to a gathering, as a temporary receptacle for things to donate/take down to the storage unit/organize for storage.

+My favorite water bottle for mini. Ultra-durable, super cute patterns, do not spill, and hold a lot of water. Great for taking out with us on adventures around the city.

+I blanch to think how many bumps and tumbles this has prevented in mini’s life.

+The easiest way to lure mini into her bath when she’s not having any of it. Me: “Do you want to put color in the water?” Her: [Pause. Then dropping of toys and padding of feet.] SHE LOVES THEM. I let her pick out two tablets each bath time and it’s magic for her. My only question: why God why did they make a yellow color, so that bathwater looks like urine?!

+If I sing their praises one more time, y’all might kill me, but these keep every drawer and medicine cabinet shelf in our home immaculate.

+One of only a handful of things I have auto-shipped to me at the end of every month. These are THE BEST GLOVES for dishwashing.

+As every mom knows, these are the best shoes for summertime in the city. Mini can wear them in splashpads and puddles and look just as chic with them in a little dress.

+My bar is never without fun cocktail napkins. Currently loving these, a nod to magpies 🙂

+Cannot rave enough about this ultra-lightweight, fluid sunscreen. When it arrived, I was shocked at how small the bottle was, but a little bit lasts a long time AND WORKS. It glides on underneath makeup and never leaves a residue.

+Gifted Mr. Magpie a set of these produce bags in his stocking and love them. Much better for storing produce than in those non-breathable plastic bags you get at the grocery and better for the environment. Can be tossed in the laundry! I really like how they keep our produce drawer tidy and easy to navigate. “I want an apple — just look for the bag with the red cord.” Genius!

+Dorkily into the seasonal scents from Mrs. Meyers.

+Mini loves these letter and shape puzzles! Such a great way to introduce spelling to her at a young age.

+We use this mat all the time in our house. A great stress reliever and solid at working out knots/aching bones.

+Just discovered that Windex comes in wipe form and and and they make me SO HAPPY. We have mirrored side tables in our bedroom and I’m constantly telling myself “go get the windex and clean them down!” and then getting distracted. Now I keep these in my bedside table and wipe them down the minute I think of it. It’s a great day to be alive, people.

+Inexpensive and super sweet ballet skirts for toddlers.

+A fun pouch for your personals. Note that the largest size does not fit a 15″ Macbook despite the promises in the notes. But it’s all good.

+More Amazon finds and my favorite buys of 2018.

+Still learning from this experience (even over a month out — it was an interesting test in humility to get used to wearing the scar without a steri-strip on it) and leaning into prayer lately.

Shop Le Post.

11 Comments

  1. Oh, outgrowing friendships is such a tough topic. I was having a discussion about this with my mother over the weekend — I visited my parents & my mom always asks after my close friends, and we ended up talking for a long time about one of my old friends from whom I’ve grown apart over the past decade or so. It’s really a tough thing to navigate. One of the ways in which I’ve used to determine whether I should pull back from a friendship sounds kind of cruel, but it’s helped me: “Would I want to be friends with you if we met today?” I can say with 100% certainty that most of my closest friends would fall into this category, but the friend in question (the one whom I was discussing with my mom) would be an absolute “no”. That realization has allowed me to slowly pull back from our friendship. She’s not a toxic friend or a bad person; we just have different priorities in life at this stage. (And it’s not just about life circumstances: I say this as someone who is not a mother, but whose 4 closest friends ALL are, and when we get together it’s like no time has elapsed.)

    Anyway, this is becoming a mini novel but don’t beat yourself up for thinking about this — I think there’s a reason for noticing when a certain friendship is taking a lot out of you. And like you said: “when you care about someone, you hang in.” I think it’s OK to have your caring shift over time.

    1. Thanks for this thoughtful note. The question was particularly instructive — “Would I want to be friends with you if we met today?” I think, in this case, I would. So I am hanging in. xoxo

  2. The friendship question you raise is a tricky one. There are definitely some friends I meet where I feel like I have to pump myself up beforehand because they suck all the energy out of me and I am exhausted afterwards – but in the moment they’re so much fun to be around it’s worth it? It’s hard to explain. I call them energy vampires and used to have a lot more tolerance for it when I was younger (much less so now). And honestly, these are the friends I’m in contact with less frequently these days for a variety of reasons. But I think that each relationship is so unique to the individual pair that it’s hard to determine what the outcome will be based on previous relationships.

    On lighter topics! I love the Oxo toddler utensil set – the only fork that’s worked for the baby so far – but the ones you’ve posted are way cheaper – may try those out for her school lunches/when we’re out and about. And that sunscreen is the best! I used to stock up when I was in Europe and am so happy it’s easy to find in the US now.

    1. You’re capturing the crux of the friendship issues! So difficult to know what to do…

      Love the OXO set, too. These are a great alternative! xo

  3. How is the smell of the sunscreen? I am so sensitive to the strong smell of regular sunscreen, even ones made for the face, and I’d love to wear one that has a pleasant smell!

    Also, I can completely relate to your feeling of outgrowing a friendship. I had a very close friend for 3 years who was a kindred spirit and confidant for me. A shift happened in the 4th year, and I found it so much harder to talk beyond surface level topics. I missed the depth of friendship and conversation we shared and couldn’t put my finger on what had changed. I was exhausted at the effort it took to converse when we would spend time together. We’ve both since moved, and I’ve found it easier to keep up long distance more sparingly without missing the depth of our friendship as much as when we lived in the same place. It took a while to grieve the loss of someone who used to be a very close friend. Now, as I anticipate getting married in the next year or so, I am hesitant to include her in my wedding. If you had asked me during those first few years of our friendship, she would’ve been a bridesmaid in a heartbeat. Alas. I am thankful for the other friendships in my life who I have not yet outgrown.

    1. Hi Jaime! I would say the sunscreen smell is *very* mild. There is a slight scent but it quickly dissipates, in my opinion — I don’t notice it after I’ve applied it.

      You’ve done such a nice job of describing the shift in this particular relationship for me as well. I’m comforted by the fact that other people have experienced similar changes, and that there are still ways to keep in touch/stay attached, albeit it in a different capacity. xoxo

  4. So happy to hear you like the sunscreen, was dorkily waiting on an update on it and was on the verge of just emailing haha.

    Also, IRT friendships ruts: I recently heard Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman talk about this on their podcast, Bad on Paper. I can’t remember if it was Grace or Becca who suggested it, but the advice they gave was simple and has worked recently for me. If the conversation is always bogged down by your friend’s boyfriend drama/child talk/work aspirations/etc., politely ask your friend if you can avoid talking about said topic that day. It’s can really shift the conversation towards something you both have in common and spark fresh, rewarding conversations. Hope that helps!

  5. 1- those pillows are amazing! I have been through many and these are the best- and exactly like you said- keeps its shape and stays cool. My husband and I rave over them.
    2- bioderma is life changing. I have schlepped bottles home each time I’ve come from Europe- 1 bottle easily lasts you a year! And it’s not drying, gets everything off your face! I sing its praises and have bought mini sizes to give as gifts! But never thought of amazon! #lifechanging

    3- I follow Julia, who was on Below Deck- The Bravo tv series a few years ago- and thought of you immediately! Her small wedding is dreamy and she is wearing a thick and gorgeous pearl-encrusted headband as her veil!! So vintage and timeless!! Take a look https://www.instagram.com/p/BrfNzJTlEPk/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1rovzoa5szz76
    If the link doesn’t work, her username is naturally_julesy
    I’ll put it in the website link too. So so stunning

    1. OMG – love that headband! So chic and definitely up my alley 🙂 I wonder what I would have worn if I were getting married today…

      YAY for Bioderma on Amazon! Now you don’t need to schlep the added weight on your way back from France, although I am sure it’s fun to make the pilgrimage to those storied French pharmacies 🙂 xo

  6. Is that sunscreen not THE best? I’m sure there are other great ones out there, but I’ve never had a reason to find out. It’s my holy grail product. I’m of Irish decent and fair skinned it has never let me down, ever. I apply daily to my neck, back of ears and hands daily as well. My only caution check expiration date. I purchase from my local pharmacy and found one time they weren’t rotating the product so be careful for that.

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