As you know, I’m 25. In my mind I’m losing the years rapidly and the “next big things” involve mortgages and more babies. When did this happen? A few years ago when a friend got pregnant you gasped in shock and (admittedly) it was a source of gossip. Suddenly, it was expected of you. I was engaged to be married when I found out I was pregnant, I lived with my fella and worked full time. Yet when those two heart-stopping lines appeared on that piss stick (see, I’ve not grown up that much), I told my family the news. But when I phoned my dad I instantly said “Dad. Don’t kill Jamie.” He guessed at that point that we were expecting and congratulated us. It hit me then, that it’s acceptable because I’m all adulty and shit. But is it still expected to be friends with people your own age? Some of my closest friends are in their forties and it’s something I don’t think much about. They’re just my friends.
So I thought in depth about why I enjoy having friends that are older than me and this is what my cute little brain came up with:
1. They’re wiser. There is no better friend than someone who can give you good, trustworthy advice who have already experienced things that you’re going through. It’s called perception. They may not always be right (who is?) but they’ll give you their honest and sometimes brutal opinion when you’re most in need of a reality check. My closest friends always tend to have a “No bullshit” rule which is probably why we are friends! I respect that in someone. Zero sugarcoating.
2. Confrontation. This probably relates to the first point but to me, I value a friendship when they can tell you that you’re being too sensitive or if they feel that you’re projecting a problem onto something or someone unintentionally. I like the fact that if I have annoyed an older friend, more than often they’ll just tell you. You apologise. You move on. You go back to saying “love ya babes” in a matter of minutes. Where as I have experienced (some, not all) friends who are in their twenties that choose to pout, criticise and be resentful when you’ve had a dispute. What’s the point? My older friends will not silently judge me. They’d just vocalise it and bury the hatchet.
3. They can party harder than a younger person. That’s a fact.
4. “She’s always so miserable” and “so much drama” are words muttered by people too often. I’ve found that my older-and-wiser friends accept that life is hard and that shit doesn’t smell of roses. If you need to shout about it then BLOODY WELL BE SHOUTY. The more mature you get, you expect the ugly!
5. They radiate confidence. I love how they ooze self-assurance and not in a “I love myself so much” arrogant kind of way. They are just comfortable being who they are without feeling the need to impress strangers, or anyone for that matter. When you’re with them, it is utterly contagious and you don’t care if your face paint isn’t “on point” or that you have a few (ahem) extra pounds. You just feel like a sassy badass.
6. They make you feel like you can do anything. I’ve learnt that their outlook is pretty simple in life. “Just do it.” Or at the very least, TRY do it. A good friend of mine told me “I’d rather die trying and failing than never trying at all” and those, ladies and gentleman, are words we should all live by.
7. When you need a shoulder to cry on, they’ll have that shoulder and let you know that you’re entitled to feel the way you do. They’ll also offer you cheese and wine. BEST.FRIENDS.EVER.
8. They make mistakes just like every generation. They accept that. A lot of my friends (in their twenties) wouldn’t accept that they’re their own problem, they’d blame everyone and everything else IN THE ENTIRE PLANET before admitting that it was their fault.
9. Whether it’s going to a bar, lounging around the house, spending days with your family, keeping in touch despite not seeing each other in yonks, they’ll be there. They don’t need to go to the busiest clubs or drag you around dress shopping for “bonding time”. They’d be more than happy to have a chat over a cup of tea whilst your toddler shows off or screams bloody murder. As a mother, that’s the best kind of friend. WHAT A BABE.
I have friends in my twenties who do all of the above things too but I’m tired of this stigma that surrounds us. In fact, I hated saying “older friend” during this blog because I wouldn’t call my best friend (who is in her twenties) my “younger friend” would I? Age really is just a number and I’m thankful for all of my friends and their different personalities. But having older friends is underrated.
Give me an 80 year old nana over an 18 year old university student for a friend ANY DAY.