So lately I've been on a friend appreciation journey. In my last blog post I blogged about how to friend for free and if you haven't read it you can check it out here. Now when it comes to my friends I must say that I am fortunate enough to have some good ones in my life and one of them, in my humble opinion, friends so successfully she can probably teach a class on how to keep real ones around you. So I present to you guys my friend Brittany Bullock, aka the friend keeper. I call her the friend keeper because somehow she manages to hold down a demanding 9 to 5, write content for various publications, run her own travel website and brand, and play brand ambassador for other thriving brands just to name a few things. To learn more about her brand, The Brittany B, and all of the wonderful things she's doing feel free to check out her website here. I want to be sure not to understate the fact that she does all of this while managing to be an awesome friend kind enough to share with us some of her friending secrets. So enjoy!
Q1: I know you keep a crazy busy schedule so what are some creative ways in which you hang out or chose to make time with friends?
I’m lucky that my friends also keep a busy schedule so it makes us all understanding to the fact the time we do spend with one another is important. I appreciate that we can do a mix of things together. Get dressed up and go to a nice dinner or stay in the house and bake cookies. There is a good balance between us. Work sessions are a common thing with us as well. Getting together with our laptops and notebooks to knock out blog posts, editing, client emails, etc. Throw in some wine and we have a party.
Q2: Out of your friend group what friend would you consider yourself to be? Are you the organizer? The go with the flow friend? The chill friend? And how do you use your unique character to better your friendships?
I’m the unpredictable friend. I like to explore and go find new things to do/eat/see so the can count on me for that but I’m also the friend that will just tell someone to get in the car we are taking a mini road trip or hey it’s 2 am. Let’s go to fuel city randomly. I think because I don’t fit in one category or box makes my friendships work. Some days I am a grandma and want to eat snacks while doing facemasks; other days I want to go out and stay out until the sun rises. It depends on my mood.
Q3: What advice would you give to someone looking to step up their level of friendship maintenance?
Be the friend you would want someone to be with you. The smallest things can mean a lot to friends. I randomly will tell my friends how much I appreciate them, how great they are, etc. My Chicago friends that I am really close to I speak with every day. We do devotionals together, send bible scriptures, etc. We take trips with one another, watch shows long distance, discuss albums together. It doesn’t take a lot of effort with us.
Q4: What’s the longest friendship you’ve managed to maintain over the years? What struggles and triumphs have come with that that you had to figure out that successfully kept the friendship intact? (i.e. proposed schedules to talk? etc.)
To be honest it has been hard for me to maintain some relationships. There are times we genuinely outgrow people as well. Seasons last different lengths. One of my friends that I had through college and out of it was like that. We never lived in the same state so would travel to see one another. I honestly had let our friendship fade out and she 100% called me out on it one day and I felt horrible. You need friends that will let you know you aren’t doing what you need to be doing. I made efforts to do better about contacting her. Asking about life. Not because I felt forced but because I cared about our friendship. We are still rocking and rolling after 8 years. We may not talk for one week but I make it a point to make sure there is some type of conversation between us. I will email her randomly. Text and ask her opinion on clothing. Again the small stuff can go a long way.
Q5: Where are some places or what are some things you would recommend to people trying to figure out new ways to hang out with their friends?
CHEAP/CREATIVE FRIEND DATES:
Free events (movies in the park, free museum days, grand openings)
In house brunches
Working out together
Photo shoots (for bloggers/creatives this is a life saver)
Ice cream outings
Try a new recipe together
Find new areas to explore that are walkable
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Summertime water balloon fight.
So that's all for me dreamers! I hope this series on friendship is inspiring you to get out there and rekindle those friendships because life is more fun with a great set of friends around you. Honestly. Truly. Stay tuned for more and feel free to comment below with some of the ways you've maintained your friendships!