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The end of summer is a time to reflect about relationships.Friends aren’t all the same – some are there for all of your life, and others only for a short time. The friends you make in your adulthood are usually a different caliber than the ones you make in your childhood.Those who’ve known you the longest know all your awkward years and times where you’ve been trying to find yourself, yet the friends you make later in life only know you as how you’ve evolved and changed. Many people put stock in the amount of years invested in a friendship but  there are many who can be your friend for years, yet never reach the core of who you are.

Childhood Friends – These are the friends you’ve known since you can remember. You might have met them in the sandbox when you were four, for example, or maybe you were sitting in a story time in grade school and they just happened to be your reading partner. No matter how you met them, they’ve been there since the beginning. They know about the ridiculous haircut you had in third grade and your worst crush story from seventh grade. You’ve always been partners in crime, but now you’ve grown up. Gone are the days of braces and learning to tie your shoes, proms and sleepovers. It’s a new time in your life, yet they’re still there and it’s hard to forget about embarrassing moments from the past when they’ve seen it all. They’ll always remember you as the young child you used to be and know your history, which can be good and bad. While you embrace these friends with open arms, just because you’ve known each other so long doesn’t mean they know or understand the person you’ve become. It’s a process of getting to know someone again once they change, mature, and eventually grow into the person they’re meant to be. They might not always understand you and vice versa, but at least they’ve proven that they have staying power, despite differences that develop overtime.

Adulthood Friends – These are the types of friends you meet in your late teens – early twenties and continue until the later years of your life.You’ve already formed your style, personality, etc. and now you’re just looking for like-minded (or completely different!) types of people. These newbies come into existence to either complete or completely change up your friendship circle. The start of adulthood ends up being a time where friendship changes are made, either due to going away to school and leaving your childhood home or a job move – anything that picks you up from where you grew up and brings you into contact with a completely different circle of people. From experience, it’s a breath of fresh air to meet people from different places – they don’t know who you’ve been and you can just be yourself without them knowing your whole history. It ends up becoming a learning experience because you’re starting from scratch and get to tell childhood stories to a fresh face. You end up making new memories with these people and these can end up being more mature friendships if they’re based on common interests rather than vicinity. When you grow up, you meet people in your general area and this helps form bonds. When you’re able to travel by yourself to a new area or even simply engrossed in a new situation (ie. college, new job, traveling), you’re able to reinvent yourself.The bonds that brought you together with childhood friends are formed differently in adulthood – you don’t become instant friends just through being around them a lot. Friendships can be hard to cultivate during adulthood, as you’re constantly on the run to your job and/or balancing a husband and kids, but the worthwhile friends stick around. You’re able to overcome obstacles of time and location because you like each other, regardless if you’ve known each other five or twenty five years.

Mixing Childhood & Adulthood Friends – Some people lose touch with their childhood friends completely or end up having two separate groups that encompass two different eras of their life – it depends on how close you were with these friends or how much of a “new start” you want in adulthood. Occasionally intermingling of friendship groups could occur, but in general, childhood and adulthood friendships tend to be on two completely different wavelengths. From personal experience, I feel like I can change my eccentric persona a bit while meeting new people as an adult, whereas when I see my childhood friends, the silliness and hilarity is amplified. As the cliche quote says, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Said in other words, once you’ve developed a routine with childhood friends, it’s hard to break it. However, while making friends at an older age, the friendship is fresh and you’re able to direct it in diverse directions.For example, if your oldest friends are very focused on having a good time when you’re together and not having serious discussions, your adulthood friends could be your outlet for intellectual stimulation. If you’re looking for friends you can go out with on the weekends, there are always other groups of people you can meet that can satisfy that need.

“Beautiful Friendship” Contest Rules

Becoming a “Soul Sister” – “Soul sisters” are linked through experience, understanding, and a true sense of womanhood that transcends the mere “acquaintance.” Whether they’re a friend from the start or someone who came in during your mid-life crisis, all friendships bring something special to the table. They’re just different in the way they met you and how much time they’ve been around you.It’s not the quantity of the the time they’ve known you, but the quality of the time you’ve spent together. Some of my best friends are people who I’ve known only two years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know them well. We’ve spent quality time together, therefore, the friendship has become more important to me as the months and years have gone by.

Strong female friendships can be hard to come by sometimes due to drama, man issues, or anything that makes trust become a problem, so it’s important to keep your sisters close!Learn to love all your friends, despite how long you’ve known them – it’s the bond that counts.

Announcing…THE “BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP” CONTEST

brought to you by DreamWorks Studios & HelloBeautiful.com

Do you have a beautiful friendship in your life?  Have you experienced  a friendship with another woman that has influenced your life in a  positive way?  Transformed you emotionally or spiritually or  intellectually, helped you through a challenging situation, or just been plain fun?

Tell us about it in the Beautiful Friendship contest and WIN:

  • a new Flip HD camera
  • an exclusive all-expense paid trip for you and  your friend to the LIVE FILM SET of DreamWorks’ upcoming major motion  picture, The Help, based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett.
  • a meet & greet with the cast and crew of the film to witness how a film gets  made
  • Featured Blogger spot on HelloBeautiful.com to video blog about your experience with your new camera!

To Enter, fill in the form below:

1. Write a description of your “Beautiful Friend” (350 words or less)

2. Upload your most beautiful picture of you both together. (The photo should be a personal photograph, taken by you or of you for which you have permission to post.)

Winners will be chosen by HelloBeautiful on September 20, 2010

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