Let’s face it, the same people you thought you’d be friends with forever are now the ones you feel you barely know anymore. As we grow older and start coming into our own, not having to rely on the shelter of familiarity, it’s inevitable to lose some friends on your journey to becoming you. Our friends cannot be at our sides forever, not only is it limiting your opportunity to branch out to new things but the reality is that we all end up on different paths. Phone calls and visits become nonexistent , conversations turn into small talk and interests are no longer compatible. The idea of losing a friend never sits well, regardless how much we prepare for it but we must understand it and accept it for what it is, regardless of the pain.
There could be a number of reasons why friendships end, it could be as simple as growing apart from an adolescent comfort to more severe circumstances. We hold onto things for the sake of having them for such a long period of time. We hold on to that favorite t-shirt, sneakers and even our high school notebooks filled with doodles as a result of boredom. We do the same with people. We hold on to friendships for the sake of having them for so long as well as other relationships. We equate time with loyalty but just like that note book or favorite pair of jeans that no longer fits and has various holes in them; we have no use for them anymore. These are objects and people cannot necessarily be replaced but something much more useful can occupy that certain attachment and commitment. As we grow older it becomes evident that we do not need to be surrounded by more people to feel secure about ourselves.
Friends serve different purposes in our lives. Some are there for use to vent to and take advice from, some friends are their to console you through bad breakups and fights with your family members, some friends are just ones to go out and have fun with and if you are lucky enough, you will find friends who are all of these and more. We yearn to have friends that we can call ours, friends we get jealous if someone else claims to be close with, friends that are not afraid to tell you about yourself if they feel you aren’t keeping it real with them or yourself, friends that will voluntarily spend all night at the laundromat with you, friends you can develop a weekly ritual of Sunday brunch or Friday night pizza together. We all yearn for this kind of closeness, a family that isn’t quite blood but the devotion is there nonetheless. However, we can also be blinded with what seems and feels like loyalty but smells of something foul. We are always told by our parents to be conscious of who we call our friends and if you have parents like mine, they would have told you, “You don’t need friends, you have us, your siblings and cousins.” Which for me, has been very true ever since I’ve gotten older. But there is something about seeing a friendship between strangers develop that doesn’t quite compare.
Relationships can be difficult and depending on who you are dealing with, they can add stress to every aspect of your life. However a healthy relationship, whether it’s romantic or just friendly should be able to conquer problems that may and will arise at some point. Relationships should never be judgmental, you should never have to question where you stand and by no means should you ever feel less than your partner or friend. It is never easy to identify an unhealthy relationship but the beauty about these relationships is that you have full power and control of who you allow to come into your life and who you decide to stay. No one wants to feel that the time they have invested in a relationship was wasted so they hold onto the fingertips of these same relationships but the weight only tugs at your shoulder and heartstrings, never relieving you from pain but filling you with more doubt.
Some friendships just fade on their own and some require a series of evaluations and a verbal ending. But the truth is, whatever you decide, it’s still all love. There are people who I will never speak to again in my life, yet, I wish them all the best. The ending of relationships should not cause a feud where secrets are spilled and cold shoulders are given in public as you weren’t once crying on their shoulder. You will always hear in the course of your life to never regret anything that once made you happy. I will say never regret anything that once made you happy or unhappy. It’s all apart of your process and whether you want to see a lesson in it or not, it happened for a reason, whatever that reason may be. Some people meet, by whatever force from the universe that brought them together; somethings will never be explained but should be accepted regardless with the sense enough to never allow you to think it was a pain or loss that was deserved. Ending relationships can seem miserable and cause great discomfort but in reality you have to ask yourself, “Was this a gain or a loss?” Whatever you decide, thinking rationally, than that is what it will be. We have the power to make our own choices and though our indecisiveness can be swayed by false apologies and guilt of breaking a promise of loyalty, the truth is, there will always be that gut feeling something just isn’t right.
I, myself, have struggled with losing friends and having to make decisions of whether or not some people were healthy for me. But I will tell you that although I sometimes reminisce on good memories, the results of my choice to end it always brings me much greater joy because with each unhealthy friendship lost I gained a little piece of myself back, one that I gave so selflessly and sometimes reluctantly. It’s like finding those earrings you’ve been looking for what seems like forever and remembering just how much you loved wearing them. You feel as though your accessory draw is suited better with them than without them.
I’m all about mutual beneficial relationships. Ones that you can grow from, that allow you to feel good about yourself and in turn allow you to express yourself freely. When one doesn’t feel secure in themselves, they look for new things to excite them, but once someone develops confidence in how to love themselves, the lives they’ve always known seem just as new. Relationships should help you get to a point where you realize your own fortune through the love they helped you find for yourself. But unhealthy relationships, whether long-term or short, will never be able to provide you with a new lens of how you see the world around you and yourself.
A true friend encourages you when you are low or even when you have more than enough confidence built up inside of you. A true friend will be proud of your minor accomplishments. A true friend will always know the right time to ask when you are hungry. A true friend is reliable, maybe not always physically but always emotionally. But to have a friend is to be a friend, therefore, treat them even better in return.