Thank You For (not) Being A Friend

So … I’ve been wanting to write this post for a little while & something has caused me to hesitate.  I think it’s difficult to acknowledge that I’m no longer friends with a couple of people whom I had considered to be like sisters to me.  I suppose that my thought process went a little like this: If I say that it’s “over” on my blog to the world at large, then it’s most definitely over for real.  And that finality hurts.  Actually, the whole thing hurt, but after I got past the pain of, not one but two, close friendships ending abruptly, I was able to see the lesson & grow from the experience.

The truth is friends will disappoint you, people change, and maybe you’re not always going to be as close as you are to someone who is an important part of your life right now.  And maybe the “best friend” you thought was like your sister, will become a different person – someone you no longer recognize – and will walk right out of your life without so much as a “goodbye,” leaving you to fumble around for closure all by yourself.  Akin to the guy who just stopped calling you for no reason … only this hurts more deeply, because it was more than just “some guy” you dated a few times whose name you can’t even remember now.  This was a friend.

let them go

let them go

I know that people come in our lives for a reason & sometimes they only stay for a season, or two.  And other friendships I have, (and cherish,) are the ones where we’re close during a certain period of our lives, drift apart, (with no animosity, just the way life happens to lead you,) and then come back together as though no time has passed.  I love that.  I have plenty of really amazing friends that I don’t see, or even talk to, on a daily / weekly / monthly basis, but when we’re together it’s as though no time has elapsed – we pick up right where we left off.

I’ve lost friends to death … suicide, tragic accidents, horrible illnesses & it’s all been awful.  But even with the sudden departures, I at least felt like I had a reasonable idea of why we weren’t friends any longer, and in a way I was able to have some sort of closure.  And some friends I lost touch with and felt like that was ok because we weren’t that close anyhow – they had chosen different paths for their lives, fundamentally changed from the person I had first met, and I felt like it wasn’t a friendship I wanted to continue.

But when friends – really close friends, people who referred to you as “BFF” or “Bestie” or “soul sister” just stop talking to you, abandon you, don’t return phone calls or emails, you are left to try and reconcile what happened on your own.  And it sucks because my motto is “everything can be solved in a conversation.”  Yeah, well, that only works if people are, ya know, conversing.  So an abrupt departure is painful, and sad, and heartbreaking.  You start to question how you could have been so close with someone who has so little regard for your feelings.  But people change, I suppose …

remembering who friends used to be

Now in my early 40’s I think I’m learning – really learning – a very big life lesson about friendships.  My circle has whittled down, especially after everything that has happened over the past 7 years: I got married to a great man, I moved a little further away from everyone (and by further I mean 20 minutes – ha,) and had a child.  A child with special needs.  Which means my “Me-Time” & “Friend-Time” is very limited.  The time that I do have, I don’t want to spend it being roped into unnecessary drama with people who don’t care about things that are important to me.

life is too short

And it’s OK not to “build a bridge” and be the one who reaches out to fix things if you don’t want to fix things.  Someone doesn’t want to be friends with you?  Take them at face value – they don’t want to be in your life, so let them go.

A really close friend, a truly great friend doesn’t necessarily equate to the person you’ve known for the longest time.  Several of my dearest friends are women I’ve only known for the past few years!  And I’m so thankful for their friendship.  I know that as we ebb and flow in life, as we grow & take on different roles in our lives, that our friendships will inevitably change.  And that’s a good thing!

Keep growing … keep learning, and those people who continue to do the same will continue to add value to your life.  The people who are stagnant, living in the past, clutching to old ideals, are those people who won’t be able to add any value to your life.  Let them go.  Be brave & remember that it’s better to be alone than to be surrounded by fake friends.

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