I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I tend to overthink everything. My mind always seems to be running at 100 miles per hour, even in my lowest moods. So one particular instance from several weeks ago still makes me wonder, but I’m actually surprised by how I reacted.
Keeping everything confidential, my best friend throughout middle school and early high school, who I talked to on occasion (she moved away after my sophomore year, so I haven’t seen her in person since) sent me a long Facebook message one evening. Simply put, she was “cutting me off.” Why? Because apparently I’ve changed.
Now if this would have happened even just a year ago, I would be very distraught. This friend and I fought regularly, and looking back on our friendship, even with good memories in there, those petty arguments are the ones that really resonate in my mind. Honestly, even though she constantly blamed me for various things, I was adamant about sticking around because at the time, I didn’t really have many friends, and I was scared to death about having nobody. I had been at that point before, and I never wanted to feel that loneliness again.
I reminded this friend how much I indeed cared about her whenever we were in touch, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that a solid friendship doesn’t necessarily need daily affirmations to feel secure, as she clearly indicated to me. But I believe that an adult friendship doesn’t require daily reminders. Life is busy, and as we each find our own ways, it can be easy to let those little interactions slide, but that doesn’t mean friends aren’t there for each other at a moment’s notice. You have to possess that trust and self-assurance that your support system is always there, not always clearly present, but it’s there.
I realize I’m not the best at communication, which I’m trying to improve on with the people in my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I take my words very seriously, so if you’re having a conversation with me, it’s because I feel comfortable and have a desire to talk. Whenever this friend texted me or vice versa, it felt weird to me; it felt like I was trying to go back to those earlier years to really connect. She admitted it herself, and it’s true; she hasn’t changed. And I agree that I definitely have. But I am SO GLAD I have.
Thinking back to when this friend and I were together, that was a very difficult time in my life. I mean, it’s middle school, so you can’t expect many great things, but that was the time I realize now that with puberty came the onset of my depression. I didn’t know what depression was or that I was struggling in the first place, but I was either angry or empty. I genuinely despised myself. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I had a fair share of friends move away, so I assumed that are was something wrong with me, that I get close to someone and they abandon me and forget about me, leaving me alone and picking up the pieces. If I ever had to go back to those days…I shudder at the thought.
But if that younger self knew who I am today, she would not believe it. That today I can find genuine happiness, that I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing family and friends who love and support me. Honestly, I don’t even know if I even pictured myself alive at this point. And I never would have been able to appreciate every blessing in my life without changing and maturing.
So after I tried one last time to try to apologize for all of my faults and blame myself for not satisfying her needs, I had an epiphany moment: is this what I really want in a relationship? Something dramatic and high maintenance that reminds me of times I’d love to forget? So against my goodness that wants to not not upset anybody, I let it go. Heck, she even unfriended me on Facebook (is that still a thing people do?), and guess what I feel? Nothing. If anything, relief. We had a long, close friendship, but it’s not something I want to devote a lot of time and effort to when it’s so much easier with the people I’m currently close to. And my friends right now love me for the person I am today, someone I’m learning to love, too.
If you get anything out of this rambling session, know that change is a necessary part of life, so embrace it. Life is about growing and changing, never ceasing to learn and discover new things. Time doesn’t give us a chance to go back or remain stagnant; we have to accept that forward is the only direction. During this process, people will inevitably walk in and out of your life, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Every person you interact with and share part of your life with is present to serve a purpose for you. If that purpose is served, they may leave, and that’s okay. Here’s where we insert the now cliche quote “It gets better,” but it truly does. A friend that doesn’t make you feel happy, that doesn’t feel comfortable or natural, is not worth keeping. Know that even if you feel alone right now, appreciate who you have right now and look forward to your next friend just around the corner.
Because guess what? You’ve changed. But it’s for the better.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie