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Seeing as how I’m many miles away from anyone I’ve known for more than a few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the people in my life and more specifically my friends. You know what that means don’t you? You get to read all about it . . . oh, lucky you!
As I’ve gotten older (not old, just oldER) I’ve realized (read: forced to realize) that friendships do not always last forever, and it becomes exceedingly difficult to maintain those that do last.
Why is it, when you’re a kid, no one ever tells you that? Or better yet . . . Why is it, when you’re a kid, you don’t listen to anyone telling you that?!
When I was younger, I remember wholeheartedly thinking that my BFF’s would literally be my best friends FOREVER. That second ‘F’ meant something! It wasn’t just going to be best friends until high school, best friends until college, or best friends until you met that guy. Bleck, BFUYMTG are the worst. Once you’re a ‘grown up’ life tends to get in the way and muck things up. Maybe it’s because we’re too busy with work, family, commitments, significant others or all of those put together. Or perhaps we’re too far away, grow apart, disagree, get in an argument, or realize the person that you thought you knew is much different than the person you thought you knew. Sadly, it’s pretty safe to say I’ve been on both the sides of that last one.
I happen to be extremely lucky in that I have amazing friends in my life that I have known since elementary school, junior high, or high school. Not all of them, mind you, but the ‘core group’ (for lack of a better description) has quite a few years of palling around together under our belts. The part of the program that takes a bit of getting used to is when one of those people falls away. A person you saw yourself shopping with when you were blue-haired and crotchety. Someone you thought would be there to see you get married or watch your kids grow up . . . if those life plans happen to be your cup of tea.
When things are peachy, it’s hard to imagine not having certain friends in your life no matter what potential reasons could arise. But as we all know too well, not all friends are meant to last forever and for me personally, that is a tough pill to swallow. Yes, I have a huge family that I’m very close with, but my friendships are just as important to me, if not more so at times. That’s not a dig on the family, AT ALL. Friendships however, because you’re able to choose them, and you likely end up surrounding yourself with those you have things in common with, have a link that’s different than family. I take pride in being a good friend and when friendships come to an end, it’s hard not to take it as a personal blow.
It’s only over the past few years that I’ve FINALLY realized it’s actually okay when people come into your life and go back out again, regardless of how long or how brief they happened to be there. I tend to subscribe to the school of thought that says all things happen for a reason. Even if I deny it at the time or never figure out exactly what it was, I know that there’s a ‘why’ behind the way things end up playing out. In some cases I might know the ‘why’ and in others it’s a bit more elusive . . . but regardless of how or why, I’d like to say THANK YOU to all of the amazing people that may or may not be in my life anymore, but I am fortunate enough to have at some point called a friend.