Farewell, Old Friend

It’s strange losing a friend as an adult. As you grow up you see friends that you once were so close with fade into the background as you inevitably change and move in different directions. But the older you get, the more clear and obvious your friendships become. So it’s weird when you feel like you’ve got a solid number and then, out of nowhere, one completely leaves the picture and you’re left wondering how you didn’t see it coming?

I went back and forth in my mind as to whether or not I should even write this. I don’t want it to seem like I’m using my creative outlet to take out my frustrations on an individual. It’s important to me that whatever I write, I do in a way that readers can gain something from it. So with this, I hope that if you’ve ever lost a friend that you thought was really important to you, you can gain some perspective on it by knowing I’ve been there too. Obviously without ever talking to this person about this, all of my opinions are simply based on my own assumptions, but I don’t think I’m too far from the truth.

I had a friend who I cared about. Her and I had been friends for a few years. She fit my sarcastic and crude side so perfectly. I could say things around her that I wouldn’t say around anyone else. To me, it was a safe zone to speak my unspeakable thoughts. I have a strange mind that goes so dark, it even surprises me at times. I loved being able to run my mouth with the horrific thoughts than ran through my head on a daily basis and have someone come up with something even more insane than what I had just said. We grew really close over the years and had a friendship that was easy and comfortable. It just happened without effort.

When I broke up with my boyfriend last year, I was a mess. She kept my spirits up by reminding me of the cold, hard truth. She would tell me to shut up and stop whining. She would push me to be strong. She assured me, many times, that this was a decision I should be happy about and that it would only take me to great places. She supported me and was there for me when I needed her. See, the thing about this friend, is that I met her through my ex. So when we broke up, I knew I would have to say good-bye to a lot of people I cared a lot about, and I feared she would be one of them. Luckily, she stuck around and our friendship continued. We made plans with my new-found freedom of road trips and vacations.

During the few months I lived away, some friendships stayed stronger than others. This one, was not one of them. I noticed the distance. I noticed that the reaching out became less and less. That tough love become just tough, without the love. The spot I held in her life was seemingly replaced, based on what I saw through social media. When I brought it up, that’s when the toughness without the love came out. I knew the dynamic was changing and because of my tumultuous ride that I was experiencing in my own life, I distanced myself from anything that wasn’t keeping me sane and motivated. When I decided to pack up and move home, I looked forward to seeing everyone I had missed so much. I texted her letting her know I was on my way. To give you some context, I spent most of those 36 hours driving home, crying. I felt like a failure and completely defeated. I had gone to Toronto with my sights set so high with so much confidence and optimism. On that long drive home, I ran through every single day I spent in Toronto and how I could have done things so differently and had a different outcome. I was so mad at myself. It was a really low point for me. So when I admitted to my close friends and family that I was on my way home, it was really important to me that they were supportive. My response to the text from her was “I’m speechless”. I felt a pang in my heart as I knew exactly what I was about to hear next. The last thing you need when you’re feeling shitty about yourself, is someone telling you how you should feel shitty because you didn’t try hard enough. I felt that I was kicked when I was down.

When I was home, I wanted to see her. I wanted to cry into a caesar and spill my guts to her. I wanted her to share in my sorrow and say something horrendous to lift my spirits.  Now it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve been home and I haven’t talked to her since the day I arrived back.

Now, don’t go thinking I’m naive. I realize how she must have felt being caught in between two people she had friendships with that could no longer be together themselves. But I never expected any side to be picked, I didn’t think it was necessary. It actually never crossed my mind that a side needed to be picked. But it’s pretty obvious that there was a chosen side and that side was not mine. I truly do not feel that I ever gave the impression that I expected our friendship to trump her friendship with my ex. I wanted her to stay friends with him. At the end of the day, he is a great person and a great friend. I would want that for her and for him.

It’s interesting to see someone prioritize their friendships. It’s also pretty amazing to see someone completely disregard a friendship, for everything it was worth; for them to just walk away from it, as if it didn’t even matter or mean anything to them in the first place. To be able to say one is more important than the other is normal, we all have those friends who we consider closer to our hearts than others. But it’s a completely different story to say one is more important and in turn get rid of the other one.

When you have a good friendship with someone, you invest in that relationship. You open up to them, you tell secrets, you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you trust that this person will always be honest with you. Much like any relationship you have, friendships are special and I look at mine with so much respect. I am so grateful for who I have in my life. These are the people I have chosen to share my life with. I thought I had done pretty well for myself. But this one took me by complete surprise. As an adult, I didn’t think how we knew one another would ever affect why we were friends.

I’m writing this because the situation makes me sad. I’m sad that I lost a friend. I’m sad that someone I had trusted and confided in chose to turn their back on me for someone else. I’m sad that as an adult, someone whoI was under the assumption actually cared about me, thought that it was necessary to choose sides.

The good out of this, is a lesson learned. True friends will never pick a side that isn’t yours. They will never share your secrets. They will never use your life as a topic of conversation with others. They will always support you, lift your spirits when you’re down, be there for you in your darkest moments and share the best ones with you. Friendships are a beautiful thing. They withstand the tests of time. Your best friends hold in a place in your heart that is always filled with light. They handle that place with tender love and care. They never break it or mistreat it. I look at all of the amazing friends I do have and know that they would never turn their backs on me and I’m better off this way.

As for my friend that I lost, I truly wish her nothing but happiness in her life. I do not see a need to hold a grudge. I do have a lot of emotions about how everything went down, but it’s important to make peace with the things you cannot change. Though it may hurt, it’s in your best interest to move on and focus on all of the great people who continue to be in your life for all of the right reasons.

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