My Thoughts On Growing Apart

I’ve always liked to think of friendship and memories in a certain way, and that way can be summed up in the following sentence: People change, memories don’t. Because that’s what happens. We change, we grow, we grow apart. No one is to blame for a once tight knit relationship coming undone, because that’s a part of life, and in my opinion, cherishing the memories is more comforting than making an effort to hold onto someone who just doesn’t fit into your life anymore.

I just got done reading an open letter to friends who “walked out” on someone. This was clearly a college girl’s writing, and I can tell because I used to feel the same way she did; bitter disguised as indifferent. The truth is, if she was indifferent, she wouldn’t have written such a blatantly accusatory letter to those who simply grew out of her, and who she likely grew out of, as well. Indifference isn’t something to be aimed for, because it means that the memories which once filled you with joy now leave you emotionless, that the people you once felt safest with now mean nothing, even though they once meant everything. That’s not a way to live, and certainly not a way to love.

I have exactly 6 former best friends I no longer speak to, and I don’t feel angry, sad, or indifferent. I feel grateful for them. Each of the 6 changed in different ways than I did, some simultaneously and some at different times, and we all inevitably slowly grew apart, but that doesn’t mean they meant any less to me when they were my world. It doesn’t negate the support, love, understanding, laughter, tears, adventures, and time we spent doing nothing together. It does not mean that I feel nothing for them; in fact, I think of them more fondly now than ever.

No longer are my opinions of them burdened by whatever small thing they may be doing of which I don’t approve, long gone are the days of arguments that so often transpire between young (and old) women, and distant, if not nearly forgotten, are any memories of frustrations I felt during the stage of our friendship in which we silently realized we were no longer as similar as before. Now I can look back on my time with them and recall only warm, fuzzy, and fond memories. I’m not burdened by whatever else was happening at the time, but instead freed in the fact that I get the opportunity to see what we once had through the perspective of an older, wiser, and different person. Because that’s what we all are; different.

So here is my open statement to the friends I no longer have: Thank you for loving me when you did, thank you for the laughter, the photographs, the comfort, and the partnerships you’ve all given me. I’m sorry for how I acted when we were growing apart, and I’m sorry for any time I spent angry with you for lack of understanding or accepting that we were no longer similar. I appreciate the memories, and I love that I share them with you. Thank you for supporting me during the various stages of my life, thank you for occasionally coming back into it in small ways, thank you for the infrequent reminders that what we once had was beautiful. I hope you don’t hold anger towards me for our falling out, our distance, for if I pushed you away, for letting you push me away, or for whatever transpired. I think of you and smile, and I still sometimes. I love you still for who you were for me then, and I will never forget what we shared. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog