My oldest friend of almost twenty years was calling it quits on me. The girl I practically grew up with, the sister I never had, no longer needed me as her best friend. She didn’t want me to call, she didn’t want to tell me how her day was; she didn’t want to weigh in on my life whatsoever. Nothing — she wanted nothing from me anymore. Truth is, she wanted a divorce. And you know what? That was okay.
We had known each other since we were eight years-old and we’re nearly twenty-eight now. We’d held each others’ hands through school, summer jobs, and dating silly boys. Our lives became very different at the age of 18 when she joined the military and I went off to college. As we got older, we leaned on each other through more silly boys, one divorce, and two kids for her, and multiple moves and jobs for me. She remained my best friend throughout it all. We lived states away, but we talked on the phone nearly every day. She was one of the few people I held close to my heart, she weighed in on everything in my life, and I loved her. I still do.
However, just recently, she deemed me as not a good friend for her anymore. She wrote me a letter going through a laundry list of reasons why she no longer wanted me in her life. Some of it I agreed with and some of it I didn’t, but the point was I was no longer a positive aspect in her life. To her, I became a source of negative energy that she simply didn’t have the time for.
And I don’t blame her one bit.
I never knew she had such strong feelings and for so long, but I definitely knew now. I could have gotten pissed and contested everything she wrote, maybe written a letter of my own back, but what would that solve? Would it make her want to be my friend again? Would it make me feel better? No. She had taken the time to carefully make up her mind and I respected her for it.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, it hurt a whole hell of a lot. No one wants to hear they’re a terrible friend and be completely caught-off guard on top of it. That goes to show that communication was a lacking facet of our friendship, but I digress. Despite all the not-so-pleasant qualities listed in that letter about me, I do actively try to be a good person. I felt awful she felt that way; my heart hurt. I would never want anyone to feel that I bring negativity into their life. It’s a burden I never want to bear, so for her sake and mine, I quietly stepped back and let it be.
I’m a firm believer that if someone doesn’t bring positive light into your life, it is perfectly acceptable to say goodbye. It’s important to be thankful for what you shared, acknowledge the change, and continue down your separate paths. I once read that “everything beautiful is transient; cherish its presence but do not mourn its loss.” Friendships are one of the most beautiful aspects of humanity, but they’re not guaranteed to last forever. Even the longest friendships can change in the blink of an eye. That, I can attest to.
We are constantly changing everyday, evolving and growing with each passing year. Some friends fall in line with each others’ growth and some do not. It’s what makes us human and it’s okay to move on. Cherish your past, but also cherish your change. Have love for the people that have passed through your life, but gracefully let go when the time comes to move on.
If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that at the end of the day, people need to do what’s right for them and what makes them happy. I no longer brought happiness to my friend and I accepted that. At the closing of her letter, she said she still misses me and she loves me.
I miss you and love you too, L. Take care.