Within every relationship, be it a romantic relationship or a genuine friendship between two individuals, I like to believe that relationships can be compared to a story book. In the beginning, individuals start off as strangers, where the sheets in these books are empty. As time passes, they gradually uncover each other’s strengths, flaws, likes, and dislikes. Their relationship grows stronger, and they slowly know small intricate details about each other, from each other’s Starbucks order to their weird pet peeves.
Unfortunately, we are not given a glimpse of how some relationships gradually become dysfunctional or how people drift due to personal differences. They do not explain how and why a book that used to be full of creases and markings can end with empty pages.
Growing up, we try to keep all our special friends we made over the years by our side. Until today, we are constantly bombarded by the idea that evolving from friends to strangers is something that should be avoided. This pressure is further exacerbated when we allow others to scrutinize our lives through social media. This problem of needing to save as many friends as possible has inevitably been ingrained in our minds. It has forced us to believe that we have to live up to the expectation of preserving cliques and friendships will live on and transcend time. But that is far from the truth.
The truth is that sometimes goodbyes are inevitable. The truth is that growing up means accepting that fairytale endings were narratives created to feed the naive innocence we possessed as a child and possibly still keep hidden and buried in our hearts. The truth is that learning how to say goodbye to those who were once good for us opens up new opportunities for us and has an unknowing way of making our lives turn out for the better.
It is okay to let go and say goodbye. It is okay to not salvage something that was gone a long time ago. It is okay that neither of you know how either of you spends your mornings or takes your coffee anymore.
Even if you or the other party never end up fixing your relationship, you need to remember that just because someone came into your life, it does not mean that they are meant to be there forever. The harsh truth is that most relationships are temporary and are only meant to serve as a lesson for you.
Yet this does not mean that you need to harbor any form of hatred towards your old friends that have left your side. Rather, you can still wish the best for your former friends and root for them. This is even if you are no longer physically present to hear and witness it.
The most important lesson is to not downplay their role, especially if they have inflicted any form of harm on you. It is through these lessons that you gradually uncover more truths about yourself. Without them, you will not have morphed into the person you are today.
Whether the inevitable end of a relationship or friendship was initiated by you or the other party, I hope that you do not regret the time and memories you shared together. Even if they were short-lived, I hope you carry the lessons they taught you close to your heart and not live with any regrets.
It is only with time that you will accept that what will be yours will always naturally come back to you. It is only with time that you will accept that it is okay that the familiar faces you encounter along the streets have transformed into unknown canvases with new stories that you will never uncover. It is only with time that you will accept that life is not a bed of roses, and you will look forward to making new memories with new strangers while keeping the old ones close by in your heart.