Perhaps one of the most canonical sayings in the English language is “if you love something, let it go, if it comes back, it was meant to be.” I used to think this saying was simply fodder for idealists. However, it seems as if maybe some actual wisdom can me mined from this statement. I don’t buy into the idea that things are “meant to be” in the sense that there is one person for everyone. I do, however, believe in the idea that people come into our lives, whether they are friends or lovers, to prove to us that human connection is real and that it is terrifyingly fragile.
I have a friend who used to be of paramount importance in my life sophomore year of college. Our friendship began with casual meet ups with our mutual friends and soon we were spending every day together, working out and frolicking in the mall food court. I remember calling her crying and the two of us spending hours on top of a parking garage talking through all that was haunting me. She was the first person I ever came out to.
My friend began seeing another friend of mine and slowly they both began to drift away from me. Around the same time, though, I was beginning a burgeoning relationship. While I was beginning to get serious with my boyfriend, she was ending her relationship with hers. I didn’t notice the signs, I didn’t notice how truly hurt she was. Instead, I focused on myself. Instead, I let our friendship wane.
There was no huge falling out; there was no tears or slamming of doors that pulled us apart. I still consider her someone important to me even though we don’t talk often or even see each other. I’m not sure what is happening in her life, but I wish I did. To this day we will exchange a few casual texts, but haven’t seen each other face to face in months. We live in the same town, yet it feels as if we are states apart. I still deeply care for my friend, though, because friendship is not bound by time constraints or the amount of times you see them a week. Part of friendship is knowing that you can call that person at 3 in the morning and pour your heart out to them, and they’ll be there for you.
You’ll wake up one day to find the connections that kept you attached to someone are so deeply severed they can never be completely repaired. One day you’ll go through an experience that completely shifts your outlook on life. One day you’ll wake up and realize how your ideas of what is fun or what is morally right or what will make you happy no longer are the same as the group of people you have chosen to surround yourself. Friendships were never meant to be static.
You need to be willing to let the people who leave your life go. In a way, it is an evolution of you. When love wanes in one-way or another, and I don’t necessarily mean a romantic love, you need to not attempt to hold onto it with a vice grip. Sometimes people fall out of our everyday lives so that they can discover who they are without you, and so you can discover who you are without them.
If they come back, don’t hope things will be how they once were. Your friends will come and leave your life in both physical and emotional ways. At times, it will hurt and other times it will feel freeing.
When you lose someone, sometimes they will find their way back to you. They’ll find their way back into your life because maybe they have something else to teach you. Maybe they’ll come back into your life at a time where they felt you need them the most. When they do, though, you will both no longer be the same people you once where. You won’t understand each other in the same way. But, if they do find their way back, allow yourself to understand how beautiful your new bond with them could be.