Ok folks, we’re going to start this competition off with a bit of a depressing topic but one that’s been on my mind lately.
Seeing a friendship end is never easy nor fun. And while it may be the best thing for all parties involved, it can still hurt quite a bit. A lot of people don’t like the idea that their friends may one day leave their lives as quickly as they entered but it does happen from time to time, sadly.
Just like relationships, some friendships have expiration dates. And just like relationships, friendships that once seemed so strong can fade to a shell of its former bond. I know a lot of people approach friendships with a different mindset than relationships, but I do think there’s more in common with these two than most realize.
When a friendship is over, many feel a sense of loss, an emptiness, where that former bond used to be. There are inside jokes no one else will get, memories that cannot be shared with others, interests that interest no one else. In short, there were reasons that person was your friend.
But sometimes these reasons don’t justify the negatives that manifest from years of small slights and miscommunications.
Recently, I witnessed a close friend of mine see a friendship she’s had for two decades end. It was a friendship that had been rocky in recent times but I know she’s still very upset it’s over. This is someone that has been there through it all – play dates in elementary school, the awkwardness of high school, first loves, first heartbreaks. This friend had been there and seen it all first-hand. And when someone that knows such a large portion of your personal history leaves, it can be really tough. Suddenly you find yourself having to explain events and names to other friends who don’t know who or what you mean. It can leave a profound gap in your social circle.
Yet… Some friendships are not meant to be long-term friendships. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses loose and move on. These are the friendships that have become toxic, have started to see the bad outweigh the good, that are draining on your energy and emotional well-being.
In recent years, I’ve gotten better at letting these friendships go. However, I still find it incredibly hard. I’m the kind of person who likes to hold onto the people I care very much for. Despite negatives in the friendships. But I’ve realized my time is finite and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of people who care about me, who make me feel like I’m a good person, and who put just as much effort into our friendships as I do. Those are the friendships I need to concentrate on, they’re the ones that return a positive influence in my life, these are the people who make me happy.
So while I’m sad for my friend, sad because I see her going through the pain of losing a friend, I know that in a while she’ll feel a weight lifted, as she realizes that her toxic friendship is no longer hurting her. And she’ll move on, build new friendships and strengthen the ones she has, but will always remember the good times of a friendship that meant a lot to her.
And who knows? Perhaps someday they will find their way back to each other and start anew, with a clean slate and a healthier state of mind. That’s the best part: the hope of renewal, revival, resurgence of a lost friend.
I’m just going to go ahead and apologize now for that uber-flowery ending but I couldn’t help it. It was begging to be written