Sunday, 4 September 2016

why it's ok to lose friends sometimes

(pictures of absolute legends who are actually my friends. love u all)

i had this friend, that until very recently, i didn't realise actually wasn't my friend at all. we were two peas in a pod, friends from a very young age. we grew up together, went through school together, and it was only seven years since our epic fall out (a day marked with misery in my mind) that i realised that really, we were maybe never friends at all. 

and what a tragic realisation that was to have. 



i thought back to moments i thought solidified our friendship, funny photos that we had of each other, long weekends spent at each other's houses growing up together. i shed tears as i grieved the loss of a girl that i thought would be there when i got married, when i had babies, and maybe even stand with me at funerals. but underneath this heartbreaking loss, i then started remembering the passive aggressive tone of her voice when she'd sarcastically say 'well done' if i did something good, or the roll of her eyes when i would achieve something. i started thinking about the nasty little things she did to me, like chopping the ear off a toy i had for years, or snapping a bracelet my dad had got me...just because she felt like it.  i realised that hey, maybe she was actually my worst enemy all this time. but it never took away the sadness of losing a friend. which made me think...

why are friendship breakdowns so much harder to accept?

in life, we break up with romantic partners with ease. well, not with ease, often with a tub of ice cream by our side and marathons of romantic comedies, but they are easily more acceptable than a break up of a friendship. the break up of a romantic relationship can almost be expected, and we seem to throw ourselves into getting better quickly, and often look back with the glory of hindsight wondering why we ever shed tears over someone like that. but with a friendship breakup, it's a whole lot uglier.

with this, it often happens quietly, almost silently. we sometimes don't realise it's even happening. the eerie drift of a friendship simmers around us, and we put our heads in the sand and pretend it's not happening. everything is fine. we don't want to think that we are to blame, we are the bad 'text backers', we are the ones who ditch plans. we don't want to accept that the girl you once could laugh with for hours simply doesn't do anything for you anymore. you're tired of pretending to smile at her jokes, which now seem crass and insensitive to you as you have grown up. we let it drift away, and one day we realise we're no longer Facebook friends, and that cements the demise.

we need to realise that with age, comes change. it's ok to be different to the person you were at 15, and it's also ok to not want to hang out at the park aged 23 with people you went to school with. it's ok that you got out of your small town, and now live in a bigger city with new opportunities and people you have tonnes in common with. we beat ourselves up when we find ourselves desperately trying to find common ground with old friends, thinking that we're now stuck up, or that our personalities are to blame. when in actuality, the friendship served its purpose, and it was simply not meant to be.

of course, there will be the forever friends. the people you've known since day dot who you will never be able to shake, and neither would you want to. you grow together, learn together, and make all of those dreadful mistakes together - and can laugh about it with a glass of wine when you see each other again. there will be your university friends (if that's the path you chose), the people you can't BELIEVE you haven't known all your life, and these are the people who will drunkenly tell your grandma crude stories at your wedding. and there will be new friends you will meet as your grow, augmenting the spirit levels at house parties and giving you inspiration when you didn't even know you needed it. we have friendships at different times in our life, and it's truly ok for us to accept some of these for what they are.

social media makes it harder to disconnect from our pasts, as we are so damn nosey about what vicky from textiles in year 10 is doing now (update - vicky is fine and doing well, her recent holiday to Portugal looked lovely). we feel like monsters deleting those people, as they've never done anything wrong. but why do we fill our timelines with other people's lives, people who we haven't cared about in years? it's not a bad thing to filter down your social circles. it doesn't mean you're lame. it doesn't mean that the cool kids will laugh at you. because chances are, they're too busy living their own lives to give a toss whether you've got them on twitter or not.

people come and go, and the memories last forever. it's not to say you should begrudge the boy who you could down lager with aged 17, or the two girls you made friendship bracelets with in year 3. these memories made you, and the happiness you felt growing up. but let's stop pretending that we need to always keeps these friendships going. let's cut the pretense, and accept things for what they are. a step in our own adventure.

friends, old and new, i salute you for putting up with all the things i've thrown at you. thank you to the friends i whatsapp daily with pictures of kim kardashian, or quippy one liners about their ex boyfriends. thank you to the new friends who keep me realising that you can make friends post education.

and the people i've lost friends? thanks for the memories.

until next time xo 

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