So I’ve been thinking about writing a piece like this. It’s a really personal piece and I hope you guys read it with an open mind. Please don’t feel alone in this life of constant change because we all go through it. Okay, here I go… It’s hard to think that the people you have in your life today, won’t be in your life later on. Of course, we want the people we made friends with in high school, college, and so on to stick. You want to experience life together, have them at your wedding, be a part of the rest of your life… But then people change, they move on. I’ve had a lot of friendships that I thought I would have for the rest of my life, but that wasn’t really the case. Since I was young, I’ve had different people in my life, who were my closest, best friends… My friend group in general… They all changed as the years went on. The friends that I had in elementary school were very different from the friends I had in middle school. When transitioning from middle school into high school, I was at peace with having the same people in my life still with me. I thought, “This is it, these are my people… the ones that understand me, who support me.” Then I went to college and everything changed, for everyone.
My friends from high school stopped having a relationship with me. Whether that was because I went to another state or we just became distant. This all happened within the first two years of my college career. I had lost mostly all contact with my high school friends. I didn’t really mind it, but of course, I was upset at first. I wanted to experience life with them even though we were apart, just like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But because I was having fun with new people in a new place, I was automatically the “bad friend”; the one that never called, never came home to hang out with them, as if I had changed. When really? I was going through a big transformation in my life. My high school friends had their own changes and in the end, never felt to reconnect with me.
I also wondered, how would it be if I was still friends with them today? Would anything be different? Would I ever change as a person? Then it came to my new friends in college. I was so eager, so excited, so ready to meet new people. I tried SO hard, maybe too hard, to make friends. To make memories, the thing you do in college. But I went through a bit of a rough patch, personally. Missing home, not wanting to be around people, just wanting alone time. My friends started to resent me because I was going through a bit of a mental breakdown with how everything was going… Was I liking school? Should I transfer and go back home? I didn’t really know what to do. I went to counseling at my university and it seemed like all my questions were answered, how I was feeling and how to get through it. I noticed none of my friends wanted to be near me, they thought I was broken when I just needed and wanted my space. I was seen as a bad friend once again. So I went and made new friends, the ones I thought, you guessed it, would be a part of my life forever. I guess you’re seeing a pattern here.
I never had a good experience keeping friends because I’ve had moments in my life where I just want to take care of myself, be myself for once and every time I did, I was seen as a selfish person, someone who didn’t care. I would put myself first, listening to my needs, and it was costing me to be alone again, feeling friendless. It’s not like I didn’t have other friends, I did, but each time I lost a friend they were always the best friend… Maybe that title is just cursed for me. It’s like I couldn’t hold that spot, ever. Thank goodness for my boyfriend and others who helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, even though I still had my moments of feeling completely miserable. I had to make sure I changed within myself, to change how my life was and never apologize for that. As I reached my senior year of college, I didn’t give much care about having to have the big title of “best friend” in my life, it was about having good friends, the ones that really cared and understood how I was. I finally felt okay my senior year, not having any stress about obtaining certain friendships and worry more about graduating, which for me, was normal for once. I made a pact to the ones that meant the most to me, to keep in contact with them as much as possible. And I kept those promises.
As I moved back home permanently, I had to figure out what was best for me…how to continue with my life. I decided I would apply to graduate school and pursue theatre education, something I’ve always loved. I also made sure I got a job to occupy myself because I was missing one semester of school. And boy was I missing the friends I made the pact to and especially my boyfriend. I felt really lost, not feeling like I would get into the graduate program, feeling like I was really missing out and just missing the school schedule I had. I changed so much since high school, more than you can ever know and I felt like it went by too fast. I wanted to start again so I could make better choices about the friends I had made, or stand up for myself more. I wish I’d started again.
And yet, I got accepted into the graduate program and I was busy with work. Things started to really line up. I felt really nervous and excited and I definitely was not worried about making new friends because it wasn’t super important to me, I had my friends that I talked to when I could and I knew I didn’t have to pressure it, I knew everything was fine. Of course, there are some friendships that drifted off just cause it really was hard to stay in contact once I left. But I had to realize that it was okay. It’s okay to lose contact with people and it’s okay if you reconnect with someone who has been in your life for a long time. It’s weird at first and you might feel lonely at the moment, but it gets better when you realize you have people that have loved you regardless of distance or loss of time.
Friends are meant to come and go, they’re meant to serve some kind of purpose in your life and sometimes they don’t always have to stay. I have the greatest and closest people in my life who are truly the ones that I can finally say will stay in my life, near or far, just like the Sisterhood and the Traveling Pants promised. It’s okay to have people in your life not always stick, because you’ll notice who really are the ones that stuck long before you realized. So if you feel like you’re losing friends because of a change in your life, do not worry. It’s usually for the best. When you notice that you are not happy and want a change in your life, the people around you who care and wants what’s best will support that. If they make you feel bad for distancing yourself because you’re not happy with how your life is going, you don’t need them. Trust me, you will meet or you might already have the most amazing people in your life. Notice them, realize how special they are and never forget to let them know how much they mean to you.