…and you can’t keep them from rolling out no matter how hard you try.
The older I get the more I treasure friendships. The more I really appreciate the ones that are full and healthy and thriving. The more I am frustrated when friendships start to wane.
When we see movies, there is a long theme of BFFs. Friends that you grow up with, have houses next to, grow old with, and even have sisterhoods with in your old age (YA YA!). It seems common place to have sleepover and braid your hair, talk about boys and your first kiss, share a limo to prom, go to college with, have them be your maid of honor, end up pregnant together, raise your kids together, retire together, all with the same friend.
That isn’t how my life has been. I remember my first “best friend” from 2nd grade. I remember my next “best friends” from 5th-7th grade when my middle grade years turned me into a kind of self-righteous “can’t be friends with everyone” jerk and I mean-girl broke up with a girl who was a wonderful friend to me. The other one moved.
I remember 7th-12th grade where I met what I thought were those BFFs. Then I moved to Texas. We went to different colleges. I got married and had kids. Ya know, different directions in life.
I made a very few good friends in Texas. Those 2 years built a couple of friendships with people I love to see or hear from, despite none of them living nearby.
I met friends in college. Amazing friends. Some I am still close to. Some have become distant. Some I only see at weddings (PLEASE someone else get married so we can do this again).
I have made new friends since. Friends from work. Friends from the heart community. Friends from Doc’s medical school and residency.
And you know what? I’ll probably see several of those fade out after residency ends too.
But here’s the amazing thing. Those best friends from 5th-7th grade? We’ve reconnected thanks to Facebook. I’m overjoyed to follow what’s going on in their life and see their beautiful children. The girls I thought were BFFs? We still talk some. I still love hearing from them. The college friends? I like seeing them too.
There is only one person who I expect to be with me forever. One BFF. One person I know that I will take our kids to the park with, and maybe go on vacations with, and sit on the porch when we’re old with. My husband. Everyone else can fade in and out and I’ll be so happy when we’re really clicking and enjoying our friendships, and probably a little sad when we no longer are.
I don’t look at friends I’ve become distant to over the last year badly. I’ve had a lot of major changes in my life. So have many of them. Sometimes you grow apart. That doesn’t mean anyone did anything wrong. It doesn’t mean you need to find new friends and tell them to screw off because it’s not easy anymore. Sure, it might not be “fixable” right now, but maybe it doesn’t need to be.
Maybe we just need a few years to reconnect, and be excited to follow their life again. Maybe even be a part of it once more someday.
When the friends you have let you down, when they head in a direction you can’t follow, or you can’t really connect with them, or when things just are so stressful because your relationship is disappointing now, it doesn’t mean you need to cut them out. Maybe it just means you don’t force it.
It means it’s time to move forward, reconnect with old friends, make some new ones, and let that relationship ease out, so it can come back in later when you won’t disappoint each other. When it’s time.
Some friendships might not rekindle later. And that’s ok. Nothing beautiful can last forever. But that doesn’t mean that the time I’ve had with each of my close friends, whenever we were close in life, doesn’t still bring warmth to my heart when I think about it.