Today I want to talk about friendship, but not the positive, building each other up, being there always friendships. Instead, I want to focus on the friendships we lost. A lost friendship can take on many forms. Sometimes we just lose each other because our interests become so divergent we sit in awkward silence at every meet up, and sometimes we lose friendships because people can only have so many friends at a time, and sometimes we lose friendships for seemingly unexplained reasons, which are the losses that hurt and confuse the most. There area lot of things I could say to people I fell out of touch with, but to sum it up quickly: I mainly say “I hope you’re getting everything you wanted out of life, and I hope you’re living your life fully, and I hope the world treats you kindly.” But today, I want to address those friendships that I lost for apparently no reason, the people who stopped calling, despite desperate attempts to pretend like life just got too busy and it wasn’t personal. Let me tell you: it felt personal. It felt like you just stopped caring, and I was easily replaceable in your life, and also, it’s extremely obvious when you’ve been talking shit but don’t want to act like you have. There are some friendships that stand the test of time. I have two friends that I still try to talk to regularly from high school. We’ve lived different lifestyles, we’ve changed a ton over the college years, and yet, when we get together there is nothing but love and appreciation for what the other person is doing. Those are my personal friendship goals: to stay immensely interested in the people I care about, and tell them I care about them, even if our lives are in slightly different places.
To use a pop culture example, Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf declared war against each other more times than I can count in the six years that Gossip Girl was on the air, and yet when one of them needed something, the other ran to their rescue. They knew that friendship, and friends who are like family, are the most important thing. They never let their differences divide them, and they never let a little time or hectic-ness kill their friendship. They made a point to be in each other’s lives. Let me repeat: they made a point to be in each other’s lives! Even when they couldn’t relate perfectly, or were doing different things, or were making poor decisions, they remained there for each other. Damn. I don’t know many people like that. I applaud this fictitious friendship, even if it had unhealthy moments. I think one thing that made their unhealthy moments redeeming was their ability to communicate and call each other out. The more you can openly communicate hurt, frustration, or outright irritation with a friend, the better. Anyway, let’s get back to what I would say to those people I miss, but have somehow lost along the way.
Here’s to those friends I want to call, but don’t know if it’s worth it:
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we both made less and less effort. I’m sorry for the times you tried, and I was awkward because I was hurt and frustrated, but didn’t feel like you’d hear me if I tried to explain. I’m also sorry it became so painfully obvious to everyone around us that there was a wedge between us. When I’m hurting, it’s easier to listen to the friends that are there for me, and they were all reiterating what I was already feeling, which is that you stopped trying to be my friend, and had clearly replaced me. When we were in public, and you just walked past me, that’s the first time I felt a serious sting. Sure, there had been moments when I felt weird around you, but I hadn’t flat out felt like I’d been unknowingly kicked out of your inner circle until I was standing there, and you just walked past without so much as a hello. I tried for months to blame someone other than you or I, but that soon failed because the more we interacted, the more I realized it wasn’t our busy schedules or living apart or anything but the mere fact that you’d found other people for your circle, and as a result there wasn’t room for me anymore. I’m sorry that I texted you for multiple months straight, only for a majority of texts to go unanswered. I also felt a little [read: a lot] unwanted or excluded when you repeatedly used terminology meant to imply a group I wasn’t a part of.
I felt hurt and annoyed when I asked you almost daily for almost a month to hangout and the response was that you had to touch base with your other friends, like hello am I not fun enough? I also just want to say that when I see you in public with our mutual friends, and they act weird, it feels like there are [negative] things being said when I’m not there. Also, I was friends long enough to know this assumption of shit talking wouldn’t be unfounded. I also knew we weren’t really friends anymore when I stopped knowing the big things going on in your life, and you never asked about mine. We may have been dealing with different stuff, but the fact that you stopped being there for me in most ways, signaled to me you didn’t care if we were friends or not. Casually mentioning you miss me and we should hang out doesn’t cut it when I openly expressed to you months prior that we were drifting apart and it felt crappy. I hate cliques, and I don’t like terminology that implies cliques. If you want a clique, more power to you, but I’ll go ahead and bow out of it. I want to reach out to you, ask where we went wrong, but I already know it’s pointless. You’ll point to reasons like “busy lives,” “work,” and when I acknowledge your friendships with your roommates didn’t change at all you’ll say, “I wouldn’t see these people if I didn’t live with them,” which in my opinion is a lame excuse.
I have friends I didn’t live with that I remained as close to or got closer to. For the record, once you get out of college, you probably won’t live with those people anyway. I think the biggest reason I’m sad is that we had some really good times together, and I really enjoyed your company, and felt like we would be friends for the long haul, and then all the sudden everyone and their mother seemed to interest you more than me. I’m sorry if I offended you when I said certain things, but you offended me when you cut me out of your life without a care in the world when I didn’t do anything. Though I suppose I wouldn’t know if I did, since you didn’t let me know, which you could have since we were close. I’m sorry if I was boring or not interesting enough, but we used to always have fun together. I was the person you called when your other friends were annoying. I don’t know when I stopped being that person.
I wish you nothing but the best, and I wish we still talked, but I also now understand why you lost certain friends throughout the years.Yes, I have high standards for my friends, but I feel like if you cared enough, you would have risen to those standards. Also, next time we’re at an event, and you can’t find the people you came with, don’t come to me and expect me to act like you’re not with me because your first option isn’t in sight. Either be all in or all out. I’m tired of pretending we’re still friends when you are so clearly checked out when it’s not a situation where I’m the only person around. People change, maybe we changed, but I think if our friendship mattered, we both would have fought harder to keep it. I wish one of us would have had the guts to address the distance between us, and not just cover it with fake niceties. I don’t really know what else to say other than I miss you, and I hope you have a great life, and maybe one day we’ll talk, and it’ll be easy like it used to be.
If you could say something to a friend you’ve lost, what would it be?