When “Forever” Isn’t Forever
My roommate Caitlin and I got into a discussion earlier this week about losing friends. Well, not so much losing as it was wondering when it was time to let go. Was it when they didn’t call you back again? Was it when you tried to remember the last time you two hung out? Was it when you realized you didn’t want to tell them about your problems anyone? Or worse: was it when you realized they no longer care if you do tell them about your problems?
Whenever you go off to college everyone tells you that you’ll forget about your high school friends, and I find that to be untrue. Both me and my roommate have stayed relatively close to our high school friends back home, probably because we see them whenever we visit our long distance boyfriends. But, whatever the reasons may be, we still love them and find things to talk about and laugh about, and for some of them it feels as if no time has passed at all.
But then there are the other friends from high school. The ones that make you wonder if everyone was right–maybe we aren’t meant to be friends forever. Which is fine in some cases, because when you grow apart to someone you never knew very well it’s not that sad. But in other cases these were the people you planned your future with. “Someday we’ll go on a road trip, like a real spring break thing!” “I can’t wait until we show up at our high school reunion being all successful and still hot!” “You’re definitely going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding!” You know, stupid stuff you talked about while you were avoiding homework or complaining about living at home. They knew all of your secrets, and you knew all of theirs. You still have their mix CDs in your car and they still have the earrings you bought them for their 16th birthday. These are the friends you never thought you could grow apart from, until you did.
And I’m not saying that growing apart means you will never speak to them again or won’t be close again somewhere down the road, but it is that sad realization that maybe you don’t have a lot in common anymore. Maybe your lives have taken very different directions. Maybe, maybe you’ve been replaced by other friends. And it makes you quiet and remember all of the good times, but also makes you stop when you begin to pick up the phone to call them.
There’s nothing wrong with losing friends. People come and go, in and out of your life and that’s just a fact. The older you get the more “used to be” friends you have, and the list current friends shrinks. You go to college, you start a career, you have a family. Friends to sit with at lunch and have sleepovers on the weekends aren’t really necessary anymore, and you don’t have as much extra time to spare. But that doesn’t make it any less sad.
Sometimes you have to let people go, not because you want to, but they want to. True friends are not the ones you talk to everyday, but the ones you can always count on, no matter how many months or years it’s been since you last spoke. So even if you let them go, maybe you will find them again. We don’t always know what the right thing to do is until we do it, until we let go of the familiar and allow the world to bring us something new.