*taken in Bucerias Mexico*
I had another post scheduled but for some reason this one was more important to me today.
One of the easiest things for me to ‘take for granted’ throughout my life has been friendships. That’s not to say I take the people themselves for granted (though I would argue that there have been a few) but rather ‘friendships’ as an entity themselves.
I never really had any trouble making friends growing up and even into adulthood I seemed to fall into relationships with great people very naturally. When friendships have ended purposefully it’s been because of hurt or the result of choices on either side. Those loses I have learned to live with. I’ve made my mistakes and others have made theirs, but it’s the friends who just quietly slipped away that leave an empty place.
It’s been a number of years since I’ve had the pleasure of a close friendship like the ones I am missing today (outside of my very best friend and husband – truly the greatest friend I’ve ever had) and I thought that it was important to acknowledge that.
New friendships will forge and grow, of that I am sure, but it’s important for me to look back at the ones I’ve had and appreciate how much they meant to me. I’m not the same person I was, nor will I be the same person I am. Everyone I’ve met along the way has contributed to my understanding of who I am and who I want to be.
Fondly thinking of:
K: This is the first friendship I remember fading due to emotional and physical distance. The reality is that we didn’t even live that far away but our lives -at that quirky pre adolescence stage- seemed worlds apart. She meant a lot to me but when visiting her after she moved, I felt out of place with her new life and new friends. My fondest memories are of swimming and singing, sharing tapes of Madonna and HL and the News, and gabbing about boys ( a theme for me that never really faded).
T: I messed this one up in a way that I won’t ever be able to go back on. It’s a soap opera style story in which my fascination with boys put a wedge between her and I and she, understandably, moved on. I can’t regret what happened (at least not all of it) but I do regret losing her friendship. She was so carefree, so vibrant and funny and she was the person I thought would always be in my life. I love following her on social media these days and seeing how happy and adventurous she is. It reminds me of our first meeting in grade six (or was it five?) and how many times over the next seven or eight years we pushed the boundaries, or got into trouble, or laughed… together.
T: My very first adult friendship. I was full of preconceived ideas from my small town roots and projected them onto her. She took them and challenged me to think differently. She taught me to quote The Simpsons like a pro and I helped her get passed an awkward first date. In the end, I didn’t put in enough effort to foster this friendship long term and I think she felt judged and taken for granted. She was right. I was so focused on a romantic relationship that I thought was my future, that I let her feel neglected. She introduced me to anime, to public transit, we took photography classes together and helped each other learn, and she taught me to be more open to people from all walks of life. She inadvertently taught me so much about the world I had not experienced and years later when I tried to reach out and reconnect, she called me out on being a bad friend. This was what I needed and, even in parting, she taught me that it’s important to make sure the people who are important to you know that they are. Life is too short and there are only so many cheeks to turn (and that’s okay).
S: This friendship was instantaneous. I love S, always will. She is strong, she is spirited, and she is empathetic. She supported me even when she was dealing with her own garbage, and I tried to do the same. My friendship with S felt like a whirlwind romance. It didn’t last long enough and it’s hard to imagine why it ever stopped. She constantly made choices that I didn’t agree with and that make me question my own choices and beliefs. I had a habit of judging her or her choices too harshly back then; after all I was young and I knew everything. We worked out at the gym together. A lot. We pushed each other to do better, try harder, and set higher goals. She pulled me into gossipy nonsense every now and then but it was a welcome indulgence. She is creative and caring and a force like no other. I miss her and hope great things for her.
Of all of the things I’ve learned over the years, some of the most profound lessons came from these amazing ladies. While they may not be in my life right now I am very lucky that I was once able to call them friend.