Monday, December 2, 2013

Friendships Aren't For Ever

It's not just any Monday... it's another Maxie Monday! Maxie wrote this post and when I pulled the draft up in my inbox, I knew it was going to be a good one. This is one of the absolute hardest parts about growing up: growing up and growing apart. For years, I was tormented by lost friendships and it wasn't an easy thing to come to terms with. But it's one of the best lessons you can learn and to know that it's okay (a truth that too often goes unspoken). Now the irony is that I just know that Maxie and I are lifelong friends. Guaranteed. We can find time to chat no matter where we are in the world (30,000 feet in the air or across the country). I'm pretty sure we can weather it all!

This post is coming at the absolute most perfect time as most of us went "home," wherever that may be, for Thanksgiving. Having gone to an out of state school and graduated from high school so many years ago... it's interesting to see which friends still remain in my life. Who are the girls I seek out the minute I land and spend time with? The group gets smaller and smaller every year I come home, but in a lot of ways, those that remain feel closer than ever before. It's okay to not be friends with the girls I shared every lunch and class with in high school... It's okay to let some friendships go, it doesn't change the time you did have together.

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Friendships are one of the most treasured things in my life. They are women (sprinkled with a dude here and there) that make my life sparkle. I can’t imagine life without these individuals. Many of them have been in my life for a really long time. Others have only been here a short while in comparison but won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon (cough carly cough).

However, there are a handful of people who were best friends in my past, and are no longer in my present. Ex-best friends seems too harsh a term, but it describes exactly what it feels like. Someone who had a very major role in my life for years, but for one reason or another, isn’t a friend that I keep today.

And no one tells us when we’re growing up that it’s normal. That this is going to happen. That not all friendships are forever. Whoever came up with those half-heart BFF necklaces was totally lying. Friend breakups are some of the hardest ones.

But like relationships, not all friendships are going to see you through to the old gray, wheelchair days. Not every best friend from your childhood will be still standing at your side during your wedding. We grow up, we change, and those friends we thought we’d never grow out of, simply don’t make sense in our lives any more.

And this happens for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s distance and we just didn’t keep the relationship moving forward. We lost touch and never rekindled it. These, in my opinion are the natural (read: easy) ones. But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes you need to break up with best friends for the same reason you end up breaking up with a boyfriend: one or both of you aren’t moving your lives in the same direction. You don’t bring out the best in each other. You’re only best friends because you always have been, and that’s it. Or the relationship is toxic and not a dynamic you want to be a part of anymore.  These types of breakups force us to call a spade a spade and have the incredibly difficult conversation that this friendship isn’t going to continue.

Trust me when I say, I know how tough it is. I’ve been there. And more likely than not, if you’re the one wanting the break up; they’re probably not “seeing” it the way you are. But you’ve spent so much energy trying to see this friendship through, and for whatever reason, you know it’s not one you want to continue.

Trust that feeling. Beautiful, soulful friendships, aren’t meant to drain you. They’re meant to leave you feeling even more lively than before. Lasting friendships will take the twists and turns of life without a blink, but perhaps with a little fight here or there. Those types of friendships likely aren’t going to come in droves.

More likely than not, you’ll have friendships come and go. There will be a lot of that. And the trick is not to feel guilty about it. Not to hold onto regret or disappointment that you’re no longer friends, which isn’t made any easier by Facebook posts and Instagram photos of their recent engagement, new boyfriend, and world’s cutest puppy. It’s in those moments you’ll really want to beat yourself up for letting that friendship go, but take solace in knowing that friends are guides at certain points in your life, standing next to you for certain, sometimes multiple, sometimes limitless chapters in your life.

Drop the attachment and the guilt to long lost best friends. Don’t beat yourself up over the bestie breakup. Don’t cry when you find the other half of that BFF necklace, the one you shared with a girl you never talk to anymore. Take a breath and remember we all have them, the ex-besties. That’s life. Except unlike this un-fairy tale ending, no one told you early on that friendships aren’t forever.


xoxo
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22 comments :

  1. This post reminds me of the book Firefly Lane

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    1. Oh my gosh, that's hands down one of my favorite fiction books!!

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  2. Ughhhh! This is everything that has been running through my mind over the past few months, all the conclusions I had come to, and all the thoughts I had been trying to put to paper. Thank you so much for this! It literally took the words out of my mouth.

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  3. I've been thinking about this a lot recently, I'm struggling with letting go of a dear friend, and I don't want to, but I think it's time to let go.

    http://loriscreativity.blogspot.com/

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  4. It might sound crazy, but I've never actually thought of 'breaking up' with a best friend. I've definitely had relationships just fade out or have just quietly let them go, but I've never thought of actively ending one. I guess it really is as important for yourself as any other relationship though!

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  5. totally agree.we all have ''ex-besties''.xx

    dreaming is believing

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  6. I know the feeling! I grew up in a small, private school, and most of my friends I've known since kindergarten. Now, I'm in my mid-twenties, and most of them are married. It's not like our friendships ended, but they've definitely changed. My whole life, I've been so used to having this giant group of friends I've grown up with, and now that their lives are changing, it's hard to not feel a little left behind.

    But, I think unless that friend is toxic in some way, you don't necessarily need to "break up". A lot of what goes into maturing is realizing that peoples' priorities don't always align with your own. In my mind, I may think my old BFF doesn't care about me because we don't hang out like we used to, when in actuality, she's now juggling a full-time job, a new husband, and all the responsibilities with owning a new house.

    I think the key is choosing to believe the best about your friends--even if it doesn't always feel that way. Maybe I'm not a priority for them like I used to be...but that's okay. I don't expect to rank above their husband. (At least, that's my case. Insert whatever the proper noun is for your scenario.) My goal is to not have any regrets when it comes to my friendships, and that includes letting them know I'm thinking about them. Whether it's sending a card or an email, or tagging them in an old picture on Instagram, I try to let everyone know how thankful I am for what we had, and then look for opportunities to build friendships with new girls moving forward.

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  7. This is such a great post, I think every girl headed off to college needs to read this! Its also important to remember that just because you don't talk to your friends as often as you used to, that doesn't mean you're not friends

    Katie
    http://casually-obsessed.blogspot.com

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  8. For friendships, they mostly just fade away and fall out. We promise it never will happen, and yet it does, especially when we see pictures of them with their "new friends" on Facebook. Who knows? Does our BFF feel the same way about us? Most times I think that best friendships depend on distance and time spent together.

    Your Friend, Jess

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  9. i love this post. when my mom was diagnosed with cancer in october, not a single one of my "best friends" was there for me. it's hard having to let go of friendships.

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    1. Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and hope that she's doing well. xx

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    2. I'm so sorry to hear that, Michelle. My mom battled cancer for 1.5 years and passed away almost a year ago now. I could not have handled that without my support system of friends and family. Please feel free to send me a message if you want to talk to someone.

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  10. What an amazing post, as I've gotten older I feel less guilty about moving on from a friendship and instead grow to appreciate what we had in the past and focus on the future.
    -Alex
    http://www.monstermisa.blogspot.com/

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  11. This is such a true post. My good high friends came back into town and didn't come visit me when I had asked. We have just slowly grown distant. Thank you for this great post!

    --Karina
    Midwesternista.blogspot.com

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  12. This was a great post to read. Definitely agree with some of the things here. Friendships do change over time for both the best and worst.
    Kolbi | Life With Kolbi

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  13. This post could not have come at a better time! Currently struggling through a friend breakup (I think?) and your advice was great!

    -Ally
    headbandsandhepburn.blogspot.com

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  14. Well this pretty much sums up my thoughts over the past few weeks. This is the exact post that I needed today. Thank you.

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  15. This is an amazing post, and so true - sometimes breaking up with friends is so much harder than a relationship. I still think about my best friends growing up and even though I'm happy with where my life is now, I still miss them more than I like to admit to myself.

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  17. This is so true. I've gone through losing friends and it hurts so much, but in the long run you realize it's just normal! This is exactly what I needed today:)

    This is so true, I've gone through losing friends and it hurts so much, but in the long run you realize it's just normal! This is exactly what I needed today:)

    Ivy and Cedar

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  18. Beautiful post. It's been something that's been in the back of my mind but to see it put into words is a melancholy, yet humbling feeling, knowing that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Thanks!

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  19. Just what I needed to see today! Thanks for sharing such insight.
    ~Sarah @ 702 Park Project

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