As an adult, I didn’t think going through “friendship breakups” would still be a thing. In middle school? Sure. We were all there at one point in our lives; the one girl you just didn’t want to hang out with anymore because she was too weird/you were too cool/she outed your crush and you just knew things could never be the same after that…so you stopped returning her messages, removed her from your MySpace top friends, and put some sort of sappy quote about how “people come in and out of your life for certain reasons” in your AIM profile so she would see it and, hopefully, take a hint. But at some point, didn’t we grow out of that? As a (super) self-proclaimed introvert, I don’t really spend much time with others. And if I do, they must be pretty special. When I invest my time and care into someone, I REALLY invest my time and care. So when I stop hearing from them, when they start dodging my plans, when all of a sudden 4 or 5 months has gone by and I haven’t gotten more than a “I am fine.” text from them, I shatter. I start questioning everything— my actions (did I do something wrong?), my words (did I say something offensive?), and mostly, my self-worth (am I not “good enough” to be their friend?).
Even at 24 years old, I am still convinced that if someone doesn’t like me, it’s clearly because I’ve done something wrong or because I need to “be better” in some way/shape/or form. But as I’ve grown as a person over the past few years (and talked it over, hour after hour, with my therapist (thanks, Meghan!)), I’m finally coming to the conclusion that I am only in control of my own actions…and my actions only. I can only do so much, and whatever happens in return is out of my hands; all I get to control within the situation is how I react to it. As much as it sucks to hear that, it does bring me comfort in times like these. Maybe someday this person will come back into my life, and maybe they won’t. But until that happens, all I can do is make sure I control my own thoughts and actions through it. Here’s what I’ve decided: I will choose to be kind. I will choose to be open about what I’m feeling (spoiler alert: it’s mostly hurt). I will choose to lean into those who are closest to me and allow them to help me grieve. Because at the end of the day, that’s what I am doing–grieving. And that is okay. It is okay to grieve those you have lost, whether physically (death) or emotionally.
This entire situation has also given me a brand new appreciation for the friends I do have surrounding me. I have a stellar support system, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful. It makes me grateful for every interaction I have been able to enjoy with those who are still around me, and for those who aren’t anymore. As lame as that passive aggressive AIM profile quote may seem, ultimately it is true. People do come in and out of our lives at certain times and for certain reasons. Why they have to leave and whether or not they will return might be unknown, but the fact that they were in my life right when they were supposed to be is something I will never question.
Kind Regards (from a heavy heart),
PS: if you’re reading this…I miss you, I cherish what we had, and I will forever wish you well. I hope someday our paths cross again.