Remember those days where your friends were all that mattered? When your biggest worry was who your crush liked or how were you going to get ungrounded to make it to the dance? Those memories fade as we grow older. To me it seems like a century ago, even though not much time has passed since those “Good Ol’ Days“. When I was younger I moved around a lot. I was not able to make real, close friends until around 6th grade. I moved from California to a tiny back road town in Kansas. I was a city kid living in a country town where spurs and cowboy boots weren’t Halloween costumes but actual everyday attire, for some. The first few months in this tiny town, I had difficulty adjusting to my new setting. Once school started things changed.
I met my first “best friend”. B was everything I wasn’t. She was tall, slender, athletic, spunky and highly outgoing. I was short, chubby, awkward, and an all around goofball. She had lived in Kansas her whole life, which was also something I found odd. My life had consisted of 5 states and over 100 different towns/cities. Because of her permanent residence, she knew pretty much everyone. In fact, everyone seemed to know everyone. I had never lived somewhere with this kind of community. I found it intriguing and terrifying.
B showed me what it was like to have a close friendship with someone. A friendship beyond school buddies. We were truly the best of friends. We did everything together and my whole life was surrounded by her and other friends I had acquired. Even when I found myself grounded, my grandmother allowed me to talk to B. We told each other everything and even made a friendship pact, promise, and scrapbook. One summer my mom told me I had to go back to California. I had never had a problem moving at the drop of a hat until that year. I remember the day I told B that I would be moving. It was as if someone had kidnapped my puppy and burned all my stuffed animals. I couldn’t imagine life without my new friends.
Once the school year ended, I moved back to California to live with my mother. My grandmother stayed behind in Kansas. I was depressed to say the least. My mother could see how much I was hurting. She knew I was missing that small town life and because she loved me, she agreed to let me move back to Kansas. It seems odd that I let a friendship control my happiness and well being but at that point in my life it felt like the right thing to do. What happened to B and I? Eventually, in high school we began to drift apart, as do most friendships. I got a serious boyfriend and she got…two…or three…or more. Ha-ha. We began to disagree and have different views and opinions. We even went through a period of not being friends at all. She eventually moved out of state to go to college and I moved back to my origins in NC. I frequently think back on memories I had with her and wish things were that simple again. Although, we went through a rough patch, we have always managed to stay good friends.
I’m not saying that because you get older, that automatically means you lose all your friends but as life goes on, things become more complicated. People start careers, they meet boyfriends/girlfriends and eventually get married and have children. You have so much more to stress and worry about and a majority of that gets dumped on to the people closest to you. This in turn can have negative effects on your relationships. When I was in middle school/high school, I remember getting so lonely and bored when I wasn’t hanging out with friends. Now, i find peace in being alone. On a normal day i would much rather stay home, read a book or watch T.V and snuggle up with my dogs than go out with friends. As an adult “going out” with friends often requires one to spend money (which i do not have much of) or drinking (which i don’t really enjoy that much). I miss the days where i could go to a friend’s house and just hang out. Watch TV, play games, go on walks, and just talk. Talk and talk and talk about anything and everything. No one talks anymore. Everyone texts, facebooks, emails, ect.
So when did growing up mean losing friends? When does life start to become more important than your relationships? When you go to college? After college when you start a career? Meet a husband or wife? I wish i could say i kept in contact with all my friends from high school but the truth is we all went our separate ways and became different people. Half of us probably wouldn’t even get along anymore.
Political stand points, personal morals, religious views, habits, money…these things are factors in adult relationships but as a kid/teenager these don’t matter. B didn’t care that my family didn’t have much money, she didn’t care what religion i was, and we sure as hell both didn’t care about politics. All we cared about was how we had fun with each other and were comfortable enough t0 be ourselves.
I am blessed that i have met people whom i can call close friends yet i still feel saddened by the memories of lost friends. Today i went through pictures and took a journey back to the past. Most of my memories were happy, yet for some reason i felt a twinge of sorrow. I wondered what was that defining point in B’s and I’s friendship that no longer labeled us as “best friends”. I thought back to my good guy friend W and remembered how sweet and thoughtful he used to be. We would text every single day and see each other every day and now i’m lucky if he says hello to me on Facebook. One of the best guy friends i ever had still to this day, ended our friendship because, “We have different beliefs and views. We don’t even hangout with the same people anymore nor do we have that much in common as we used to. It’s best if we just call it what it is and move on.” That loss was particularly difficult. It was nothing either of us had done, it was just who we had become.
I am sure many people feel the same way that i do. Everyone reminisces on the past. I just find relationships interesting. They can end just as quickly as they blossomed. I am determined to make the friendships/relationships i currently have be lasting ones. No longer will i look back and wonder when was that defining point?
Take a look into your own life, do you have a friend that just faded away? Can you pinpoint the defining moment of when you just stopped considering that person a close friend? Or have you ever been demoted from friend to acquaintance?
Growing up sucks and so does losing friends yet unfortunately it is all part of Life.