To The Friend I Dipped Out On

To The Best Friend I Lost Because I Went M.I.A.

Life hits you hard sometimes, and it's usually easier to choose to be alone than to confide in those who love you, but that doesn't make it the right choice.

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When I think back to when we met, it feels like another lifetime ago. I can't imagine what high school would have been like if you weren't there to live it with me, and it's still so strange to see how much time can change people—and how much can stay the same.

If I'm being honest, I never thought I would grow as close to you as I did when we first met. You were a friend of a friend, and it seemed like nothing would bridge the gap between us that was inevitably created by being introduced to each other because everyone around us thought it was cool that our names were almost the same.

But it came naturally, our friendship. We were always around one another, and even though we weren't exactly instant BFFs, it was easy to feel comfortable with you. We created so many memories at the bleachers, under the bridge, and at the park, and it felt like they would only continue to multiply as time went on and we grew older.

We weren't perfect by any means. When you're fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, you let things that don't matter become the only things that matter without even thinking twice. We fought, we made up, we fought again, and we made up again.

I can imagine we gave quite a few people whiplash throughout those few years.

In the end, though, you were always there for me when I needed you to be. Whether we were closer than ever, or at each other's throats, I knew that I could always count on you for whatever, and you could always count on me for the same.

I don't remember exactly when it came to be, but before we both received that little piece of paper with our names on it, you were my best friend. And I was OK with that—more than OK, actually.

We didn't talk every single day, all day long. We didn't need to. We were still finding our ways and our lives were slowly taking shape and it was understood that communication wasn't necessary for us to know where we stood. I always appreciated that.

I remember clearly the day that I came to you with my biggest problem, and how you were there for me like no one else was (after I told them, of course, because you went first.) I didn't know it then, but that would someday become one of the most vivid, integral memories of my life and it's anything but coincidental that you were there with me for it.

But even though I can list all of the good memories between us off the top of my head (or most of them, anyway) I can list the bad ones just as easily. And even though a lot of them didn't add up to anything, and a lot of them we can both laugh at now, there's one that can't be forgotten.

It's hard for me to remember exactly what was going through my mind that made me think I didn't need you. Maybe I thought I could handle things better on my own; maybe I was ashamed of what had to be done and didn't know how to face it, and since you knew about it, I ran from you. Or, maybe I was envious of what you had that I didn't, of what I had given up.

And the more I've tried to place it over the years, the more I've realized how uncaring and unaware I was of your end of things.

In life, everyone has their own battles they're trying to win, and while on some level I knew this, I never showed empathy or even plain worry for your own problems. I was the epitome of the friend who only talks about themselves and never gives a f*** about anyone else, and I cringe every time I think about it.

I guess that's why I did what I did. I was too wrapped up in my own life, my own problems, my own fears to spend any time worrying about yours. I dipped out on a friendship that was five years in the making, and I didn't even have a good enough reason for it, considering you were probably the one person who would have understood what I was going through at the time since you were going through the same thing.

For a while there, I didn't really think much of it. I always knew that we didn't have to talk 24/7 to be friends, and I assumed we were still on the same page. A few days, a few weeks, what harm could it do? Our friendship would sustain it all, I thought.

But as you and I both know, once you check out in someone's life when they need you the most, there's really no checking back in.

As time has gone by, we've both said our peace about it all and found a way to move forward. I apologized for walking away when you needed a friend, and you apologized for overreacting when everything came to a head and we said words that have now been forgotten with time.

And while I know that as two soon-to-be twenty-four-year-olds we are much wiser now than we were at the age of nineteen, I can't help but wonder what life would have been like for me if I hadn't acted like a child when I was facing the most adult situations I've ever had to face.

I look back at memories I have with friends, the ones I didn't take for granted (or maybe I did and they just let it slide) and wish you could have been there with me.

My twenty-first birthday dinner, where everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me in a Mexican restaurant as I looked down at a table filled with people most important in my life. Where would you have sat?

An unplanned, last minute road-trip to Colorado, where I spent three days in an Airbnb with friends that let me slide in and out of their lives as I pleased, or so it seemed. Would you have sang along to songs on the radio on the drive there with me?

The older I get, the more I learn how big of a mistake it was to walk away from someone who always showed me compassion, loyalty, and what it meant to be a friend, a real friend. Not the kind that follows you around like a lost puppy, but the kind that walks with you.

Because no matter how many friends I make, no matter how many memories fill up the scrapbook that resides in my mind, and no matter how much effort goes into rebuilding our friendship, the regret of going M.I.A. remains.

And I just wanted you to know, I am forever sorry about it.

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."
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Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me," but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is, to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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16 Things To Expect When You Date A Catholic Woman

She may be a little naughty.

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So you've met an amazing young woman and she's let you know something very important to her, she's Catholic. Now you may be conflicted about what to do, especially if you're not of the same faith or if you don't really have a faith at all. Well let me tell you, not to be scared,

Catholic women are kind, funloving, and overall tend to enjoy life. Depending on the woman or her intensity, don't worry about her forcing her religion upon you. It's a stereotype.

Here is a list of things that you may experience if you decide to pursue this Catholic woman.

1. Church before dates

She may ask you to come to mass with her on a Saturday or Sunday before hanging out. Don't be afraid of this. Even if you are not Catholic, you can still go just to be with her. Nobody is going to be judging you, and if they do, she will 100% stand up for you.

So relax, and appreciate that she loves you so much that she wants to share one of the most important things to her with you. She will appreciate you so much more if you respect her religion and are willing to go to mass just to be with her.

2. She respects her body

And you should too! Not all Catholic women believe in saving themselves for marriage, but a lot do. However, they do respect their bodies and will set boundaries which you should of course follow.

If you can't respect her boundaries or her choice of saving herself then you should not be dating a Catholic woman.

3. Her family and friends mean the world to her

If you don't like her friends or family, the chances of her breaking up with you are very high. So, as every good boyfriend should do, ALWAYS respect her family and, even if you don't get along with them, her friends.

Don't ask her to stop hanging out with them. She'll also appreciate it if you would hang out with her and them on occasion, so buck it up and have a good time.

4. She is loyal to a fault

A Catholic woman is usually in it for the long run. She is looking to grow in every relationship and she's looking for someone to grow with. The chances of her cheating on you are very low, just as low as the chances of her giving you a second chance if you cheat on her.

Yes, the Catholic church teaches forgiveness. She may, just maybe forgive you, but there's no chance that she'll take you back.

5. She will be praying for you and encouraging you to pray

Most Catholic women today will not force their religion upon you. They'll respect your beliefs if you respect theirs. However, don't be shocked if she suggests praying about something or says that she'll pray about it for you.

She has your best intentions in mind so do not blow up about it or get into a 3-hour debate about God not existing. It's just a comment we make.

6. Divorce scares her

It's something most Catholic women are afraid of. They're looking for their soul mate because they believe in soul mates. It's also very tricky in her eyes, because traditionally unless the marriage is annulled she can't date or remarry again. It all depends on the girl and her belief.

So, if you're not 100% serious about a long-lasting marriage it may be something to talk about.

7. She may want a big family

It's a very popular stereotype that all Catholics have large families. My parents only have my two sisters and me, which is usually the number of kids a Catholic woman wants.

However, some girls do want a large family, not even just Catholic women. So, once again, it may be something that you want to talk about. If you don't want kids, she may not be the girl for you.

8. She loves to talk about the future

As I've mentioned, its always best to talk. She may ask you questions like: How many kids do you want? What are your feelings about me working? Would you ever consider becoming Catholic?

Don't let her questions scare you! They may be some pretty big ones, but just answer honestly and be open minded.

And a side note, the Catholic religion teaches that any children that come from the marriage should be raised in the Catholic faith. Do not freak if she asks for your feelings about that, and once again be open-minded, her faith means the world to her.

9. She'll always love God above all things

Don't be jealous. She's not going to cheat on you with God. But her relationship with God is everything to her. She loves Him above even her family, know that and respect that.

10. She may tell you all about her favorite saints

Mine is St. Joan d'Arc and I LOVE to tell her story and brag about her being my confirmation saint. We grew up with these stories. They're like our fairy tales, so just listen and don't complain.

11. She may be a little naughty

Catholic women have grown up with a lot of rights and wrongs. Who likes being told what to do? Because of this, Catholic women can tend to push the limits of what they believe is right and wrong.

Don't be surprised if she wants to be mischievous or try something new. Once again, just respect her boundaries. No means no.

12. Holidays are really important to her

Christmas is exciting for her not only because she gets to give presents to everyone she loves but also because it's when Jesus was born to SAVE THE WORLD!!

Easter season is important to her because its when Jesus SAVED THE WORLD and showed all his awesome powers!

Feast days are to be respected and you'll find her at mass.

13. Her favorite TV shows may be all on TV Land

Personally, I also like "Doctor Who," "Supernatural," "Sherlock," "Stranger Things," "Game of Thrones" etc. But you will also catch me re-watching "I Love Lucy," "I Dream of Jeanie," and these other 13 shows.

14. Her dream vacation is somewhere in Europe

Soooo many gorgeous cathedrals and religious destinations and relics. Rome is definitely one of the cities on her bucket list.

15. She will love you unconditionally

If you have the opportunity to love and be loved by a strong Catholic woman, there will be no greater love you can find. All her life she's dreamed of passing on the unconditional love God has for her to someone else.

Don't mistreat her, and don't use her, because she will love you with her whole heart, but if you do, you will not like her angry... because...

16. She is fierce

And she can kick your arse.

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