To The Friends I Have Neglected In The Past, Let's Move Forward

To The Friends I Have Neglected In The Past, Let's Move Forward

I know I've hurt you, and wasn't there when I needed to be, but I've grown.
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I've always been able to go to my best friends for guidance whenever I feel like I'm drifting away, even though I haven't been the best friend I should be at times. I'm here now to share those times to help others grow like I have. I have two best friends: Abbey and Lauryn. They're both of my best friends for different reasons, but have both strengthened me in the same way. This is going to be a path down memory lane, and an "I'm sorry," to the two girls who mean the most to me.

Abbey & Kelsi

The Kelsi that is with Abbey is one who wishes to be better. Abbey's heart is so pure and she is truly a ray of sunshine. She has led me through some of the darkest times in my life and continues to inspire me. College has created a barrier between us, and I can't help but think it's me. Abbey and I went from being inseparable and talking every day, to barely knowing whats going on in each other's life. The other day we were texting, and she admitted to feeling hurt for our disconnection, and I truly felt guilty. Reaching out is so simple, and I had lacked that. I hate feeling like a stranger when I text her, but we have to use ice-breakers when we speak now, and it's foreign.

Abbey, if you're reading this, know that I am not purposefully pushing you away from me. I know a lot is going on in our separate lives, but it isn't an excuse for how I've been treating you. I'm sorry, and I want to get back to the way we used to be. You're doing amazing things at UAB, and have surpassed all of the expectations people have made of you. Keep doing awesome, and know that I'm rooting for you every day, even if it doesn't feel like it. Love you, Abbeygail.

Lauryn & Kelsi

The Kelsi that is with Lauryn is very overprotective. We have been friends for nine years, and there have been so many great moments. Although we've had our ups, there has also been some downs. There was a solid year where I was the shittiest version of myself I've ever known. In this year, I was too worried about being kicked off of the varsity volleyball team, how other people thought of me, work, and which college I was going to apply to. These things, I thought, were consuming me and were such a big issue. All the while, I was neglecting one of the most important parts of my life: Lauryn.

Lauryn's father passed away January, 18th 2015, the day after her 16th birthday. I remember being so mad at her for ignoring me for two weeks because I was so self-centered. Little did I know, that this would start the biggest fall of our relationship. In August of 2015, Lauryn tried her first attempt at suicide, which I didn't even know until today, while I was asking her for specific times of these occurrences. This snowballed into lack of treatment for her depression, and in May of 2016, she attempted suicide again. I immediately broke down when I got the news because I had realized that I wasn't there for my best friend when she needed me the absolute most.

Lauryn, if you're reading this, I'm so sorry. Fifteen-year-old me is someone I am not proud of, and how I treated you is no excuse. I know that we have gotten past this together, but I can't help but imagine how different this could have played out if I got my head out of my ass and been there. I love you so much, and you know that. You deserve the world.

For someone on the outside to read this, whether you are the college freshman who doesn't realize how distant she is being, or if you're the fifteen year old who needs to open her eyes and see what is happening right in front of her, I hope you can learn from my mistakes. I'm not one to put her business online, but this is something that has been resting so heavily on my heart. Cherish those who are in your lives, and don't miss any moments that you may not be able to get back.

Cover Image Credit: Kelsi Mills

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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

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I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

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I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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How To Break Up With A Friend Who Breaks You

The art of handling the weight of a bad friend.

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In college, you expect everyone to act like adults. But who are we kidding? At eighteen years old in our freshman year, we still call our moms for every little thing. One of the most talked about things between children and their parents is for advice and how to deal with certain obstacles. One of the most important of the obstacles is navigating friendships.

College is the time in everyone's lives where we truly evolve into the person we will be for the rest of our lives. Joining clubs, taking certain classes, and hanging out with certain groups molds us more than some may think. Being friends with someone who is toxic for you, even in the slightest, can and will be detrimental to your mental health and your self-acceptance as a young adult.

Singling out what is making you turn sour is a simple process. Look at what has changed around you and what is new. The most common thing happens to be new faces belonging to new friends. As their personalities rub off on you, you can see yourself change into someone you may not like. A rude comment every now and then becomes more and more frequent until you are sitting there wondering how they will make you feel like crap that day. Well starting off a true "friend" would never, ever, make you feel like dirt. Friends are a part of your life to help you grow and become the best versions of yourself. They aren't there to watch you suffer and kick you while you're down.

Talking to a friend can be hard and not a comfortable situation. Face to face confrontation is a task most people avoid. Yet talking to a friend who treats you in a lesser way in person is necessary if you are continuously thinking about what the said toxic friend said to you last week. Bringing up a topic of what had hurt your feelings can go two ways. The first of the ways is that they listen to your concerns and they ask questions and apologize. The second way is full of eye rolls, excuses for their actions, and are full of empty promises.

After a while, as the empty promises began to fade and their façade beings to crumble it is time to finally just cut them out. Stop responding to texts, stop asking them to hang, and stop the snap streak no matter how many days it took you two to build. A true friend will reach out to you in a personal way, a fake friend will confront you with harsh tones and out of context replies.

Life is way too short to spend your days as a punching bag for someone else's insecurities. There are people out there on your campus and around your hometown that are in the headspace to uplift their friends and watch them flourish in life. So, take your time to discover who you are, and find what qualities you want in a friend. And never settle for someone who doesn't see your worth.

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