A Letter To All Of My Long Lost Friends

A Letter To All Of My Long Lost Friends

I am who I am today because of who we were yesterday.

Dear ex-elementary school pals, high school frenemies, or faux college sisters:

I hope you’re doing well. Quite like the seasons, I believe everything has a time and a place and as I’m sure you’re aware, not all good (or bad) things last forever. Ice cream melts, love fades and friendships time out. Whether we ended on a happy or sad note, I hope you know that I don’t resent you and your friendship to me is not overlooked.

We are all busy writing our own stories full of many characters along the way while we search for our own happy ending. However, moving on is always hard and sometimes change is difficult to cope with. Whether you were at the beginning of my story or recently intertwined, I want you to know that you had an impact on my life.

I often think of our adventures when I reflect on who I am today. You all have taught me many things. For example, I’ve learned you shouldn’t cry over lost stuffed animals because those can be replaced. Also, it’s never OK to cry over a boy. You can probably get revenge in some way, shape, or form. (Don’t ask what that means to a junior high girl). Finally, it’s always important to speak your mind and it’s okay if people don’t agree with you. I believe every person who has come into my life was put there for a reason. Whether it be for a lesson, a laugh, or even tragedy, I just want to make sure I take the time to say thanks for being around. So, if you ever see me around, I hope you say "Hi." Lost friendships are always upsetting, but I think it's even more frustrating to walk by someone you know and act like you've never met. Even a simple smile or wave would suffice.

Now, I'm not necessarily trying to repair our friendship. Some things are beyond repair, but that's OK. I can only hope we are both better people because of it. I am who I am today because of who we were yesterday. I hope you feel the same.

I hope I taught you how important it is to laugh at your mistakes and how sometimes failure is more impactful than success. I want to leave people better than I found them.

Life goes on and moves pretty quickly. Some friendships are able to stand the test of time and others are not. But regardless of the fact that our friendship didn't last, I hope you've surrounded yourself with a new group of friends who support you and build you up rather than tear you down. You truly deserve the best.

You were a good friend to me, and I hope you are good to others. Continue to smile, be kind and hope for the best. That's all any of us can really do.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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To The Friends Of Sexual Assault Survivors, If You Don't Want to Make It Worse

They trust you. Don't mess it up.

Let's say that one day you are just sitting around playing on your phone. Doing your daily scroll through your preferred social media account. When your friend texts you and says "I need to tell you something."

First, let me help you out, never respond to a female saying are you pregnant. I've done this and put my foot in my mouth. So you say whats up? and they go "last night I was sexually assaulted."

OK, now freeze...

If the next text out of your phone is not "OH MY GOD! ARE YOU OK?" then you've already fucked up.

I'm writing this article so that I can shed some understanding or some light on the situation that has now been presented to you.

Do not ask what happened. Why in the hell are you asking a sexual assault victim to relive one of the most traumatic events of their life? What is wrong with you? You are not an investigator, you are not a judge, and you are NOT a jury. You by no means have the right to ask for the story.

You don't get to know unless they want you to know. There's a fine line between showing you care and badgering someone. So, instead of asking for details your best bet is to just BE THERE FOR THEM and let them know that if they want to talk you are there to listen. But by no means interrogate them for the full story.

If you for some reason don't believe them because you a nosey gossip queen who requires all the facts? Then YOU KEEP YOUR OPINION TO YOURSELF! It is hard enough for victims to come forward as it is without worrying about their friends and family not believing them.

If you take anything away from this article as a best friend, a friend, a family member, a loved one, or even an acquaintance hear me out on this. That person who just told you something that you hopefully cannot fathom knowing what they are going through. They confided in you because they trust you.

So if the next words out of your mouth are not "OH, MY GOD! ARE YOU OK?!?" Then you shut up and you tell them you are unreliable and unworthy human being and you direct them to someone who is better equipped to help them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Setting Boundaries Is A Must

It's not always easy but it is necessary.

One of the toughest but most necessary things that we have to do in life is set boundaries. We have to set boundaries with friends, family, co-workers, clients, and strangers. It doesn’t make us a bad person to let people know that something isn’t okay with us or makes us uncomfortable, but for some reason, it can still be difficult to set and enforce our own boundaries without feeling guilty.

Setting boundaries means closing doors. Setting boundaries means that you are letting yourself understand that you are not under certain obligations to certain people. It’s something that is necessary for human survival, not to mention our sanity and happiness. There are times when your boundaries are going to make people angry or upset, and that’s okay.

That’s their problem, not yours. Learning where your limits are range from simply telling someone you aren’t comfortable with them hugging you, all the way to cutting someone out of your life because they aren’t any sort of good for you.

The more drastic the boundary, the more you have to enforce it, and it can often be much more difficult to do so. But the ones that are often difficult to enforce are the ones you really need to stick with. There will be times when you question whether or not you’re being too hard on someone that you rejected or cut out of your life, and that’s normal, but you have to remember why you did what you did.

Deciding that certain people aren’t allowed to be a part of your life anymore can be a difficult and a very guilt-inducing thing. This is true especially if that person was a part of your life for a long time before you decided that. But just because someone is good for you at one point in your life doesn’t mean that they will be good for you at all points in your life.

People change and relationships change and sometimes people who mean a lot to you can’t be a part of your life anymore for your own personal sake. It’s a difficult call to make and an even harder boundary to maintain with someone you used to be close to, but sometimes it’s something that you have to do.

Once you set that boundary, once you close that door, you are under no obligation to go back on it. You don’t have to reopen that door to someone who hurt you or wronged you in any way, even if it seems as though they’ve made themselves better. You can wish the best for someone and want them to improve without letting them back into your life again and you’re not a bad person for doing so.

Hard boundaries and permanently closed doors are tough things to come to terms with no matter which end of it you are on. It’s hard to have a door closed on you by someone who means a lot to you, and it’s hard to admit to yourself that you need to close the door on someone who matters to you. But growing as a person means that there are some people that you’re going to outgrow and need to leave behind in order to continue to progress.

The boundaries that you set for your own personal growth will pay off exponentially if you stick to them and continue working on yourself. Work on yourself and hope that the people who are no longer part of your life continue to work on themselves as well.

We’re all here to grow and become better. Part of that is taking care of every aspect of ourselves which isn’t always enjoyable. But future you will thank past you for sticking up for yourself and standing strong for what you need.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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