To My Old "Squad"

To My Old "Squad"

Thanks.
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Dear Squad/ Fam/ Old friend group,

I'd like to affirm that I'm not formulating this with a malicious undertone. This piece isn't meant to be shady. What I want is, to be honest with all of you.

Our individual friendships were the world to me. Often times, I worried too much about your lives and emotions that I put myself last. I'm not blaming you for my feelings. In fact, it taught me how to detach myself from investing my time in matters that don't concern me. I don't regret the time we spent together whether it was driving around, staying up late (even though I fell asleep first at 10 a.m) watching horror movies, or roasting each other. They're memories I will never forget and will fondly reflect on as a part of my high school career.

I met all of you freshman year (or prior to) so thanks for supporting me when I was in my emo phase. Having three years to bond, hurt, grow, and learn from each other can involve more than arguments. We rarely argued until it was the end and if we did, it was awkward silence for weeks and a puddle of apologetic tears. While we knew each other for a brief time, our experiences allowed me to learn these things about myself:

1.) I worry too much about what other people think.

2.) I fear confrontation and it's damaging to my health and relationships.

3.) I am worth something.

4.) I need to put myself first more often.

5.) Sorry is simply not enough.

I apologized far too much for things that I didn't do. I'm not saying that I was a saint in every situation because all of us have done something to each other whether it was accidental or intentional. You often assumed that I said or wrote something that was targeting you individually. While most of the time I was falsely accused in those situations, I'm sorry when it was true. Discussing any of our issues on Twitter was unnecessary and I never subtweet because of the consequences. Not only does it hurt others but only band-aids my anger for a short while. I know most of you bitterly mentioned me indirectly after we stopped talking. I can't hold onto internet feuds that were over nothing, especially when I will never see you again.

A lot of our arguments happened because I said "No." I have a right to say no. You've said "no" to me whether it be about borrowing clothes, hanging out, or asking someone a question for me. I didn't make alternative plans to get my way or believed we weren't friends because of it- I coped with rejection. Thank you for showing me that I can say "no" and the world won't end.

All of you knew that I grew up with distant, relatively small family. Looking into your lives of dysfunction, experience as well as personal struggle gave me comfort. It made me feel as if I wasn't the only kid that had similar issues. Slowly you became my family, as crazy as it sounds. We had political as well as religious disagreements, variations in musical taste, and opposing opinions but we needed each other. I needed you when I couldn't cope. I needed you when I was repeatedly hurt by the same person. While most of those times you simply replied, "That sucks I'm sorry" it meant so much to me. I wanted a close family and you guys gave me one when I couldn't accept that mine wasn't.

I've learned that there is a fine line between a healthy relationship and a manipulative relationship. Thank you for that.

I've learned that people that can't support me don't deserve me.

I've learned that being "shady" is really just being an ass. It's funny at times but the humor has an undertone of head-ass.

As close as we were I didn't feel valued. I didn't feel valued because of how much I tried to fight for everyone- when it was me, everyone would get worried about how they would look. That contributed to me no longer trying to get involved with other people's issues.

I've had several friend groups since I had moved here and none of them had affected me as much as ours did. Negatively? Definitely. Positively? Yes.

Thank you for allowing myself to be in unnecessary conflict because it made a better person- damaged emotionally, but better.

May your lives be filled with success, hydration, healthy relationships, and deep appreciation for what you have.

Sincerely, honestly, and most importantly,

Your old friend.

Cover Image Credit: The CW

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Outgrowing Friendships Is A Necessary Part Of Life

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Why do friendships naturally begin to gravitate away from each other? Why is there an emptiness within the bond that used to be filled with excessive passion? Why does effort suddenly disappear? Why do we lose the pieces that once kept us together?

It is a great challenge for me to look at people who were once the reasons behind my heart being so consumed in love, without tears filling my eyes to the point of exhaustion simply thinking of the friendship we used to possess. There are many moments I cannot understand why, when, and how we ended up going in different directions without the guidance we once craved and needed from each other. It seems impossible to release the specialness we shared. I cannot fathom the fact that we have been walking in parallel routes without even a glimpse of each other. I wonder if there's anything I could have improved upon to save us. Or were we not meant to be rescued?

Appreciate that you are engaging in internal growth, even if it is at the cost of separation from those you love deeply.

The timelines of our lives do not always match with those around us. Sometimes as we fall into the pits of despair, our friends find inescapable love. Sometimes as our friends grieve burdensome pains, we begin to visualize ourselves in a new light. As our pathways begin to part due to our progressions and setbacks occurring at diverse times, we fail to acknowledge the extents of our personal developments because we are too invested in analyzing a friendship that was not meant to last. When we lose such friendships we take our strengths for granted. We fail to think of the person we have become throughout the course of these attachments.

You have changed in beautiful ways and you should shy away from seeking to be the person you used to be for the sake of holding onto old friendships. You are experiencing a difference within yourself, and not everyone will understand such a difference, nor will their own differences connect with yours like they once have.

Do not overthink distanced friendships or it will lead you to endless self-doubt and unneeded frustration.

We drive ourselves insane by shifting such blame upon ourselves when we are left on an empty road full of questions. What could I have done to create such a disconnect within this friendship? Did I say something so exceedingly wrong to cause this hurtful shift? Did I bother this person with an unintentional act of thoughtlessness? Could I have been a greater friend? When we question, we doubt ourselves in ways we do not deserve. Recognition is needed to conquer the unsettling thought that there is not always a causation behind a drifting of individuals. Push yourself to stop searching for something that does not exist. You will find yourself on a path of creating the oddest explanations to help justify such a separation, when you should acknowledge that some questions do not have answers.

As you contemplate if the connection still remains, acknowledge that the underlying meaning of this contemplation means that the bond has disappeared. As life changes, people change, and as people change, their most valued friendships come to a close due to the similarities fading. Although this is a saddening concept to grasp, it is one that everyone should be prepared to experience. Sometimes there is no reason behind a dying connection aside from the interruptions life brings. We wrongly search for an exact understanding of why specific friendships do not feel as exciting or as effort-filled as they once were. But rather, we must seek to appreciate a friendship for all that it has consisted of, and learn to be OK with the fact that some relationships are not designed to be repaired when all that is left to discuss is the past versions of ourselves.

Some bonds are meant to be broken in order to find ourselves.

This brokenness is the price we pay for pursuing our journeys truthfully. When we come closer to a peace of mind and firm comprehension of who we are destined to be, we lose people who once meant the world to us because our visions, purposes, and values do not correlate. BE WILLING TO LET GO OF FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM FINDING YOUR TRUE SELF, EVEN IF THE LOVE AND CARE IS STILL VERY PRESENT. DO NOT ALLOW DISTRACTIONS FROM ALL THAT LIES AHEAD OF YOU. JUST AS THERE IS BEAUTY AND LOVE IN HOLDING ON, THERE IS JUST AS MUCH BEAUTY AND LOVE IN LETTING GO. DO NOT FEAR AN UNCOMFORTABLE FUTURE WITHOUT PEOPLE BY YOUR SIDE WHO YOU FEEL YOU NEED, FEAR ONE THAT WITHHOLDS YOU FROM GROWING! Sometimes we must let go of others in order to hold onto ourselves.



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