In second grade I moved two states away and I lost touch with many of my childhood friends. After eighth grade I transferred schools and I lost touch with most of my grade school friends. The moment I walked across the stage at my graduation ceremony, I lost touch with most of my high school friends. After my freshman year of college, I had lost touch with nearly everyone I had been friends with before college. And after my sophomore year of college, I was only friends with people I had met in college.
Don’t get me wrong, many of these friendships were crucial in helping me become the person I am today, but walking away from the friendships benefitted me more. Some of my friendships were only there because I saw the person on a daily basis at school, some friendships extended outside of school because we had similarities, and very few friendships were maintained over time.
At one point in time these friendships meant the world to me, but we grew up and we learned who we were. There were life events that wedged us further and further apart, some we could control, and others we couldn’t. I’ve lost friends because one of us moved, one of us found other friends, we found different hobbies and interests, relationships became more important, or because we simply could not see past the wrongdoing of the other.
Today, I have a very close nit group of really good friends that I keep up with regularly. I have other friends too, such as work friendships, school friendships, and organizational friendships, which I value because every person that comes into my life influences and shapes me. The close group of friends that I do have mean the world to me. They are the people I can count on to cheer me on, help me through tough times and let me vent for hours on end. Never let go of the friends that make you feel better about yourself.
If you are reading this, I am asking you to value your friendships, both past and present. Be respectful of one another, love one another, and be thankful for one another. Respect one another, whether that be their property, their opinion, or their choices. If you don’t agree on something, address it, but let it pass. If it tears the friendship apart, then so be it; it was not a friendship worth keeping. Stop tearing one another down because of something that is out of your control. Do not gloat because you won an argument within your friends group and do not sulk because you lost.
It is the most painful thing in the world to lose a friendship that meant the world to you. These people are often harder to lose than a romantic relationship. If you can save your friendship, please do so, and if you cannot, understand there is a world with millions of others searching for a friend like you.
And for the friends I lost touch with, I'm still here; I'm still your friend from afar.