One of the hardest things about leaving university and moving back to my home town has been the distance between me and my friends. Everyone is scattered all over the province, doing new things, moving on to the next part of their life. And it is nearly impossible to collect everyone together into one place. Between mismatched schedules and travel time, and other responsibilities, its a wonder how we can keep these friendships together at all.
One of the most important things I’ve learned since leaving university and moving back to my home town is how vital it is to continue to work on these relationships, and make a serious effort to let these people know that I care about them. I try to text friends once or twice a week, just to check in. I try to make plans once or twice a months, just to catch up.
When I think about the best parts of myself, I realize that I am a sum of all the people I love. And I think it is important to nurture these parts of myself, through continuing to love and learn from these people I call my friends. However, it is also important to keep in mind that these relationships can and will change. It’s okay to change. And sometimes, its okay to grow apart.
Alongside this realization of how vital it is for me to maintain and work on my friendships, I’ve also realized that along the way, I’m going to change, and what I expect from friendships is going to change. And that might mean that someone I used to be close with won’t occupy the same space in my life that they have in the past. That certainly doesn’t mean that I love them less or don’t wish them the best… It just means that sometimes lives take different turns, and sometimes you just have to wave and blow kisses from afar.
This is one of the reasons that I love social media so much. Friends from highschool that I don’t really get to see anymore can post really adorable selfies on Instagram, and I can leave them a comment letting them know that I’m thinking about them. It lets us remind people that we care about them, without either one of us feeling guilty about maybe not putting enough effort into maintaining the friendship. We can stay up to date on the lives and adventures of people we care about across the country, or even on the other side of the world; we can encourage them and congratulate them on their success without the pressure that we sometimes feel about friendships.
It’s also okay to let people go. It’s okay to know what’s good for you, and what is not good for you.
That “friend” that only seems to be around for Friday night, and is nowhere to be found when you’re feeling upset about your grandparent’s failing health? Don’t stress yourself pursuing them.
That “friend” that always blows off plans, shows up late, and never responds to texts, but when you do see them they have their phone in their hands the whole time? Don’t stress yourself trying to grow that relationship.
That “friend” who only wants to talk garbage about their other “friends” when they hang with you? Don’t stress yourself trying to impress them.
This is something I’m still learning. Every. Single. Day. Losing friends can hurt… But it mostly helps you grow.
Weeds can destroy a garden. And you deserve to grow.