“Friends come in and out of our lives like busboys in a restaurant.” – Stand by Me.
Lately I’ve been thinking of friendship; deep, meaningful friendship, the forever kind. I think we’ve all had friends who we are no longer friends with, whether it’s because you grew apart and were no longer in sync or because you moved and the distance between you made it impossible to maintain a lasting friendship. Then there are other reasons, like betrayal and backstabbing which, let’s face it, happens often in girl world.
I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing group of friends who are all over the world, from the UK to Lebanon to Qatar and we still have a bond. I love that we have different traditions and come from completely different backgrounds but are similar in ways that are important, in terms of morals and values.
There are days when I look back on the friendships I’ve had and sometimes wonder where it went wrong or what it would be like if we were still close. Before Facebook I never knew where some of them ended up and feelings of nostalgia crept up on me every now and then. After Facebook, I realized that we had all changed, their lives were very different to mine and our interests didn’t have common ground. Perhaps it’s because I moved to another country, who knows what I would be like today if I had grown up in Cape Town? I never gave much thought on how being in a certain environment can shape who you are, until I saw that change firsthand.
You know when you look at a friend and you can no longer recognize who they are? You wonder how a change of scenery could take someone who you knew so well and turn them into someone you don’t know at all. Everyone goes through a transition at some point but, when it comes to someone you’re close to, you don’t want to believe that a drastic change will affect your relationship with them. Maybe it’s selfish to think that way, because everyone has a path in life and there comes a time when your BFF, or whatever they’re called these days, will veer off on another path.
I think it’s normal to want to hold on to whatever remnants there are, memories that you cherished and can look back on with fondness. But memories can only do so much; they can’t be a substitute for the present.
I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s better to let go especially if the other person starts disrespecting you or tests your friendship by wanting to do things that you’re against. When holding on only makes ill feelings fester, then it’s probably time to let go so that bad experiences don’t taint good memories.
What are your feelings on friendship?