The hardest times in life, are sometimes, the ones that you're least prepared for. The worries that plague most minds rarely come up with the real troubles that you have to face, the sudden problems, the out-of-the-blue emergencies, the unexpected crises. There are people that have come into my life, who for the moment and maybe longer, have seemed like the real McCoy, the genuine article, the true-blue best bud that I could depend on forever. And then, as time changed and people changed along with it, as I changed and they changed, friends drifted apart, cracks appeared on the surface and the unthinkable happened.
Broken friendships can be traumatic to deal with, sometimes even more so than a relationship break up - friends are supposed to be there through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the break ups and make ups. Life, however, ain't all that fair. Every so often, it throws you a curve ball, that can disorient, embitter, enrage and discourage. But a broken friendship can be a comma or a full stop. You choose.
Mending Fences with Old Friends
A recent epiphany, revealed to me, a truth that's been right in front of me all along. It's expectations that are the roots of all disappointments. I expect, I'm disappointed, so I dust off my bruised ego, and settle down with an optimism that's undimmed, to expect yet again. We all expect, every day. Don't believe me? Take a look at yourself - chances are, you expect to be loved, you expect affection, you expect priority, you expect concern. It's when the love isn't forthcoming, the affection is withheld, the priority is low and the concern doesn't make itself known, that the problems arise. What was the cause of your broken friendship? Was it you? Was it your significant other? Was it perhaps an expectation that wasn't met?
Sometimes, every so often really, it's circumstances that show who your real friends are. And it's a tough old reality check, but you can stand there in disbelief at the letdowns, or you can gather your wits, take stock, and let yourself be surprised at the people who did stand by you. You'll make friends through life, in different places, at different times, but understand, that friends come and go, but with a precious few, you should hold on. If it's you that's made the mistake, it's never, never too late to apologize. If you're firm in your belief that it isn't your fault, be the bigger person, and forgive. It's hard to learn, but once you figure out how to let go of the past, you'll find forgiveness that much easier, and the burden lighter to carry.
Broken friendships can be incredibly difficult to mend. At times, and I say this with conviction, but caution, there's no point mending what's broken. Sometimes, you should let things go. Learn how to end a friendship respectfully and move on, without looking back. It's empowering, and it's liberating. When you sweep the bits of your life that are broken away, when you clear out the clutter, life is lonelier, but infinitely neater - you get order from chaos, and you're sorted. And that's incredible.
In my experience, there are two kinds of friends. There's the one that you hang out with, have fun with, laugh with, but don't cry with. These are the transients, the passing fancies, and when you meet after a three year or three month gap, you exchange hellos, and have really nothing much to talk about. So you move on, a little nonplussed after the awkward silence, and remember times gone by. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad friends, they're just not the ones who stick around for the long haul. And it works both ways, you're bound to be like that for a bunch of people too. Then, and this is important, there are those friends, whom you can meet after two weeks or twenty, and still share this incredible connection with. The conversation flows, the time melts away. These are the friends who stand silently with you when the world falls apart and the scales fall away.
Not too long ago, I went through the most debilitating time of my life. For reasons I couldn't fathom, my world was crumbling around me, and like it sometimes is much to my chagrin, my life was a shining example of Murphy's Law. All it took, was a single email, and there was a flurry of activity, a virtual hug, a skype call, and a voice on the phone, that I hadn't heard for more than two years, telling me that it's going to be okay. Those are the friends you hold on to. No matter what. Those are the friendships that stand, and that you shouldn't allow to break. Those are the things worth fighting for.
Quotes about friendship will spout all sorts of romantic fancy about the beauty of friendship and the flowers and petals that adorn the way. You might believe them and cry over them, and we'll just have to agree to disagree. I just don't believe that quotes and cards and flowers take the place of true concern, a warm hug, a listening ear.
As you grow up, you'll learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken, and you'll break hearts too. You'll fight with your best friend, or maybe even fall in love with him or her, and you'll be amazed at how time flies by. So take pictures, laugh at yourself, forgive freely and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no timeouts and very few second chances. You just have to live every second to the fullest, tell the people who matter what they mean to you, dance in the pouring rain, hold on to someone who's on the brink, comfort a friend, make yourself worth someone's trust and strive to uphold it. And when you fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late talking about everything and nothing, don't be afraid to take chances, and let go of your anger, because every moment you spend angry is a moment of happiness you can't get back. Make that phone call. Mend that broken friendship. You won't regret it - scout's honor.