It wasn’t just losing their friendship that was devastating to me. It was losing what our friendship represented. – Jen Simon
I was looking through some of my old photos in Facebook and I came across one comment from an old friend in my past who eventually became a stranger in my life. That comment prompted me to visit her page even though I no longer have her on Facebook. I was surprised to see how much has changed – in terms of appearances, and in terms of life – all that was just based off one photo. For the most part, I was happy to see that she looked really happy in the photos, but then a sense of sadness came over me soon after. It was a very bittersweet feeling. It didn’t help that as I scrolled through the photos, I came across old photos of the both of us and how we would talk to each other. We were bestfriends, real bestfriends. I couldn’t help but smile at them, even though I was aware that we are no longer friends, that we no longer speak to each other.
When our friendship diluted, I was angry and upset because she was my bestfriend. It’s true what they say about how our circle of friends change to reflect on the phase of life that we’re currently in. She was that bestfriend for me during my most crucial years growing up. I had two bestfriends – each in different phases of my life. One saw me through my childhood, the other say me through my teenhood, both played important roles in my life, and both meant different things to me. When my teenhood bestfriend and I drifted apart, I had already sensed it long before it happened, but I wanted so hard to believe that friendships last. But I was blind to see that people also change and it’s either you accept them for who they are or leave. I guess I chose to leave. But I didn’t just leave because I couldn’t accept the change in her, I left because I couldn’t accept the change in her perspective of matters in the past where she stood by my side. I wasn’t exactly the most mature friend at that time, I was possessive and thus, annoying. But I loved her dearly, and I would have done anything to protect her from a lot.
Things got complicated when I was about done with my A’s. Our friendship was changing alot, to a point where we no longer looked in the same direction.. but if only I knew that that shouldn’t be a huge factor as to why our friendship should fall completely apart. It’s strange because I see her in my dreams every now and then. Some of the dreams were of us always about to meet, but everytime it gets to that part, something always happens and we never do. Call it telling signs or symbolism of reality, but I hardly think they are coincidental. Dreams are afterall, a reflection of thoughts. My subconscious probably thinks of her a lot. I dreamt that she was looking after her children but she wasn’t allowed to come meet me; I dreamt that she was performing at Canberra’s School Hall and that I was waiting for the performance to end before talking to her, then last night, I dreamt she was a nurse in a hospital I was in. In each of these dreams, we were already strangers after what had happened.
I don’t like living in the past, but I do walk down memory lane every now and then just to reminisce on the good things and the happy memories. But walking down memory lane is a tricky thing – you feel good as you do it but once you come to the end of memory lane, a sudden sadness rests in your heart. Those who cannot separate the emotions of the past and the present often get stuck at the end of memory lane feeling very bitter and cynical, or they start indulging in wishful thinking. I do regret the way I handled situations back then, but I do not doubt my intentions, whether my actions said otherwise. My intentions had always been to protect, and to play mother hen but she didn’t need that then, she needed acceptance, and I was too blinded by my need to protect. As much as I regret the way I handled things back then, I also know what it means to forgive myself because I know I’m different now.
I don’t know if she ever stops to think about the memories in our friendship, I doubt she does but I would like to believe otherwise. I don’t know how much of my life she knows, considering the fact that my Instagram remains public and this site is in the bio description, and is open to public. I don’t know what her feelings are towards me now, whether she hates me, whether she still cares in her own silent way, whether she still loves from a distance, whether she just doesn’t want to have anything to do with me or my life now, but I do know that I will always still care for the friends in my past whom I’ve considered my bestfriends, even if I have stopped talking to them. I will always wish them well and I’m glad to see that she is. I don’t know if fate will permit our paths to cross again and if we would ever sit down to just talk about things while sipping on a cup of tea – it doesn’t necessarily have to be about what happened, it could be anything. I like to believe that we have both matured emotionally in our own ways and that if we do ever cross paths, we would say hello.
This particular bestfriend represented loyalty for me. She was there through difficult times and never left my side, she was my partner in crime and my secret keeper. She was also one I was most comfortable to be silly and goofy with, and one who just looked after me when I wasn’t doing the looking after. Our friendship didn’t falter instantly, it was a gradual fade, and before any of us knew it, we grew so far apart that we became strangers. And she has now crowned someone else her bestfriend, which used to hurt me when I knew about it, but I moved on. I, on the other hand, stopped believing in best friends, at least in one that isn’t romantically involved with you or an animal. The reason why it hurt when our friendship dissolved was because what she represented to me died along with it. I really stopped believing in best friends after her. It was from that friendship that made me decide that I no longer want to reveal all layers of myself to anyone else because I am afraid that more pieces of my heart will die along with every broken friendship, and I had already lost a huge part of my heart from all the friendships I lost that meant much to me. I stopped believing in people’s loyalty. The close friends I have now are called close friends for a reason, none of which are my best friends. I feel that it is just safer that way. I lost the ability to take risk, to be fearless when it came to my heart. The wound still aches like a scar – although fully healed, it hurts a little when pressure is applied.
I do miss her you know. But not in a way that begs for our friendship to resume to how it was, but just in a way that doesn’t make us strangers. I still care for her in my own way and I still love her, even if that love isn’t the same anymore. It’s funny how we humans are, even as I tell you all these things about me, evidently missing this best friend, if given the opportunity to erase all that has happened to restart a new, I would still choose not to take it, all for the reason that it was through this thing and other experiences that made me grow into the person I am today. So I would choose my own experience over restarting a new and resuming back to normal, like everyone else. Is there anything wrong with valuing our own worth over what made us realise that worth in the first place? That I would really choose turmoil that led to happiness over a straight route to happiness any other day?
Well, every story has a arc, a conflict that provides that arc – and that’s what makes us appreciate the ending. Likewise, I appreciate the ending of this story and the character development of it, even if it leaves me with residual sadness of things that are uncertain, of things that are imaginative. I can only hope that one day we will have the chance to cross paths again – one that would lead me to the next story arc that began with forgiveness and ends with resolution.