I’ve lost quite a few close friends this year. It sucks. That is all that it is when its said and done. So let me tell you why its okay.
Friends particularly mean the most to me because my family situation has been a disaster since I was a kid. Friends have been the backbone that have loved me unconditionally. Except there are conditions, a lot of them.
I take it personally any time a friend decides they are done with me or when they put me through petty high school drama that I don’t deserve. I take it personally because I make my best effort to show that my friends are my family and I would do absolutely anything for them. And if I ever fuck up, its because I’m human. Not because I don’t care.
I woke up this morning at 7:15 to run. My second thought after “I’ll do that later” was “I need to write out these feelings.” I blame myself for almost all things that aren’t my fault because that is what I have been programmed to do my entire life. Bad habits die hard. Guilt is like this drug that I have to inject myself with every time life gets hard. Its easier to blame yourself than admit that it might be the people around you causing problems.
When I came to college, I had a solid friend group back home and by my senior year, almost no one is left. This happened because schedules changed, priorities changed, and attitudes changed. Just because they are growing in their own way does not mean that you are going to grow the same way.
Here is why it isn’t bad to lose friends:
As cheesy as it sounds, people enter our lives when we need them most. Whether it be in a high school English class as your partner for the semester or at freshman orientation at IU. In each instance, a part of us needed them and vice versa. I’m starting to see that while each person comes into our life for a reason, they also leave for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone leaves. But look back 5 years ago, even 2 years ago. Where were you? Personally, I was crying in my bed and hiding from my roommates. Despite the circumstances, look at where you are now in life compared to then.
The girl that came into my life during freshman orientation at the University of Tampa is Julia, one of the most loving and giving people I have ever met. I sat next to her on the first day and got lunch with her after, and she is still one of my best friends to this day. Three years and 1000 miles apart, I have visited her in Rhode Island and have a guaranteed spot for her in my wedding party. Ju is the happy accident that I needed that first day and is a constant support system for my adult life.
The girl that was best friends with my childhood nemesis is actually now my best friend. Madison has that power to make me laugh immediately and I once almost passed out from the laughter. We have had wine bottle chugging competitions and we waitressed together for three years. Now she is in nursing school, becoming my most successful friend, and I couldn’t be prouder.
I could name the endless sisters that have contributed to my collegiate experience, but I can pretty much address them all as a whole. I would be a mess without these women who have encouraged me to grow intellectually and allowed me to be a clown these past two years.
While I do a pretty good job at making friends, I tend to lose them as well. But maybe I just needed them for that brief period in my life that seems like years to 21 year old Stephanie but will be glitch in the memories for 46 year old Stephanie. All I can do is be the best friend that I would want and remember that things happen for a reason. The amount of time you know someone has nothing to do with how imperative they are in your life.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll meet the people that make “quality over quantity” a real life motto. Have courage and be kind, my friends.
Now I’m going to go run. Happy Sunday.