“Continue making peace with the past. Acknowledge I’ve done all I can to repair broken relationships. Let it be.”
This picture of me on our wedding day is so appropriate to my outlook on relationships. I know looking backward is not healthy. I rejoice daily in the wonderful friendships I’ve gained in the past few years, many of which are still being cultivated into yet closer relationships. My view on friendship is maturing, slowly but surely, as I learn to appreciate the past and yet, live in the present.
This post is about platonic friendships. I could (and have) written volumes about failed romantic relationships. Those folks are not on my mind today, though.
The month after I married Jared, my best girlfriend got married. She moved far, far away and so did I. So with that, we had something in common to continue our relationship, albeit long distance as we were across the country both from home and from each other. We talked on the phone all the time. She was there for me through Jared’s mom’s passing and through Porter’s pregnancy. I still have the blanket she made by hand for Porter; it’s beautiful.
She was my best friend for 13 years or so. I’ve known her since 7th grade. We were inseparable in high school; part of the same group of friends yet she and I were closer. She was my maid of honor and I served as a stand-in director at her wedding.
Yet, somehow, when Jared and I moved back to the Atlanta area, she decided keeping up the long distance relationship was too hard. Our family lives took dramatically different directions and suddenly, we had very little in common aside from our shared past. And that shared past wasn’t enough for her to continue keeping in touch on a regular basis.
I last saw her Christmas two years ago. We had little to talk about.
I reached out a little late this year to see if she was going to be in town for the holidays; despite the awkwardness of our last meeting, I really wanted to see her. I miss her and I told her so. There was no response.
I get so jealous of Jared sometimes, the fact that his best friend has been such since college and still loves him just as much now despite their separate lives.
So, I’ve got things to work on:
- Appreciate the friendship I had with that previous best friend without expecting it to continue beyond acquaintance.
- Remember: Jared’s best friend (and his family) treats me like family too! There’s no need for jealousy!
- Remember: My girlfriends are best friends in the making. And that’s a lot of potential “best friends.”
- Remember: I don’t have to let the past go completeIy to make peace with it. There are still reciprocal old friendships from childhood. I have good friends right here in town who I’ve been friends with since 4th grade, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. And there’s one good friend who I’ve known since I was 5 years old!
- Not all friends who move away, “go away.” My New Mexico girlfriend is still one of my best friends, even though I have no idea when I’ll see her again. (Love you, S!)
Most of all, I just want the friend who decided long distance was too much trouble to know that I will always love her and treasure the times we had together; I think of her often and hope she is happy. If I can’t tell her in person, I can broadcast it to the world here.