I am currently going through a period of transition. I’m evolving and growing, just like I’m meant to, but others are too. That’s the part I’m having trouble with.
Experience tells me some people are meant to stay friends for life, others not at all, and some, well, they have their season but it isn’t a permanent thing.
I have recently been separated from a significant group of people in my life, not willingly I might add, but circumstances have made it so. If it were up to me, things would still be the same as they always were. Friends would be connecting, supporting, laughing. Our bond would be getting stronger and not the other way around.
But we can’t be that way anymore because we’re not the same people.
In fact, if I were to meet some of my old people today for the first time, I’m not sure we would gel. And that’s okay.
The trouble is, I didn’t believe it was okay for a long, long time. In fact, it broke my heart.
When I look back over the last couple of years and the way I tried to cling to something that was trying to remove itself from existence, I cringe. The way I desperately tried to claw back into the old instead of accepting the changing friendship. It is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t behave in a very graceful way.
Extra messages, forced meet-ups, trying to re-live past experiences. I would use anything at my disposal to try and force a relationship with people who were no longer really my people. They’d respond with one-word answers, or the air would hang around us awkwardly—telling me even the atmosphere understood things were no longer the same. Yet I refused to give up. Despite the signs a friendship was ending, I wanted to fight.
The trouble was, they’d changed and grown ever closer as a group without me.
And I’ve changed, though I refused to admit it for a while.
It turns out I have a new group of people now—very kind, friendly, supportive people who have been an incredible source of support throughout the last few difficult years.
But my heart occasionally aches for what used to be, for those past friendships.
The group that used to include me was such a long-standing one that maybe I took them for granted. We literally grew up together and have been through so much. Our teen years, our past romances, jobs, colleges, and bereavements. We all got married within a few years of each other and many of us then became parents. I guess being in such a close-knit community, I assumed they’d always be there as lifetime friends.
But life has a way of going forward even when you’re not ready for it. And refusing to move along with it can leave you miserable.
It’s taken me until now to accept that it’s okay to move on when life changes. To say goodbye to that part of my life and embrace what is to come.
And to also acknowledge that the loss of a friendship can still hurt.
I’m happy with the people who surround me most of the time. But a little social media snapshot of a group of girls having a drink—a group that used to include me—it stings a little bit.
An invitation innocently mentioned by a mutual friend that you haven’t had the pleasure of receiving just makes your breath catch in your throat for a second.
I’m now at a place in my life where I can finally admit that these people don’t see me as one of their own anymore. And that’s okay. I don’t think it’s a malicious thing, I don’t believe they want to be cruel, it’s just how it is. People change.
Moving on is healthy. Moving on is what humans do. Saying goodbye to yesterday and welcoming tomorrow. But you can be happy and sad at the same time.
Memories will never leave me. All those many years and the times we’ve spent together will always remain in my heart. Yet it’s occasionally a bittersweet process because it means they’re never truly gone.
It’s okay, for your own sanity and happiness to move forward in life and not cling to something that is clearly not for you anymore. It’s okay to say you need a break from trying to fit where you no longer belong.
I wish them all well and am looking forward to new adventures with new friends, but I’ll still miss them from time to time. I guess it’s about changing my jealousy into acceptance and acknowledging that if it still occasionally hurts, that’s okay.
It’s time to move on.