We’ve all made friends throughout our lives. But how long did those friends stay around? Our friendships don’t always end due to a falling out, matter of differences, or even distance. Much of the time, it’s because one or both individuals who make up the friendship move on.
Life takes us all in different directions. You can’t predict or plan for any and everything. Our lives become shaped by the choices we make. That’s not to say fate won’t run its course regardless of the decisions we make. Because much of what happens to us in life happens with or without our approval. The variables of life don’t care about our consent. That being said, we are often led in different directions than our friends due to these variables, which can consist of various opportunities in life our choices or circumstances have afforded us.
Maybe you’ve graduated high school, and your best friend can go to a college in a different state because their parents can afford it. Yet, you aren’t able to do the same. In this scenario, you and your best friend’s relationship could very well end up changing over time because of the distance and inability to see each other. It’s due to no fault of your own because you can’t change the fact that your parents couldn’t afford to send you to the same college. But it still affects you and your best friend. It’s a specific occurrence of life happening to you. Whereas, if you and your close friend decide to go to the same college you can both afford, you’ve made a conscious effort to keep your friendship going.
However, many people have to decide what is best for them because life is about more than just one friendship or person. For example, after high school, one of my best friends growing up moved away from our home town to play college basketball. Throughout those years apart, our relationship somewhat suffered. It’s not to say our love for one another dissipated, because when we got together, we were still like brothers. But to say our relationship hadn’t changed at all due to the distance was a flat out lie.
We talked to each other less and less, and, eventually, it seemed like we only spoke when he came back into town. Some people might hear of our friendship and say it’s fake or wasn’t strong enough to hold up under the weight of distance, but I believe it’s neither. I think life took us in two separate directions. Both parties in any friendship should make a concerted effort to check up on each other and make sure they are okay. But our lives change.
We all evolve every year in some way on this planet. Whether we move away from our hometown, take a new job offer, need to help our aging parents, or so on, life constantly alters our plans and makes room for new ones. There has to be some level of acceptance in understanding that life changes for all of us no matter how hard we try to keep things the same.
There’s always something to be said for the way things were, the way things are, and the way things will be. At some point in your life, that friendship you believed withered away because it evolved, meant so much to you. At one point, it served a purpose, and just because it serves a different purpose now, shouldn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
“It’s not that you can’t look backward to move forward. It’s when you can look backward but still choose to move forward that you truly do so.”
Simply put, I could have claimed my friendship with my best friend was fake. Or I could realize that life led us in two different directions, and that didn’t have to mean the end of the friendship. It meant he was led in a direction where he moved away, had to figure out his own purpose, and maybe it involved living in solitude for a while. For me, it did. I had to minimize any distractions I had to figure out what kind of person I wanted to be and wanted out of this life, and I am sure he did the same.
So where did that leave us? Well, with a friendship that still perseveres despite the different directions life took us in. We could have easily folded under pressure, but instead, we continue to reach out to each other, albeit on a long term basis, but a basis nonetheless. I am at peace knowing that he is doing well and growing into a better person every day, even if it means I am not actively involved in the process. I was, still am, and always will be a part of that process, even if it’s in a smaller role than it once was. Because our lives intersected and we made each other better people, and for that, I am so very thankful and proud.