Thursday, June 25, 2015

Friends: the pain of letting go

Friends. They are a great part of ourselves. Recently, I’ve been evaluating the friends in my life: the ones which have left, the ones still here and the ones who seem to have one foot out the door. Friendships are like other relationships. They are fluid, ever changing with periods of closeness, struggles, drifting apart and back to closeness. How do we categorize our friends? What do you do when your friends are drifting apart and do not come back to closeness. Do friends become acquaintances once again?

Categories of friends:
  • Acquaintances: the people we know in passing. They don’t know us on a more personal level and we only see them in certain situations like school or work.
  • Online friends: With today’s technology, we have online friends whose interaction is solely on the internet. They can add value to our lives. Some may eventually meet in person, the majority never have on-on-one interaction.
  • True friends: which we interact with on a regular, reciprocating basis.
  • Good friends are part of our inner circle.
  • The best friend. We all want one. Ever since grade school, we chose a best friend of the day or week. Some best friends become lifetime friends. The very close relationship in which a lot of time is spent together. This is the person you may call when you are excited, sad or just need to talk.

I look at this list and I notice that I have a lot of acquaintances and online friends. I have a few true friends but out interaction is purely online now. I have no real true or good friends whom I have physical interactions with on a regular basis. And I feel I have no real best female friend. I look at this list and I wonder what have I done or didn’t do that my relationships haven’t developed into deeper, closer relationships. I have to think I’m the problem because the common factor is me.

How do you come to the realization that you need to let go from your life? Over the last few days, I have felt like I have no friends. I don’t go out anymore because we either have grown apart and we’ve become Facebook friends, with only our past to talk about. Some of my friends live simply too far away to have any closeness with. The internet and phone calls can only do so much. I don’t have girls’ nights. I don’t have a friend to call when I want to vent my anger too. I know I have people who I can call in times of need for support and advice. But will I? Probably not because I feel I'm interrupting their lives with my problems. I want the fun side of friendship, too.  As I wrote and thought about this post, I realized that God maybe clearing my life of the people I thought were friends to make room for others. But it's still painful seeing a friend walk away from you. 

I didn’t write this post for anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m even reluctant to post it but I doubt anyone will read it. I think my life is in a transition now and I think something is just beyond the horizon. I wrote this post so that I could recognize the need to let of certain friends and for others to possibly recognize that they are holding on to certain people in their lives. I recognize when people leave your live, something better comes along. About 10 years ago, I had a friend leave my life very abruptly and without explanation. I always wondered why. I realize now that if this person stayed in my life, I wouldn’t gotten to know the man who has become my husband. I realize now that someone better came into my life. I realize now that it’s okay to let go the friend who no longer has a purpose in my life. It’s a painful process to let go of a friend whom you were once very close to. But it’s like holding on to a cat who is fighting desperately to be free. You are only going to end up wounded and even scared.