We’ve all tried at some point in our lives to hang on to some portion of our past. A childhood friend for instance. I have a friend from my childhood that knew me like no other, and I knew her equally well. We were inseparable until around sophomore/senior year in high school. We grew apart and from that point we eventually lost contact with one another. To say our lives took drastic, opposite paths would be a huge understatement. Years later when we’re both in our 30’s we reconnect.
Despite how much we’ve each changed, our love for each other never wavered. Over time however, I’ve come to see just how much we’ve both changed. I thought despite the different people we’ve become that we could still be friends like we were in the past. It breaks my heart to say this, but I’ve realized that we can’t.
Knowing when to let go doesn’t mean cutting a person off 100% and moving on with your life, at least not in this situation with my childhood friend. I think I have to let go of the dream that we could still be close, tight friends like we were when we were younger. That’s never going to happen. We’ve changed too much and our lives have had some highs and lows – some higher and lower than others. We’ve both experienced the real world and how harsh, cold, and unloving it can be. Our experiences have shaped us into the women we are today, and the women we’ve become are totally different than the girls we were years ago.
As one of my truest and dearest friends from my childhood, I didn’t want to accept how much she changed, how much we both changed. I didn’t want to accept that we couldn’t quite pick up where we left off. I didn’t want to accept that right now today, we barely have anything in common. But I’m a realist, and I can’t keep living a fantasy that isn’t true. Accepting that we have changed makes me feel like I’ve lost a big piece of my heart and childhood.
It was my hope that despite our different views on life, we’d still be able to respect each other and our differences. I think we both tried to some degree, and by try I mean there were things that we simply didn’t discuss, and that didn’t solve anything either. This is when I finally accepted in my heart that it’s time to let go. She’s against everything that I hold near and dear to my heart. It’s not even the fact that she’s against the things I believe in, but how vehemently she speaks out against these things with such venom and disgust. There’s a level of respect that all friendships need to survive and grow, and that respect isn’t there with us. I would never speak about something I knew she cared deeply about in such an offensive and disrespectful way to her, but when on social media this is all I see from her. Everyone has their reasons for feeling the way they do and being passionate about their feelings, but when you don’t care about how your words make those who are supposed to be close and dear to you feel, there’s no respect and there’s no love there. If anything that shows a very selfish attitude. Now that I reflect on our friendship over the years, I realize that her selfish attitude was always there. My love for her and our friendship blinded me to it.
I’m a firm believer in treating people the way you want to be treated. I go out of my way to be kind and respectful towards others regardless of their beliefs. All I ask is for the same in return, and sometimes it’s not always reciprocated. It hurts a bit more when you’re not receiving the same courtesy from someone you hold near and dear to your heart. My eyes are wide open and I’m seeing very clearly now. For the last couple of years I allowed myself to live in a world of denial when it came to my friend, and now those days are over. I’ll always care about you, but it’s time to let go.