I had a moment the other night, the kind, when I think about it, happens pretty regularly. Not so long ago, I had a close friend who was unsettled and pretty unhappy in her job. She was considering study, and I encouraged her to follow her ambition towards her more creative side. Of course, the idea of returning to study was daunting, and she’d have probably had to keep up working to sustain her responsibilities at the same time, and although we often discussed it, she never did make a change. Not at the time anyway…..
Unfortunately our friendship ended, as sometimes happens in life, despite ourselves. Alas, life goes on. While I was out on the weekend with my husband, enjoying some much needed and appreciated child free couple time, courtesy of my dad taking the kids camping, we stumbled into a club. As we gained entry, a female security guard, took our ID and photograph. Although she looked nothing like my friend, with her boyish blonde hair and stocky build, somehow she made me think of her. I thought to myself, THIS! This was something my friend would probably have enjoyed and been well suited to. She could have worked nights here, studied, and met many interesting people. I wanted to take out my phone and message her straight away to enlighten her about this epiphany of mine!
I told my husband excitedly that she would have been perfect for this role, and he looked at me confused and bewildered, before saying “So? Who cares about her?! You aren’t friends anymore, remember?” Although this wasn’t news to me, technically, for just a moment, I had forgotten that small detail. Forgotten the ending. Remembering it again was quite a painful and unexpected shock. As my mind wandered over the circumstances, I realised that my memories of this person are frozen in time. For all I know she has changed jobs now, or found satisfaction in other areas meaning her job is no longer a particular issue. I have to accept that the reality is that this person was someone I used to know. Not somebody I still do.
This brings about conflicting emotions in me. On the one hand it is deeply painful, like that person has died, because I ceased knowing her or what her dreams and goals are, or what her life resembles these days. On the other hand, it is easier to let that person go. I don’t know her. You can’t hold onto someone you don’t know, not really. I still refer to this particular woman as my friend, and I probably always will, in reference. Because the person I knew, she was my friend. The person she is now may not be and that has to be ok.
When my social media plagues me with memories of her, and “reminds me” of all the fun times we shared together, because it hates me and loves throwing my failures in my face, lol, I can look at it with a sense of ease. I miss that person, and the friendship we shared, but that person isn’t gone, and nor is her friendship. It existed. It was real, and it was wonderful while it lasted. It will exist so long as my memories of her do, which will be for many years to come. It doesn’t have to be painful. I do not need to forget about her, although I can forget about the ending of us, I just need to remember that she was someone I used to know and not someone I still do. Remembering her as it was is so much better than remembering the ending.
Often an ugly ending to a friendship, can leave you wondering if you ever really knew that person to begin with, or if your friendship was ever really real. This was a great way to remind myself that it was real and nobody can ever take that away from us. An ending cannot rewrite history, and I should not allow it to taint what was when I look back. Although I didn’t make it to her future and we are not the same people we were, in many ways our friendship, and it’s ending, probably shaped us and helped us grow. It's all written right there in the pages of our history.
So this is a thank you to that friend, the one I used to know. I haven’t forgotten you and I do think of you often, as a friend, and I always will. (Also a shout out that I think security would be right up your alley! Haha.... Well the version of you that I used to know anyway!)
Your best Friend ForNever