The end of line for us
It seems that when I need people the most that is when they disappear. When I cry out for help, I get no response. Everyone is too busy or too far away, too caught up in their own lives to have time for an old friend. When I’m happy and content with my life and don’t need any help is when they are all happy to be there and have a spot in my life. It seems like the work it takes to help a friend when they are down is just too much for people to handle. Or is it the company I chose to keep?
When I was young, friendship and its meaning were so different than what they are today. My best friends were the ones who let me play at their house or shared their junk food from their lunches at school. The title of “my best friend” changed from week to week. The weight of any problems in my life wasn’t placed in their hands because I had my parents for that. We all just lived blissfully riding our bikes, thinking we would be friends forever. Who knew growing up meant losing important people in your life?
As I got older, I began to realize that the friends I chose to have in my life would become so important to me that I started considering them my family. In high school, I distanced myself from my real family and put all my time and energy into my group of friends; my true family. After all, they were the ones who I spent all my time with, they knew what I was feeling and what I was going through. I turned my parents and sisters into strangers, telling myself that they would never really understand me and didn’t care about me the way these friends did. I had to learn the hard way that “friends” are just temporary, family is forever. Whenever I would stumble and fall, it wasn’t this stand in family that helped me back up, it was my real family (well, some of my real family). Even after I distanced myself from them all and alienated myself from them, they were always there. How many people can say that about just a friend?
This still holds true to this day. I have invested a lot of time and energy into some friendships that I thought were going to last forever. Being friends with someone for 8 years should give you an automatic in for a lifetime friendship, right? I make all kinds of effort to keep them alive, but get nothing in return. When there is a crisis or when someone is feeling down, I am there in a heartbeat with a beer and a shoulder to cry on! Even if I’m not feeling well or have to drive an hour to get there; it didn’t matter to me. If my friend is in trouble, I am there. When it’s been way too long since we have seen each other, I am the one who makes the trip to them, never the other way around. When I need them, I get every excuse in the book as to why they just can’t get to me, but maybe next time. It’s exhausting.
It’s taken me some time and a lot of heartbreak to realize that these friends are not going to be the ones that I can count on to be there for the rest of my life. As much as we may feel like family at one point or another in our friendship, that bond just isn’t going to be there forever. They won’t be the ones who are always there to catch me when I fall. Sure, they may be there for my kids birthdays or for a night out on the town once in a blue moon, but that’s all I should expect from them. I have to remember that they don’t really have any responsibility towards me or my life. When they are ready to move on and keep our friendship in the past, I have to let them go. As much as it may hurt and crush me at the time, I have to remind myself that I was lucky to have them in my life at one point, and that there are at least a few people who have no choice but to stick around.