Friday, 25 May 2012

So long, friends

So far this year, I've lost two friends.  Not in the funeral sense (thank God!) but in the 'defriending' way.  I deleted one friend, and another friend deleted me.  The reasons for both were very different, and the level of friendship I had with both was different too, but they both affected me quite a lot.  I thought on it and mulled it over for days before I finally accepted that we fell out of each other's circles for a reason.

Not all friends are meant to stay in our lives forever.  I think people come into your life at a point when one or both of you need each other, then often, when that need has been fulfilled, you drift apart again.  And often into a friendship with someone else to serve another purpose - either you for them, or them for you.

Now, the first friend.  We were old friends, former boyfriend/girlfriend (should tell you enough, right there) and I'd helped him through quite a few (mostly relationship) challenges over the years.  We hadn't seen each other for quite a long time, but we occasionally messaged and chatted online.  We could go a year without talking, but when he needed me, I was there, on email or chat, helping him through the latest heart break.  I was his friend and happy to be there for him.  But as we've grown up from our university days, we've both changed considerably - me more than him.   I'm now a Christian.  He's atheist.  When he made fun of my faith and basically said I had no common sense because I believed, I knew that the friendship had come to an end.  I'd served my purpose in his life, and it was time to take my exit.  You can pick on me, but not my faith!  Deal-breaker, right there!

The second friend was a former co-worker, who was having a tough time in the office, and I was her friend, sounding board and light comic relief.  But now that she's moved on to another job with another company, I'm not required any more.  She 'unfriended' me after a silly minor misunderstanding (damn text messages!).  It hurt because I really liked her, and I tried to make amends but she'd already written me off.  She probably saw the minor misunderstanding as a relief.  So I learnt the lesson that picking up the phone and CALLING people should always take precedence over text and email.

And recently, another old friend has moved on.  Well, they moved on quite a while ago but I'm only really seeing it and feeling it now.  I actually shed quite a few tears over this one.  But as I was vacuuming this morning and working myself into a ball of tears over it, I was reminded that everything in life moves in seasons - seasons change.  I am exactly where I am meant to be.  The role I played in the lives of these people has been fulfilled.  I'll probably cry a few more times because I'm a big ol' softie and don't always take change very well - especially change I don't instigate.

But I will keep reminding myself of the "good times" (which will probably make me cry even more because that's the way I roll!) but I'll also try to remind myself to be honoured that I was a part of their lives in the first place.  I mean, not everyone in the world is friends with everyone else, so to be accepted and welcomed as anyone's friend is actually a pretty big honour and privilege.  They thought I was cool enough to hang out with.  Awesome!

I will also thank God for the amazing friends who are currently in my life, and I pray they will be the long-lasting kind, who will do life with me (and me with them) over the decades to come.  Because we all need all-seasons friends like that, too.

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