i’ve always had a hard time letting go of friends. i remember back in the heyday of hanging out in shawnigan, sometime around the time i graduated from high school, when my good friend megan told me she was moving to kelowna in the near future to go to veterinary school. i was absolutely shocked and crushed. i couldn’t believe she was going to leave shawnigan, leave all our friends and all the fun we routinely had. regardless of where or why she was going, it just seemed insane to me.
(it should come as no surprise that i had zero post secondary or employment aspirations at the time. i think my plan then was to just keep working at salvation army and playing in a weird prog-metal band so that says a bit about my emotional and mental maturity at that point.)
anyway, that was the first time i realized that my good friends were not necessarily going to stick around forever, and it broke my heart. i realized then how important my friends are to me. it was very eye-opening.
fast forward about 20 years and i’m not as surprised or quite so upset about it when friends leave town, but i still think it sucks. i still value the hell out of friends, even ones i haven’t seen in forever. i remember all the good times we shared and i still cherish those memories so i don’t mind writing emails or whatever and keeping in touch.
but over the last few years i’ve found a few friends who have moved away just aren’t into keeping the friendship alive. sometimes when we chat it feels like they’re a little uninterested, or if some old memories come up they say stuff like “wow, that’s so long ago, i can’t believe i even did that, like, who was that person?” that kind of comment makes me feel like they’re trying to distance themselves from that period in their lives. and sometimes they just don’t keep in touch at all. who knows why this happens. priorities change, people get busy, whatever. it’s natural so you can’t fault anyone for it or lay blame anywhere. it’s a waste of energy to dwell on it because the end result remains the same: my old friend and i simply aren’t very close anymore.
of course that’s a bummer, but i’ve learned to accept it. i’ve found that even if a few old friends fall by the wayside over time, there are usually more new friends ready to hop aboard anyway. people change and move so it’s inevitable that some friends just won’t stick with you (or you with them) for the long haul but there are lots of other great people who you may match up with just as well, or even better.
so rather than mourning the loss of the old pals, i prefer to focus on the friends who are still around and the ones who are just starting to infiltrate my life. there are too many great old friends still around and new friends just showing up to waste time trying to revive dead or dying friendships. if it’s not happening organically, i’m not interested in forcing it.