The other week I had the rare opportunity to leave Smilla with my mother and head out for dinner and a drink with two very old friends of mine. It was very joyful, not just because of the wine, and it fed my soul with good vibes for several days.
For some time now I have been thinking hard about my friendships, how they have grown over the years and what they mean to me. My father's passing made me realize once again, how important these connections are for my well-bing, but also how heavy it can be on my heart, when a friendship changes for the worse, or completely fades away. If I was gone tomorrow, would my friends know how I have felt about them? Have I told them enough when they were of essence in my life? Have I told them honestly when they hurt me? If I could leave a message for all of my friends what would it be?
I pondered on this for a few days and I think it would look something like this:
Hey, my oldest, dearest friend. You mean the world to me. You are the one who is always there. The one, that truly gets who I was, who I am and who I strive to be. You have accepted my flaws a long time ago and I will always be forgiving of yours. You know who you are. It goes without saying. Do you know how thankful I am to have you?
Hey, my childhood friend. I have almost forgotten about you. Sure, you are in my photo albums and I remember our childhood days fondly. However, in the stress of my everyday I don't think about you. Until I go home that is, and you are still around and it feels nice. Our lives couldn't be any more different, yet our roots are tightly intertwined. The years are passing and everyone is getting older. A while ago, we were grieving over our grandparents together. The old weathered hands that had handed us candy and the soft, friendly eyes, that watched us play in the garden. And now, so suddenly, I had to bury my father. The day of the funeral you showed up. Quietly and you stayed in the background, but your presence was surrounding me like a coat of comfort and warm fuzziness. You were there for me, but also to honor the times that were. It meant a lot.
Hey, my new friend. I'm so very excited about you. As I get older, I get much more pickier about my friends, but you made the cut. An instant connection, the same values and views on life, on mothering. You bring new ideas and inspiration. We share coffees, musings and maybe most importantly - skills. Without you, I would not be the woman I will be tomorrow. I am thankful that you made it into my life, but I am just as thankful that you have welcomed me in.
Hey, my changed friend. We used to be very close, but now you have changed. Or maybe, more likely, I have changed. I know I did and honestly, I love the person that I have become. I'm sorry, I am not as "fun" as I used to be. It is still me, but I got more thoughtful, more connected to the world and its problems, quieter, but also more balanced. The parties, the noise, the drinks - I loved our wild days. I still love you dearly. Our opinions vary, we choose different paths and different outcomes, and sometimes there is an underlying negativity in our conversations now. A sort of "now, why would you do that", or "I told you so". I certainly need to work on accepting that it is ok, that I am me and you are you. I want to still be there for you, even though, I would have chosen differently. With open arms and an open mind I want to welcome your changes and accept you into my heart for who you are today. Maybe, with a little luck, you can do the same.
Hey, my far away friend. I miss you. So many miles are between us now. Sometimes, I think about the ocean that separates us and I see the blue waves and gigantic whales floating through them. In my heart though, you are still close. I apologize. I apologize for not getting in touch as often as I could. E-mail, chat, cell phones - so many options to choose from, yet by the time the baby is in bed and the table is cleared and the laundry is folded I am just so tired. Too tired to talk. Please, please know, that I think about you all the time. Tiny little thoughts of love and happiness are being sent to you everyday. Social media turned us into kind of weird voyeurs, spying on each others daily occurences. In our case though, it has helped us feel like we are still part of each others everyday. "We really need to meet up again soon", is what I say - and I mean it. Time, bank accounts and responsibilites are quite restrictive I find. But know, my far away friend, should you ever need me, I am there for you still.
Hey, my Instagram friend. Are you for real? I think you are. Our conversations feel honest and true, wether they are through messages, or video calls. You bring the world into my house. I love living through you and seeing your neck of the woods. I'm excited that our connection went beyond a "like" or a "comment". Your inspirations and your inputs matter to me now. I will see you in person one day for sure and when I do it will be wonderful.
Hey you, friend in need. This is not ok anymore. My friendship is true and strong and should be worth both, the return and the investment. You love to take and you barely give. It's always about your miseries and never about mine. When I am happy and my mind is strong I can carry you along with me. I listen to your whining and offer advice, that you never take. At first I felt truly sorry for you, but now I realize that you just love to be down. You are not actively trying to change things for the better. I only (truly) needed you once or twice in these past years and you simply couldn't step up to the plate, because you were tangled up in your own problems. Sadly, I think it is time, we go our separate ways. I have a big life to live and you, well I don't know about you. Unfortunately, I have stopped caring.
Hey, friend that could have been. I feel very flattered by your interest and I am honored that you put in the time. If I am honest to myself though, I am simply not quite certain about you. I have little time and a lot of friends. Please don't take this as arrogance. It is not that I don't like you, it is just that I am more fulfilled elsewhere, with other people. I am sorry. Maybe, I do you wrong and you could have been an amazing life-long friend. I guess, we'll never find out. I'm sorry, that you want to be my friend, and I, can only be your acquaintance. Please forgive me.
Hey, my friend that got away. Where are you? What do you do? How do you do? Sometimes, I wonder about you. Quietly you slipped away and I don't even know why. For a while I was very upset about the end of our friendship. Now, I am ok though. I cherish the times we had, I really do. However, if you came back around now, I am not sure if we could pick things up again. Your cut hurt. Too much time has passed. It is ok, though. Some friendships end. That is life. I am not bitter about it. I don't think badly of you, don't worry. I just, really don't think about you much at all anymore. When I do, I send you love and light and move on. After all, that's what you wanted right?