You walked away, but I’m better off because of it

“This is not goodbye. We will never say goodbye to each other. I love you so much, and I can’t wait to hear about what a great time you’re having at school” -quote from an old friend that brought forward my feelings in this post. 

In high school you and your friends make promises to each other. Promises like…

‘We’ll be friends forever”

“You’re going to be my maid of honor”

“Are kids are going to be best friends”

and my favorite “You’ll never lose me”

For some people these friendships last a life time, their high school best friends stays there best friends for the rest of their life, for others this isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong I’m still extremely close to some of my best friends from high school, some even from middle school, but others, the ones who I made these promises with the most aren’t around anymore.

Yes, I still have and hold the memories close to my heart, and yes I still keep the pictures we took together in a box hidden in my closet. The memories still mean the world to me, these were people who helped me through most of the hard times in my teen years, who were there for me when I needed them, and in the end helped me to see what the world could be like, and who I truly was after our friendship ended.

If you’ve recently become distant with a friend, your friendship is over, or you don’t feel like you’re the person you want to be around them anymore it can be a heartbreaking experience. But soon the heartbreak ends and you can pick out the good, the old memories and the lessons learned, and throw away the rest.

When I was 19 two of my closest friends walked out of my life- almost literally, one second it was normal we were texting and hanging out but the next day they were ditching plans and stopped contacting me all together. At first I was heart broken and upset because in my mind my world was already falling apart. My parents and little sister had just moved out of state and I was living with one of my family friends. I needed my friends and to feel safe and supported, but it felt like they didn’t care about me or my feelings anymore.

I will admit I was probably acting selfish in some moments, but I’ve never been one to talk fully about my feelings, always anxious that if someone knew the real me, even the people I loved, they would walk away from me and never look back. What hit me the hardest was that my biggest fear was actually coming true at the time, and I didn’t know how to handle it.

I spent a lot of time upset about losing two close friends, but sooner than I imagined, I got over the loss and began to look at who I was with these friends and who I had become without the constant worry of doing something wrong. I found my true self and along the way my true friends.

I learned to speak my mind when I didn’t like comments being said about me or others.

I learned that some of the “friendly advice” that was given to me from these friends were  a lot of the time hurtful, and that following this advice turned me into a person I didn’t like.

I learned that pleasing someone, and hiding parts of myself weren’t wroth keeping a friendship but instead broke part of who I was.

And I learned that through all the tweets and Facebook status directed about me being a horrible friend, something I saw as lies, were truly showing that my friends and our friendship  wasn’t the person or friendship  I was looking for. In reality, they weren’t the friend that I needed to keep around.

Two years later I’m able to look back at pictures and cards and remember the good times and the support, but I also look back and read letters and see how childish we could be. the promises of always being there for each other, of never leaving each other, were empty ones. But ones I don’t regret.

I don’t regret them because they taught me the value of friendship.

They taught me that I shouldn’t  hide my true self from anyone, especially someone I call my best friend.

That I shouldn’t care how others see me, because if they don’t like me for the person I am then they don’t deserve me.

That the people who mean the most to me, shouldn’t be the ones who judge and hurt me the most.

But most importantly I learned how to reach out and get the help I needed. Not just help in opening up with my emotions, but help with excepting myself, help with actually diagnosing my anxiety, and help with strengthening the friendships I have now.

Although I will probably never have a friendship with these two ever again. I find myself okay with it. In the chance that I ever did see them again I would thank them for showing me what it really means to be a real friend, the proper way to support and nurture a friend. But of course I would also thank them for everything they did to help me in high school. And although we were close then, walking out of my life was probably the best thing that they could have done for me and for all I know the best thing for them.

Our friendship was incredible while it lasted, but were better off without each-other, and sometimes that’s the best gift someone can give you. The gift of letting you free to find yourself.

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