I’m proud to say that every lesson I’ve learned in life is because I’ve done it incorrectly the first time. But one of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to continually learn in my adult years is that friendship is two sided. My little brother just said to me the other day, “Stop reaching out first and you will know how many dead plants you have been watering.” It stopped me dead in my tracks, because it’s so true. We should only be investing in people who invest in us back. It takes T W O people to make a friendship work. It takes T W O people to foster a friendship—and if only one person is working to keep it together while the other person could care less, that friendship will fail.
I’m a bad friend. I admit it. I have the worst memory. I don’t remember what I did with my phone from three minutes ago, let alone birthdays and anniversaries. It actually bothers me how terrible I am at sending out thank you cards when I’m touched by something. I get caught up in the hum drum of my own life with work and things I need to accomplish. I mean well, but I’m just out here living my life, as you are yours.
But even though I can be a bad friend with my forgetfulness or in my own lack of sitting down to write those thank you cards, I know that I’m great at showing love to those that matter. I’m not always going to remember that you had an eye appointment yesterday or that you were married to John on February 17, but I’m going to love you and support you, even when I’m not physically there. When you see me, you’re going to get a hug hello and hug goodbye. And when time and life continues to separate us, if we are continually fostering our friendship, we’re going to have a rock solid bond.
I’m a good friend, too. Even though I have bad memory, I’ll do almost anything to cheer you up if you’re down. I’ll sit in a quiet room with you and hand you tissues to wipe your eyes and nose. I’ll even cry with you because I hate to see my friends hurt, but I promise to keep it under control. I’ll send you flowers when you feel broken because of what other have said about you, or I’ll get you out of the house to take your mind off things. Believe it or not, your bests will shoulder your same pain, anger, and even happiness, because that’s what friends do. Friends are there no matter what, at the drop of a hat.
As the years pass and I get older, as I’m sure you can also attest, the ones I thought that would be here forever, aren’t. There are friends in my life that I laughed until I cried with, friends that I got into the most trouble with, and friends I almost died with—but many of those friends aren’t there anymore and that’s okay. Life changes us. Situations change us. Everything shapes us into the people we are now, every experience, every encounter, every single day. No two people in this world are exactly alike due to the differences in our circumstances.
I think the most difficult part of walking away from a friendship or putting the above quote into action, is knowing that our friendship is really over. It’s facing the fact that I fought hard to keep it alive, while the other party couldn’t care less. It’s recognizing all the things and walking away, feeling like you left a part of yourself with them, that you’ll never get back. BUT, it’s also understand that friendship is give and take, two sided, and that even though it hurts now, time heals all wounds and there are some friends that will always be your soulmates. Friends are an investment.