In my early 30's I had one of those rare friend breakups. It left me completely blindsided. We had been coworkers. We lunched together daily, shared regular happy hours, we gossiped and shared our ups and downs. We had very different lives. I was married and a new mother, she was single and dating. At times I lived vicariously through her. She would tell me about the happy hours that turned into all night dance parties, her hook-ups and boyfriends. At some point we had a falling out and she cut off all communication. Eventually she sent me an email and said something about "people coming in and out of your life" and "letting go." My feelings were hurt and I was taken aback. I'm not accustomed to people just walking out of my life. Of course there have been casual friends of convenience that I have lost touch with when proximity ceased, but for the relationships that I had invested time, heart and energy in? No, for me, that isn't "normal."
Yet as I have grown older, lived in multiple cities and held multiple jobs, I have come to realize that relationships can be at the very least, "flexible." People change. Lives change. Circumstances change. People move. People divorce. People leave you.
I admit I don't like it. Sure, I have some casual friendships, people I know because of proximity and circumstance, but for the most part if we are friends it is because I have invested. I chose you and I hope that you chose me too, and that is why it is always so very hard for me to say goodbye. Goodbye. I feel like it has become all too common. Our society has made it so very easy to pick up and move, to another city, another state, another country.
I have had some painful goodbyes. There was the morning I walked away from my friend's condo, brand new baby in a sling across my chest, I blinked the tears away as I bid one of my closest friends farewell. She departed east two years ago and I wonder if I will ever see her again. There was the pat I received from a friend who mumbled "it's been fun" at their going away party. Our children had played together regularly and we had shared many good times, secrets and drinks, and now it was again, goodbye.
I don't let go easily. For better or for worse, I don't like people "coming in and out of my life." I don't necessarily attach easily, but I attach hard, and alas, I am terribly sentimental.
So on nights like this, I think of you. The friends with whom I once shared so much with. I miss you. I miss you so very much. And I'm always here. Right here.