currently: listening to 'My Coffin' by Jon Foreman.
There were those days where we could sit around to talk about nothing, and talk about everything at the same time. I'd say something stupid, they'd say something even stupider. We'd laugh, we'd joke, we'd eat bad food and we'd do it again the next time we meet.
But sometimes "next time" never happens again. And you'd try and try, telling yourself you'd be flexible and forgiving to every failed attempt to meet - until you get so frustrated at the person you used to easily call 'friend'.
I'm not talking about anyone specific; I'm really not. But I won't blame you if that description made you bring someone to mind - because that's the stage of life I and people my age (in our mid-20s) seem to be. Past friends vs current friends vs life-long friends - who becomes whom to you? What can you do though when the friend you thought you were close to won't show up anymore? Give them ultimatums? Give them one last chance? And then another last chance when that one fails?
I used to think I had every right to be angry and frustrated. Here I was, doors wide open and invites aplenty for them to meet me half way. And the less they responded, the more forceful my invites became. All I was doing was throwing things until I got something back; any response back. Why was it that I was trying so hard for them when they weren't trying for me?
"Time and good friends are two things that become more valuable the older you get." I'm not sure where the quote comes from, but the meaning of friendship and the time it's lasted is one of the biggest investments you can make. It provides happiness, support, courage and good memories. That's why when you stop having a friendship - it hurts. All that investment for nothing in return.
I'm allowed to feel hurt and frustrated by friends. But I can't hold on to those feelings forever, and can't hold onto those friends forever.
So I've decided to let those friendships go. It's actually hard to think about it in that way. Letting them go is letting go of an important part and time of my life, which they represented. But in some ways it lets a lot of those harsh feelings and resentment go with it. Carrying negativity is a weight no one can bear forever.
Plus I want to remember to invest in the friendships with people who want to invest their time with me. Relationships are a two-way street.
Will I still try to keep in contact with those I lose? Depends. Will I still invite them to the important moments of my life? Probably not. I'm more valuable than to be paid with disappointment.
But will this mean there's no going back on our friendships? Not true. When they're ready to invest back in our friendship, and I feel ready to let them - we can start again.
Never forget your good friends though - they're more valuable than you could ever afford.