A Moment Of Growth: Friendship Addition
How do you admit to someone, and to yourself that change is inevitable?
Especially when change leads down a divergent path?
A lot of shit has happened to me in two years. Yet, in the midst of all of that shit, I never expected an inseparable friendship to change.
But, it did.
Mixed feelings about where our relationship was going with my best friend started to stir in my mind these last couple of weeks. I didn’t want to admit to myself that she and I haven’t been on the same wavelength since January, where we were roommates in school. I was starting to believe that when we arrived back at Wake, living together in an apartment (our plan since freshman year) maybe was not the best idea. But addressing this issue seemed like a tidal wave waiting to suffocate me. Because in my mind, (where I tend to ruin the calm of the sea with my disastrous, anxious thoughts), sharing these feelings with her would mean I’d lose her as a friend completely and our experience abroad (for both of us) would change drastically. And while something as seemingly simple as not being roommates in the future may not seem like the endgame for a friendship, it sure loomed in my mind as such.
I couldn’t stop internalizing all the “ifs” that could occur if we had this tough conversation. Yet, a couple days before the big conversation, I had a dream of her and I talking about our friendship and it went as smoothly as it possibly could. I know in my heart it was my mother sending me a sign to find the courage to open up this discussion, so with her encouragement, I decided last Thursday to push through the discomfort and point blank ask the question:
“Have you had any thoughts about us not living together when we get back to Wake?”
And while I held my breath, the response I received from still blows my mind to this point.
“Emma, I was literally having this conversation with my parents this morning”.
(I’d just like to give a huge shout out to the universe and all of its weird quirks for helping some homies out.)
Weight lifted off of both my best friend and I’s shoulders as we had our biggest heart-to-heart. Even though points were raw and uncomfortable, filled with emotion, confusion, and so many other feelings, she and I discussed reasons as to why our friendship wasn’t how it used to be and why living together back home was something neither of us wanted. Most importantly, we discussed how we could move forward together in our friendship, despite our diverging paths. In our most mature manner (still super proud of us tbh), we turned a potential turbulent situation into a sincere moment of growth in which she and I learned valuable life lessons. From this moment, I grew so much as a person, and I walked away still holding a treasured friendship. Because this discussion opened so many doors of growth, I wanted to share some lessons I have learned with you all:
It’s okay to not be the person you were a year ago.
You may meet people on your journey that can’t let go of the truth of change. Because those who want to still stay in your life while you change, will find a way. My best friend and I have realized that we are VERY different, and are on completely different paths, but these differences do not have to demonize the changed person you are becoming. Even though we may not have as many similarities as we did a year ago, we still want each other in our lives. And because of this want, we will figure out a way to still be there for each other. Stick to figuring out who you are, and the right people will stay with you.
You can’t expect relationships to remain static, while you blossom from growth
At the start of our friendship, she and I were much more naive and willing to blow off any possibility of change to our relationship. It was an all or nothing mentality, where our inseparability would last us until the day we died. When we met, we were both looking for that ideal friendship...and each other. However, naturally (and rightfully so) we began turning into the people we wanted to be as we moved forward with college, and our differences started to become more noticeable. Yet, we didn’t want to admit that our freshmen selves were unable to serve each other anymore. So, lesson learned: if you want to grow into yourselves, you can’t hold an expectations that relationships won’t grow with you. People come and go throughout your entire life - what control you have is deciding who you want to keep in while you blossom. Us? We cherish each other. We can’t deny the truth of our diverging paths, but we can meet each other half way. The best way to figure this all out? Address that elephant sitting in the corner of the room.
Un jour à la fois
When my mother shared the news with me that her cancer had metastasized to her brain, my best friend sent me this saying above. I chuckle as I bring this into this story because back then, I’d never expect the quote to wrap full circle back onto our relationship. One day at a time. You can’t waste your days worrying about who is going to stay in your life, and who might leave, so love them with all your heart today. This goes for your friends, your family, your pets, and even the acquaintance you may have met today. Each person that shows up in your life is meant to give you a lesson, so find gratitude for their wisdom right now. Tomorrow may be a different story.