I want to take the time to apologize to any high school friends that I’ve lost touch with since graduation. Whether something happened to make me feel as though I needed to move on, or some sort of distance caused our friendship to estrange itself, I apologize. While I’ve always been an outgoing and extroverted person, I’ve never been much of the one to have many friends. Sure I have “friends”, or “acquaintances” I suppose. But it’s not often that I find myself really able to count out on more than just my one hand how many true friends I have.
The truth is that I’m skeptical. I haven’t always been. You see, I used to have too many friends. Or so I thought they were friends. It wasn’t until this summer that I realized that friends are more of acquaintances of convenience, with the exception of a few of course. I graduated high school with all these expectations of keeping my great friends from high school and making even more friends in college, but only one of those expectations came true.
I lost a lot of friends, and the saddest part is that it’s almost as if they don’t notice I’m gone. I’ve reached out every now and then, subtle texts and snapchats to check in. Sometimes I wonder how long it would take for them to contact me if I wasn’t the one commenting on their posts or reaching out to them. Sure invitations are extended in group messages. And that’s always nice. But in all honesty, I’ve become a person that isn’t the same person they’re expecting to show up to those events. I’m not the same person they added to the group message. I’m not ashamed of who I’ve become or how I’ve grown. I’m proud of how I’ve changed and developed and matured. I’ve learned enough in the last year to know that while even though the friends might change, the nature of the friendship won’t. If it was founded in high school, it will always be a high school friendship. And with the exception of a few, I don’t know if those are the kinds of friendships I want in my life anymore.
And it’s not like I’m breaking up with my friends. I think there just comes a time where you look at yourself and decide that you no longer want to tie your identity to certain people. It’s healthy for everybody, really. Think of all of the people in this world who are being dragged down and held back by toxic friendships and relationships. Just imagine what would happen if they just let it all go and thought for themselves.
I’ve always been a people pleaser; the kind to bend over backwards to put a smile on someones face, even if they would never do the same for me. That says a lot about me, and a lot about my integrity. And while I still want that to be something that defines me, I don’t want to continue to break my back for a simple smile. Sure, I’ll jump through hoops here and there. I’ll work up a sweat every now and then. But I can’t jeopardize my own happiness for the sake of someone else’s in a high school friendship.
You’ll have your high school friends. And if you’re lucky, you might even keep in touch or go to the same university or end up as roommates. But more often than not, you’ll lose touch. And when you reconnect over the summer or the breaks, you’ll discover that your text messages and facetimes and facebook pokes and snapchat streaks won’t match up to the new person they’ve become and the new person you’ve become. That’s not to say you won’t keep some here and there; some people might surprise you. But in the meantime, be thankful for family, for college friendships, and for the whole life you have ahead of you to build and foster new friendships.