My mom asked me to find binoculars yesterday. Although I’ve never seen them before, apparently we have a pair. And apparently they were meant to be in my room (they actually weren’t but that’s beyond the point). When looking for them, I had to go through all my cupboards and drawers and cute flowery boxes I keep random stuff in.
I didn’t find the binoculars. But I did find letters.
There was a Valentine’s Day card I got from Mr Arguably Honest, that made me smile. And the only letter I got from him, which made me cry happy tears.
I also found letters from someone I used to call my best friend.
(If you’re now asking yourself if you’ve been taken back to the 19th century, because who the hell writes letters by hand these days, I can assure you it’s still the crazy year 2016. And I recommend you try exchanging letters with your friends. Paper can be very forgiving.)
I should have just put them back where I found them, or maybe thrown them in a shredder. But I’m a sentimental human being at heart. So I read them.
And woke up a lot of sad memories that I have so far kept at the very back of my head. It’s been more than 4 years since we last talked. There is no active pain, there aren’t any hard feelings anymore. By now, a few years of friendship have turned into a slightly painful memory. Imagine having your heart stabbed with a pencil. A little bit painful, but won’t kill you.
After I had a little sob, I thought it’s an interesting thing to write about. Because, although we like to think some people will be in our live forever, the truth is, people come and go. No matter how sad that makes us feel, most friendships aren’t forever.
I actually think it is good. Even though I still occasionally feel sad that some people are no longer in my life, in the long run, I’m probably better off.
I think we can learn something from every person we meet. Sometimes you can learn how to become an awesome manager. How to help people grow. And other times you will learn how not to approach responsibilities. Or that you shouldn’t trust everyone who seems nice and caring.
Life isn’t only about fun, rainbows and unicorns. I’m assuming you’re all smart people, so I’m sure you know that by now. But sometimes we don’t appreciate those bitter lessons. I don’t either. They totally suck. I wish there wasn’t a need for them.
But, come on, just because you learnt from someone, doesn’t mean you need to keep them in your life. After all, I doubt you still have your primary school books, even though you probably learnt more useful things from them than from many high school ones (addition and division totally beat detailed knowledge of unification of Germany in everyday usefulness).
Same goes for people.
We’re different today than we will be in a year or five. The friendships we have now will either stay with us and evolve, or become a thing of the past. It’s a natural process, one we shouldn’t be scared of. I know. Sometimes you’re so close with someone, be it a friend or a boyfriend, that it feels it will never end. And it might not, as I said in my post about high school relationships. But friendships do disappear, or evolve into having a coffee once a year to catch up. Which is fine as well.
I am not saying to live your life with the ‘planned obsolescence’ approach. If it’s broken, throw it out. Nah. I know my generation, us ‘millennials’, we’re leaning towards easy solutions and easy way outs. I won’t advocate for that (even though all electronics producers do). But you need to take a step back and think if the friendship you have is a Rolex, worth fixing, because it will last you for years, or a cheap tamagotchi.
I don’t regret making some cuts in who I’m friends with. You shouldn’t either.
Because I don’t need in my life people who don’t trust me and who I don’t trust. Because no friendship can survive that.
Because I don’t need in my life people who are trying to make me feel smaller just because they don’t feel big. Because I value my happiness too much.
Because I don’t need in my life people who are negative and constantly tell me something is impossible. It’s possible if I think it is.
Because I don’t need in my life people who don’t wish me well. People who won’t be happy when I succeed. Who will be happy when I fail.
As they say, darlings, quality over quantity. We each only have on life to live.